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ASY´LIA (ἀσυλία), inviolability.

1. The security of person and property everywhere granted to ambassadors and heralds, and often to others as well. It was regularly enjoyed by athletes on their jouineys to and from the games, and by actors and others engaged in the Dionysiac [p. 1.235]festivals (Plut. Arat. 28). As granted to individuals by special favour, it is often mentioned in the inscriptions in connexion with ἀτέλεια and προξενία (C. I. G. n. 1052, 1542, and many more; Curtius, Anecd. Delph. n. 41 ff.). This privilege was also granted by one state to another, and claimed in the fullest measure by the presiding states at the four great games (Pind. Isthm. 2.23; Thuc. 5.49; Strabo viii. p.358; cf. OLYMPIA). The period during which the sacred truce lasted was called ἱερομηνία or ἐκεχειρία. In rare instances, the possessors of a sanctuary enjoyed by treaties a perpetual inviolability of their territory: this was especially the case with the city of Teos, as is proved by inscriptions built into the walls of the modern town which has risen out of its ruins (cf. Dict. Geogr. s. v. Teos.) As the derivation of the word implies, ἀσυλία included exemption from reprisals (σῦλαι) in time of war [SYLAE].

2. The right of sanctuary [ASYLUM].


hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.49
    • Plutarch, Aratus, 28
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