Eurykleia, nourrice, esclave et membre de la maison

« Odysseus’ old nurse Eurykleia was bought by his father Laertes for twenty head of cattle (Odyss. I, 429-433). Never asked to share her master’s bed – the excepton perhaps, but Laertes, we are told, feared the rage of his wife – she remained in the family home when her charge was grown and gone to war. The case of Eurykleia raises two questions – the actual status of the nurse and the length of time that nurse formed part of the household she served. Eurykleia, it is clear, was a slave – she was bought – but she continued as part of the household even when her immediate task was over. How widespread was this pattern? ». Willy Clarysse et Dorothy J. Thompson, Counting the people in Hellenistic Egypt, vol.2, Cambridge 2006, p. 270.


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