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Form: State-friend.
The Greek term for the representative of a State who was appointed, from the citizens of another State, to attend to the interests of its citizens there resident, as often as they needed legal protection and assistance. In the interests of foreigners, many States appointed such representatives from among their own citizens. Their position may be compared with that of our consuls. The proxenus received many distinctions and honours from the State which he represented. To be nominated proxenus was in some cases only an honorary distinction, which the State conferred on such foreigners as resided in it as aliens (See METOECI), and were therefore unable to do any service abroad for the citizens of the State in which they resided. This distinction insured many privileges, such as freedom from taxation and from public burdens which otherwise fell on the resident aliens, and, in general, exemption from tolls and taxes; also the right to acquire property in land, free admission to the Senate and to the assemblies of the people, etc. [See Monceaux, Les Proxenies Grecques, 1886.]
Type: Standard
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