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Seisachtheia (Greek: σεισάχθεια, from seiein, to shake, and achthos, burden, i.e. the relief of burdens) was a set of laws instituted by the Athenian lawmaker Solon in order to rectify the wide-spread serfdom and slavery that had run rampant in Athens by the 6th Century BC, by debt relief. Under the pre-existing legal status, according to the Aristotelian Constitution of the Athenians, debtors unable to repay their creditors would surrender their land to them, then becoming hektemoroi, i.e. serfs who cultivated what used to be their own land and gave one sixth of produce to their creditors. Should the debt exceed the perceived value of debtor's total assets, then the debtor and his family would become the creditor's slaves as well. The same would result if a man defaulted on a debt whose collateral was the debtor's personal freedom.

The seisachtheia laws immediately cancelled all outstanding debts, retroactively emancipated all previously enslaved debtors, reinstated all confiscated serf property to the hektemorioi, and forbade the use of personal freedom as collateral in all future debts. A ceiling to maximum property size was also instituted regardless of the legality of its acquisition (i.e. by marriage), meant to prevent excessive accumulation of land by powerful families.

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