Smaller poems in Greek anthologies, the author of which was not known. Furthermore, slaves adespota, liberated in antiquity, were called adespota, as well as all movable or even immovable property in the state, which do not belong to any individual. With respect to the literature, some thematic collections are published whose originators are all unknown. A well-known example is the work Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta by August Nauck, which, in addition to the works of poets Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, contains many fragments of Greek tragedies whose author is unknown or has not yet been published.

The term is derived from the Greek word ἀδέσποτος and can be translated anonymously without a master, by an unknown author. Consequently, the translation of the word already points to what is at stake: namely, a script whose author is not known. In the widest sense, therefore, the term also includes all works whose author is anonymous or who wishes to remain anonymous.

Another well-known example can be found in the eight-volume Poetae Comici Graeci. This is a fragmentary collection of the ancient Greek comedy which has been published since 1983 by Colin Austin, a British philologist and papyogologist, and Rudolf Kassel, a German philologist. The eighth volume of this collection, published in 1995, bears the title Adespota and contains ancient Greek comedies, whose authors are unknown.

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