Slavery in Greece and Rome

2580 Words11 Pages
Slavery in Greece and Rome The issue of slavery has been debated since its early inception. In recent times, there has been considerable debate as to the definition of slavery. Western scholars have attempted to justify slavery of the New World by comparing it to the slavery that existed in Biblical times as well as Greco-Roman and African slavery. Some argue that there can be no international definition of slavery. Others try to define by a few words that apply to every instance of slavery. The only true way to define slavery is according to each society in which it was based. Webster's dictionary defines slavery submission to a dominating influence or the state of a person who is a chattel of another. Though Webster's gives this very general definition, there are many other meanings that may come to a person's mind depending on the region of the world that one is speaking of. In Rome, there were different forms of slavery and slavery was not based on any particular thing such as color. Where did these slaves come from? It has been said that "slaves are either born or made." During the Republican period one of the principal sources of slaves had been prisoners of war. There was significant number of Jewish slaves acquired as a result of the crushing of the Jewish rebellion by Vespasian and Titus (AD 66-70) The steady expansion in Britain continued to supply British slaves onto the market. Great numbers of prisoners of war reached Rome from the Dacian wars of Trajan. Also, after the Jewish revolt led by Bar-Cochba in AD 132-35 an additional number of Jews were sold as slaves. As well as prisoners of war, there were other groups of people who were made slaves. There were those who were kidnapped and sold into slavery. There w... ... middle of paper ... ...pological Perspectives, ed. Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1976. Lewis, Bernard, Race and Slavery in the Middle East. Oxford University Press 1994. Madden,John Slavery in the Roman Empire Numbers and Origins. Galway: University College. Martin, Dale, Slavery as Salvation: The Metaphor of Slavery in Pauline Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Murray, John, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: 1875. Sikainga, Ahmad "Slavery and Muslim Jurisprudence in Morrocco" in Slavery and Abolition, Special Issue: Slavery and Colonial Rule in Africa, ed. Suzanne Miers and Martin Klein. THE AMAZING ANCIENT WORLD OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION: Westermann, W.L., The Slave Systems of Greek and Roman Antiquity. Philadelphia,1955. Wiedemann, T.E.J., Slavery, Greece and Rome. Oxford,1987
Open Document