Slavery is a ubiquitous feature of the Ancient World
Ancient Slavery is NOT racial Anyone can become a slave regardless of racial features or ethnic origin. It is circumstances that make someone a slave Some philosophers (e.g. Aristotle) tried to provide biological and political explanations of slavery, but these views never became mainstream Slavery was a the cornerstone of ancient economies, and this was the only necessary justification. Falling into slavery was seen as the ultimate misfortune, as slaves were objects, with no rights, and the only protection afforded to them was on account of their monetary value.
Recruiting grounds for slaves Wars: often entire cities were destroyed and their populations sold into slavery Slave-traders: they captured peoples from the fringes of the Mediterranean world and sold them in the slave markets Slaves in the Greek world were often blond (Xanthias) or red- heads (Pyrrhias) from the black sea regions. The police of Athens, the Scythian Archers, were public slaves from the Black sea regions In the Roman period slaves often come from Gaul, Germany and Africa. Greek slaves are often in a better position as they are used for tutoring Roman children (paedagogus). Sometimes slavery was imposed as a penalty for an offence. Anyone could be captured and become a slave, although enslaving a free person was illegal in the Graeco-Roman world. Sometimes free people were ransomed by their families.
Uses of the slaves Farms Households Businesses Military (as auxiliary staff) Mines Quarries Ships As personal valets In building projects The slaves were the raw labor of the ancient economy. They run every aspect of it
Spartacus A major slave revolt in 73 – 71 BC threatened the economic stability of Rome. It was led by the Thracian Spartacus, a gladiator He was assisted by a number of Gauls (Crixus, Gannicus) They killed their guards and master and fled organizing a massive revolt throughout Italy Eventually they were defeated by the legions of Crassus and 6,000 were crucified along the Appian way.
Suitable occupations for a high born Roman Politics Business (run by slaves) Farming (run by slaves) Civil Service Military Law Church (after the 4 th century) Empire government posts