Slavery in Ancient Greece Essay

1525 Words7 Pages
Work, discipline and feeding are three words that would perfectly sum up the daily routine of slaves in ancient Greece. Slaves were the backbone to the greatness, strength and stability to the ancient Greeks, according to Aristotle. Being divided into many different city-states, Greece as a whole contained a variety of social structures, and therefore, a range of positions occupied by slaves. Slavery allowed the citizens of Athens and also Sparta to focus on the aspects of life they thought were important. Most slaves did not appear any different from the poorer Greek citizens, therefore making it much more difficult for historians to determine exactly how many slaves there were during these times. Ascertaining a true understanding of…show more content…
Some children were not just born into slavery; some were also sold into slavery. Such children may have been sold into slavery because of financial debt. Usually it was the daughter because the male children were needed to help out with manual labor on the farm. Being abandoned or disclaimed by their parents was another way children entered slavery. The parents would abandon their newborn baby upon a hillside or at the gates of the city to die or be claimed by a passerby. If a debtor was unable to repay his loans, he had to sell himself into slavery to pay them. Some people had no other choice but to become a slave. Therefore, the people in ancient Greece became slaves by being prisoners of war, born into slavery by financial debt or abandonment, or by selling themselves into slavery, if unable to pay loans.

Secondly, slaves in Ancient Greece faced many struggles. As Aristotle said, the daily routine of slaves could be summed up in three words, "work, discipline, and feeding." Xenophon's advice is to treat slaves as domestic animals. That is to say punish disobedience and reward good behaviour. If they refused to work, their owner would hit them. Not only did slaves struggle with physical, mental, and emotional abuse, they suffered strict limitations in what they could and could not do. Slaves were not allowed to go out after dusk or before dawn without their owner. Some slaves could not even attend
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