Slavery in Ancient Greece and Rome Essay

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Slavery was the practice of taking a human being and making them do the work of another by force. This was practiced through out the ancient world and especially in Rome and Greece. Slaves were nothing more than just property to the ancient peoples. They didn't have the rights of citizens nor were they able to do what they want in most cases. Slaves had many tasks that they had to do, many of which included taking care of the masters house and kids, cooking and cleaning that house, herding the cattle for the farming families, being guards for some prisons, fighting for entertainment of the masses, and more common was sexual activities with the slaves.

The most common use of a slave was to have the around the house to do common tasks
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The owners could do with the slaves what they wished, be it sexual favors or they could beat them at will. Beating a slave though was not usually the best thing that an owner of slaves could do because they didn't want to damage their property. To get a slave to work hard wasn't that difficult most of the time, all the owner had to do was refrain from beating and instead be nice to them. In Rome some slaves were offered freedom if they met certain criteria of the owner. After earning their freedom they were given citizenship in the city. This gave the slaves a reason to work hard, something to look forward to.

Although slaves worked mainly inside of the house there were owners who used them for other reasons also.

"Slaves are living tools" this is Aristotle defining what slaves are, and this is what they were used as by everyone, inside the house and out of it. Almost everyone in the ancient world had a slave or two, the only exception was with the poorest families. There was even slaves that owned their own slaves, usually only one of the opposite sex though so that they could have some semblance of a family. Pliny, a governor of a Roman province wrote to emperor Trajan asking if he should use the slaves as guards in a local prison or use soldiers or to mix them both in there. Pliny obviously trusted his slaves enough if he was willing
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