Slavery in Ancient Roman Society

1301 Words5 Pages
Unfortunately, Western Civilization includes many instances of social, political, and economic oppression. When most people now think of slavery, they think of the United States because that memory is relatively new and culturally relevant to Americans. However, slavery existed in many other cultures and times across the world. Understanding the nature of slavery is integral to an understanding of Western Civilization in general. Ancient Rome practiced slavery throughout much of the Empire, and especially under Emperor Augustus. It is likely that slavery was just as important for making the Roman Empire strong, wealthy and powerful as it was for the early United States to become wealthy and powerful. Therefore, it is important to understand the role that slavery played in ancient Rome. Slavery was practiced differently in ancient Rome than it was practiced in the United States. For instance, the ancient Romans enslaved any foreigners who were conquered, and not just those that were ethnically or racially different. There is ample evidence showing how slavery was practiced in ancient Rome, and why. When the area of Pompeii was excavated by archaeologists, the findings included tombstones that were from former slaves. These tombstones show a lot about the role that slaves played in ancient Roman society. For example, some of the tombstones are for freed slaves. Slaves were therefore freed regularly by their masters. Once the slaves were free, they could participate in most
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