Slavery in Ancient Rome

1491 WordsJul 8, 20186 Pages
The experiences of enslaved women differed from the experience of enslaved men in ancient Rome; slavery within ancient Rome can be traced back to the first century BCE and was based primarily on the chattel slave system. Slavery within the ancient roman society was highly normalised as it was considered a part of roman culture. Slavery within ancient Rome was so heavily normalised that it is considered to be described as a “slave society” Joshel (2010, p. 6) states that “For slaves living in the Roman world, there was no outside – no place without slavery and no movement that declared slavery wrong. Slavery was a normal part of life, and this was true not only for the Romans but for every neighbouring ancient culture”. Not only was…show more content…
While Roman law acknowledged slave motherhood” (Joshel & Murnaghan 1981, p.8). Slavery within Rome was largely dependent in labour; both enslaved men and women were recruited within different fields of labour. Enslaved women were mostly enslaved to work within households, than enslaved men who were mostly recruited to work within the fields or mines . Enslaved Roman men and women were critical in symbolic terms of wealth for their masters, especially those who served within the domestic affairs. As these servants were responsible for the owners’ overall nobility “These domestic servants produced social status, not income, for their owners. They allowed their owners to live nobly: they took care of their owners’ physical needs, symbolised slaveholders’ social status, and, as property, displayed their owners wealth” (Joshel 2010, p. 9). Enslaved women that worked within domestics, especially cooking were subjected to poor working conditions and harsh treatment. The working conditions experienced within an ancient Roman kitchen is described as being “dark and poorly ventilated, so the cook worked in a small room full of smoke and fumes” (Joshel 2010, p. 25). Roman kitchens also included a small corridor allowing other servants to transport dishes in and out of the kitchen. In terms of harsh treatment, a slave cook could be beaten if their master found their work
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