roman slavery

2257 WordsOct 14, 201310 Pages
Roman slavery Slavery was an important part of the ancient world, and it was an integral piece of Roman daily life and the economy. Though slavery was practiced all over the Mediterranean, and was abundant in the east, its impact in other places was not felt nearly as much as it was in Rome and her Empire. As the Romans consolidated their position on the Italian peninsula and began the systematic conquest of the Mediterranean region, millions of slaves were incorporated into Rome and the Italian countryside. When the Romans were farmers and shepherds, slaves were used for farm work. Citizens were often away at war and slaves were necessary to keep the farms going. So the use of slaves gradually increased,…show more content…
Slaves of unusual value (especially those of remarkable beauty) were sometimes offered at private sales by owners to probable buyers. The dealer 's trade was considered disreputable, but it was very profitable. The vilest dealers sold female slaves for immoral purposes. The price of slaves varied greatly. Captives sold on a battlefield did not cost much because generals were eager for quick sales and on the trip back to Rome, dealers were sure of heavy losses from disease, fatigue and especially suicide. Some slaves fetched huge prices, however, handsome, educated boys and beautiful, accomplished girls may have cost thousands of dollars. Often slaves were matched in size and colouring. Public slaves were owned by the State; private slaves by individuals. Public slaves cared for public buildings, served magistrates and priests, were used by quastors (financial officials) and aediles, acted as night firemen and lictors (attendants on an official), jailers, and executioners. were not as likely to be sold, were not worked as hard, and were not subject to the whims of an individual master. Private slaves were either employed in the personal service of their masters (in which case they were called familia urbana, the city household) or kept for profit (hired out or employed in their master 's business affairs). Of the slaves kept for profit the oldest and most important class was that of the farm hands (familia rustica). It was considered more honourable for a
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