Roman Slavery

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Ancient Rome Pages: 2 (479 words) Published: April 21, 2013
In early Rome, slavery had just taken its roots and had not risen to its full potential yet. However, as time went on and prosperity came to them, their dependency on slaves rose drastically. Slaves were absolutely subordinate to their masters as their masters literally owned them as property, and could buy or sell them at will. Slaves had gotten to the point where the consisted of over 1/3 of the population of Rome by the time it collapsed. Slaves did many things, but they were categorized into 3 levels: Hard labor, House and Field, and Skilled (In increasing order for status.) Hard labor slaves usually were sent to do nearly impossible jobs that were meant to kill them. These jobs could simply not have been done by anyone other than them, as they were the least expensive and were not as skilled as the other slaves. The majority of Labor slaves were prisoners of war and convicts. They served multiple purposes, such as working the mines, the gullies, and fighting to the death as gladiators for roman entertainment. The second level of slavery in Rome was the House and Field Slaves. They were worth around 10 grand per person in today’s money, a leap up from a hard labor slave still but much less than a skilled slave. These slaves helped plow fields and clean up house for wealthier citizens of Rome who owned them. Unlike the hard labor slaves, the masters of the field slaves did want their slaves to die of horrible working conditions. They were better treated by their masters and had an opportunity to earn their freedom as a reward. This was a much preferred type of slave to be than the Hard Labor Slaves. The Highest level of slavery was that of skilled slaves. Skilled slaves were educated an worth over 120 grand, 11 times that of a Field slave. They were usually educated Greeks that carried out professional jobs such as teaching, being a doctor, etc. They were given a degree of freedom unique to the skilled slave level. They were regarded by...
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