Slavery in Rome

Topics: Slavery, Ancient Rome, Roman Republic Pages: 3 (1004 words) Published: December 7, 2005
SLAVERY IN ROME

"A person who is forced to work for another, usually without pay is called a slave and slavery is the use of slaves to get work done" (Wikipedia). The institution of slavery is as old as civilization. The muscles of slaves built many nations and empires. In ancient civilizations, slaves were usually war captives. But what kinds of people were enslaved, and why? Who has enslaved? What the rights did slaves have? How could slaves gain freedom? The answers different from one society to another. The Roman society has different answers for those questions, from beginning of slavery to the rights available for the slaves, those answers worth examining because they provide us interesting information about Roman civilization. The Roman society has different answers for those questions, from beginning of slavery to the rights available for the slaves, those answers worth examining because they provide us interesting information about Roman civilization.

In Roman society, most Romans worked their own small farms in early years of Rome. The Punic Wars changed Roman society dramatically, as Romans began enslaving enemy captives. These slaves were put to work, making large plantations possible and profitable. These changes made the Roman Republic a slave-based society.

"Rome had rigid social classes that were as ancient as roman custom. Some families had special inherited religious or ceremonial rights and responsibilities. The senate was able to maintain its monopoly on State prerogatives because it had certain religious rights and responsibilities, probably inherited from the early Kingship system that only the nobility (especially the Senate itself) could observe. This included the religious rituals involved in appointing Consuls or other state functionaries, and even in declaring war or signing treaties. These arguments were usually effective in keeping the masses from assuming more power for themselves."

Then, slavery was normal, even...
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