Plautus and Roman Slavery

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, May 21, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 240 pages
This book studies a crucial phase in the history of Roman slavery, beginning with the transition to chattel slavery in the third century bce and ending with antiquity’s first large-scale slave rebellion in the 130s bce. Slavery is a relationship of power, and to study slavery – and not simply masters or slaves – we need to see the interactions of individuals who speak to each other, a rare kind of evidence from the ancient world.

Plautus’ comedies could be our most reliable source for reconstructing the lives of slaves in ancient Rome. By reading literature alongside the historical record, we can conjure a thickly contextualized picture of slavery in the late third and early second centuries bce, the earliest period for which we have such evidence.

The book discusses how slaves were captured and sold; their treatment by the master and the community; the growth of the conception of the slave as “other than human,” and as chattel; and the problem of freedom for both slaves and society.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Human Property
21
Enslavement or Seasoning Slaves
48
Violence Private and Communal
80
Release from Slavery
117
The Problem of Action
156
Conclusion
190
Index
215
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Roberta Stewart is Associate Professor of Classics at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Public Office in Early Rome: Ritual Procedure and Political Practice (1998).

Bibliographic information