Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 13, 1996 - Philosophy - 269 pages
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This study, unique of its kind, asks how slavery was viewed by the leading spokesmen of Greece and Rome. There was no movement for abolition in these societies, or a vigorous debate, such as occurred in antebellum America, but this does not imply that slavery was accepted without question. This book draws on a wide range of sources, pagan, Jewish and Christian, over ten centuries, to challenge the common assumption of passive acquiescence in slavery, and the associated view that, Aristotle apart, there was no systematic thought on slavery. The work contains both a typology of attitudes to slavery ranging from critiques to justifications, and paired case studies of leading theorists of slavery, Aristotle and the Stoics, Philo and Paul, Ambrose and Augustine.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
ATTITUDES TO SLAVERY
21
Slavery accepted
23
Justifications of slavery
35
Slave systems criticized
53
Fair words
64
Slavery criticized
75
Slavery eased
87
Early theologians
153
Philo
157
Paul
173
Church Fathers
189
Ambrose
191
Augustine
206
Slavery as metaphor
220
Conclusion
237

THEORIES OF SLAVERY
103
Classical Hellenistic and Roman philosophers
105
Aristotle
107
The Stoics
128

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