CLCV 1003 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Manumission, Civis Romanus Sum, Centuriate Assembly

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Free Statuses and Slavery
Roman Slavery
-indispensable to the functioning of Roman society at all levels
-population estimates vary widely
-sources:
prisoners of war
birth slaves > vernae (children born into slavery), will be more loyal or could know too much
children abandoned at birth
selling themselves
deracination
-between 5% and 30% of the population
-Indispensable to the functioning of Roman society at all levels
-Population estimates vary WIDELY
-Very difficult to get a unified picture >> because experiences varied SO widely
jobs
punishment
Lex Aquila, 287 BCE
“If anyone kills unlawfully a male slave or female slave belonging to someone else or a four-footed beast
of the class of cattle, let him be condemned to pay the owner the highest value that the property had
attained in the preceding year”
Evidence From Papyri
-usually written in Greek
-information of taxes, census
-contract for selling a slave in Oxyrhynchus
Who owns slaves?
-state
-imperial household
contubernia > slave “marriage”
Saturnalia
-festival begins December 17th
-7 days long
-the festival where slaves could “let loose”
-slaves and masters change roles for some days
Punishment
-Iron collar
-Twelve Tables (451 BCE)
Slave Revolts
-3 between 135 and 71 BCE >> Spartacan revolt from 73-71 BCE
-6000 crucified along Via Appia (Appian Way)
Race and Ethnicity
-not inherent to the definition of “slave” at all
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