Ancient Slavery Essay

932 words - 4 pages

Western Civilization to 1715
November 12, 2010

Slavery was a crucial factor in the development of western civilization. Slavery in the ancient world greatly differs, yet contrasts with that of the early modern world. When comparing these time periods, one should consider aspects such as race, the influence of commerce and consumption, the roles of slaves in society, slave law and treatment and so on and so forth. For all of these features plays a significant role in comparing and contrasting slavery in both ancient and modern world.

In the ancient world, slaves were assigned to all kinds of work. Their labors were vital in sustaining the luxury of the upper roman class. In ...view middle of the document...

“Slaves: Torment and Revolt.” Perry Volume 1. 2006: Pg. 78-79.)
The treatment of the slaves in ancient Rome were disturbing to say the least. These human beings were auctioned off and fought to the death. Otherwise, they had to work in dangerous conditions on high mountains and cliffs. Roman masters gave them the most meager care, and gave them the absolute minimum for food and clothing. However, in 135 B.C, a slave revolt broke out in Sicily. Countless numbers of men, women, and children who had previously experienced the most difficult conditions, and Sicily was now in the danger of falling into the power of corruptible slaves. The Servile (slave) War broke out because the Sicilians acquired great wealth and began purchasing more and more slaves and began applying marks and branding them. The treatment of the people who unfortunately became slaves was horrendous.
“…The slaves, distressed by their hardships, and frequently outraged and beaten beyond all reason, could not endure their treatment. Getting together as opportunity offered, they discussed the possibility of revolt, until at last they put their plans into action…” (Sirculus, Diodorus. “Slaves: Torment and Revolt.” Perry Volume 1. 2006: Pg. 79.) Once the word of a revolt by slaves got out, others banded together in Rome, Attica, and also Delos (an island off the southeastern Greek coast). Ultimately, slavery played a crucial role in the culture and development of the ancient world in western civilization.
Slavery in the Early Modern World was slightly different than that of the ancient world. During this time, slaves were primarily found in the Mediterranean region. African slaves were prisoners of war, victims of violence and kidnapping, or even criminals. Ships belonging to the Portuguese began carrying...

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