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Roman Slavery

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the impact that slaves had on the Roman Republic and Empire and the impact the Romans had on slaves, from the first conquests to the fall of Rome.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the role of slavery in the Roman world, from its early conquests to the fall of the Western Empire.

The system became so entrenched that no-one appeared to question it, following Aristotle's view that slavery was a natural state. Whole populations could be marched into slavery after military conquests, and the freedom that Roman citizens prized for themselves, even in poverty, was partly defined by how it contrasted with enslavement. Slaves could be killed or tortured with impunity, yet they could be given great responsibility and, once freed, use their contacts to earn fortunes. The relationship between slave and master informed early Christian ideas of how the faithful related to God, informing debate for centuries.

With

Neville Morley
Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter

Ulrike Roth
Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh

And

Myles Lavan
Senior lecturer in Ancient History at the University of St Andrews

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Neville Morley at the University of Exeter

Ulrike Roth at the University of Edinburgh

Myles Lavan at the University of St Andrews

Slavery in ancient Rome - Wikipedia

 

READING LIST:

Sinclair Bell and Teresa Ramsby (eds.), Free at Last!: The Impact of Freed Slaves on the Roman Empire (Bloomsbury, 2013)

Keith Bradley and Paul Cartledge (eds.), The Cambridge World History of Slavery: Volume 1, The Ancient Mediterranean World (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1994)

K. Bradley, Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control (Oxford University Press, 1987)

Moses I. Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology (Markus Wiener Publishers, 1998)

Peter Garnsey, Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine (Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Michelle George (ed.), Roman Slavery and Roman Material Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2012)

Sandra R. Joshel and Lauren Hackworth Petersen, The Material Life of Roman Slaves (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Sandra R. Joshel, Slavery in the Roman world (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Henrik Mouritsen, The Freedman in the Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Thomas Wiedemann, Greek and Roman Slavery (Routledge, 1981)

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Neville Morley
Interviewed Guest Ulrike Roth
Interviewed Guest Myles Lavan
Producer Simon Tillotson

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