• Academic Credits: 3
  • Mode of Instruction: Lecture
  • Syllabus:  Fall 2021

    Syllabus Disclaimer:  The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

  • Cross-listed Course: 01:190:300
  • Credit will not be given for both this course and the cross-listed course.


    Course Description

    This course will offer an overview of ancient Greek and Roman slavery as a political, legal, economic, social, and cultural phenomenon. According to one expert, M. I. Finley, although human societies have exploited slaves as far back as records exist, there have only been five genuine slave societies in human history. Two of these were the principal societies of classical antiquity, those of classical Greece and of the Roman Republic and Empire. Understanding the place of slavery in classical antiquity is thus essential not only for understanding the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome but also for comprehending slavery as a human institution. The course will address the following topics: definitions of slavery (including chattel slavery, eventually the predominant form of servitude); the sources and numbers of slaves; the slave mode of production and the significance of slavery in the ancient economy; domestic and rural slaves; the treatment of slaves; resistance to slavery and slave revolts; manumission and the position of ex-slaves in Greco-Roman society; the social position of slaves; the family life of slaves; slavery and the law (civil and natural); slaves in literature; ancient and new world slavery compared.

Social, economic, legal, and political aspects of slavery in Ancient Greece and Rome. The sources and numbers of slaves, forms of servitude, manumission, and slave labor. Credit not given for both this course and 01:190:300.