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Arbitrary RuleSlavery, Tyranny, and the Power of Life and Death$
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Mary Nyquist

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226015538

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226015675.001.0001

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Ancient Greek and Roman Slaveries

Ancient Greek and Roman Slaveries

Chapter:
(p.20) CHAPTER ONE Ancient Greek and Roman Slaveries
Source:
Arbitrary Rule
Author(s):

Mary Nyquist

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226015675.003.0002

This chapter is concerned mainly with interrelations in Greek and Roman political thought between two modes of slavery: on the one hand, chattel slavery, a social institution that affected every aspect of life in ancient Greece and Rome; and on the other, political slavery, which appeared only as a rhetorical figure for an oppressive condition suffered by a political community or polis. Legal, chattel slavery tended to be conceptualized with reference to the individual household or its master, while political slavery invariably had reference to a political community and appeared in two distinct modes. Within the polis, political slavery represented a negative condition for the free, male citizens who expected to participate as equals in the political process, while externally, vis-a-vis other city-states, it represented a condition with which the entire community was threatened.

Keywords:   modes of slavery, chattel slavery, social institution, political slavery, rhetorical figure, polis

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