Has Slavery Changed Since Ancient Times Essay

Has Slavery Changed Since Ancient Times? Essay, Research Paper

Slavery has always been a large issue and possibly always will. The issues of today are often negative but did you know that back in ancient Roman times they were all for it? Well they were! The question that will be answered in this assessment is ?In what ways, if any, has slavery changed from ancient to modern times?? I believe that slavery has changed very much from the past. Not that there may be more or less of it, but that it may be harsher and have worse conditions.

In the ancient times slavery was a common and normal thing. In 70 A.D it was estimated that there were slaves in Rome. There were no troubles or controversies over it. Slavery was widespread and most families owned at least one slave. Today there is only one real way to become a slave but in Roman Times (rise of Rome) there were three.

1=Slavery due to crime committed.

2=Not being a Roman citizen.

3=Taken prisoner by Romans. An example is war.

Some of these may seem unfair but it was the Romans belief in their superiority.

There were many types of slaves that were good at different types of jobs. Often, rich families had so many slaves that they didn?t really have to do any work around the house at all! There were other types of slaves apart from the above. These were

Statuliberi = Slaves freed by their master?s will.

Servi sub unsufructu manumissi =Slaves made free by will remaining as slaves.

Bona fide servientes = Freemen acting as slave to master

Auctorati = Free men who were gladiators, under a contract to their gladiatorial master.

Redempti = Freemen captured in war and ransomed back to non-relatives. They worked until they paid off their debt.

Coloni adscripti glebae = Free persons who were tenant farmers.

These slaves were not treated as a person but as an impersonal asset although they did have their rights. These were dismal rights but they were important for the slaves well-being. The rights were as follows: the slave was allowed his personal items (like money etc.), he could not be killed without a good reason.

Masters had rights too of course. They could treat a slave anyway they wanted to. They could be abusive, friendly or do anything they wanted to the slave. They could defend themselves against slaves and could kill him/her if the master provided the courts with a good reason. The master could even free slave for working well at any time.

If the slave and the master got on well, and the slave had saved up enough money or grown too old to serve, then the slave could be freed though a process called manumission. The slave would then be called a freedman or freedperson.

Slaves were often treated well and given a full chance by their master but it was not uncommon for the master to treat slaves brutally and cruelly. Slaves always worked hard. At least slaves of the ancient times had a chance at life! Today it is somewhat different!

Slavery has not diminished in any way at all! It may not be as widespread and common as it used to be, but far more illegal and secreted! There are many cases, which go on today but are unheard of in our country! It mainly happens in third world countries where poverty is rife and many of the filthiest places remain untouched by the authorities who cannot do anything to stop this inhumane form of labour.

Most of today?s slavery is illegal and occurs in backward environments. Common examples of this are where young children are lured away from their families and forced to work. Sometimes families are so poor that they have to sell their children to slave drivers. Most of this occurs in factories, sugar cane fields and sometimes-even prostitution. All of the hardships that the slaves of today have to endure.

A more subtle and less conspicuous form of slavery can be found in situations where unscrupulous employers take advantage of unfortunate individuals in poor economic circumstances. For example itinerant and often illegal immigrants from third world countries or refugees escaping political persecution.

The Christian and Jewish attitudes to slavery portrayed a belief that slavery was not bad for all slaves. The reason for this was that Christians did not scorn labour. They believed this because St Peter was a tentmaker and Jesus was a carpenter. This is also backed up by Aristotle?s beliefs. He believed that owning a slave is not bad, but part of necessity. You need to own possessions to live a proper life. A slave is a possession that is essential. A slave must be treated properly though and should not be grossly beaten, but firmly disciplined. Hammurabi also had a basis of discipline on the slave but also on the master! He spoke of all round fairness and equity but also had a belief that slavery was essential.

Today there are no beliefs about necessity and slaves. Slaves are illegal. But that does not stop it from happening. Many underprivileged people are taken away from their homes. This did happen in Roman times too. But perhaps in a more civilized manner. At least then they had a chance of life. After their working days, if they had a kind master, they could live a normal life. Today, some of the things they have to do can warp them for life. And they only receive tiny amounts of money a month. That would be far too insufficient.

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