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Module

CAH2061 : Slavery in Greco-Roman antiquity

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Simon Corcoran
  • Lecturer: Dr Jane Webster, Dr Micaela Langellotti
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aim of the course is to understand a fundamental, but often under-appreciated, aspect of the Greek and Roman worlds in its varied social, economic, legal and ideological contexts. This is to be done primarily through the study of antique writers, documents, artefacts and archaeology, and by engaging in particular with the problems caused by this uneven ancient evidence, in which the views of slave-owners are well represented, while slaves seldom have an explicit voice. Understanding the modern historiography is also key, since contemporary disputes, resonances and sensitivities (e.g. the reparations debate) form a further inescapable part of the context for studying this ancient topic.

Outline Of Syllabus

1] Introduction: the modern historiography of the subject, the range of ancient sources, and the definition of ‘slavery’.
2] Ideas and ideology about slaves in Greek and Roman writers.
3] Becoming or acquiring a slave, including the sources of slaves, the slave trade, legal aspects, and the demography of ancient slave populations.
4] Labour, including the ideology of ‘work’; the range of slave jobs, domestic, commercial, agricultural, and public; their economic and/or social importance.
5] The treatment of slaves, public and private, in particular the role of violence and torture.
6] Slave responses to slavery, including major revolts.
7] Manumission: purposes and processes.
8] Freedmen: obligations and opportunities.
9] The imperial ‘familia’ and the Roman civil service.
10] Other forms of ‘unfree’ labour, including debt-bondage and Helotage.
11] Christianity and slavery.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable