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Slavery
#1
How many people include slavery in their re-enactments? I wonder that we may choose to ignore or "hollywood" this face of Roman life.<br>
I have a slave persona which I put on, for certain events or times. When I am working in the kitchen, I have an old tunic, and I am the slave of my master, perhaps loaned by him to help the kitchen and cooking.<br>
Were slaves usually marked in a very visible or obvious way, and did they have a specific article of clothing? At least in some places and time periods the answer is no, because the Roman masters did not want to give the slaves a collective identity or a real idea of their percentage in Roman society. In other cases and places, perhaps the answer is different.<br>
No discussion and re-enactment of the Roman civilian life and world is complete without a discussion or portrayal of slavery as it existed. Not a 18th century model, not a fantasy model, but the actual historical model! If you have a caupona, you probably have slaves and you might be an ex-slave yourself! If you are an artist or craftsman, you might be a slave or freedman.<br>
<br>
Just a thought! <p>"Just before class started, I looked in the big book where all the world's history is written, and it said...." Neil J. Hackett, PhD ancient history, professor OSU, 1987</p><i></i>
Caius Fabius Maior
Charles Foxtrot
moderator, Roman Army Talk
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#2
I agree, but 'acting' the part isn't easy in our style of event where we are mostly explaining what we're doing to visitors. And, I've only seen one book on Roman slavery, so we're not all that well read on it. I'm not sure, for example, how to explain the differences between Roman slavery and slavery as it happened in the US. When I do talk about it, I usually mention that there were also different levels of'citizenship or freedom as well, so the society was pretty complex.<br>
But references are welcome! <p></p><i></i>
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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#3
Hello,<br>
My group Corbvlo (at www.corbvlo.com ) has a slave-girl and a slave trader as standard personas.<br>
Since the group aims to give a good view of Roman life in all its aspects there was no denying the slavery aspects.<br>
<br>
Her tasks include tablet-weaving, Roman cooking and giving<br>
massages (she's an ex-physiotherapist) but always only at her owners' (the slave-trader) bidding.<br>
She compares herself to a car when explaining herself.<br>
She was a big investment and needs to be fed and maintained<br>
(gas and garage) but she's not allowed to do something on her<br>
own initiative.Just like you expect your car to go left when YOU want it and not in some other direction.<br>
When walking all alone she is freqently asked why isn't running away now.<br>
Her answer to that is: Where do I go? I don't know anybody!<br>
I was born a slave.Why would I want to.I'm cared for in a good house.If I run away I don't have anything left.<br>
This often makes people pause bewildered. And think...<br>
Which was the idea.<br>
<br>
His job as a slave-trader makes him very impopular.<br>
(Which he actually likes)<br>
Because at first he's very friendly and likeable then when asked about his trade he goes in what he calls his "used-car<br>
salesman routine" and tries to sell or buy while still being friendly.<br>
It's very interesting to see how people get disgusted (or try to<br>
sell their mother-in-law)<br>
<br>
Her distinguishing mark is a slave-tag made after one that has been found.Of course her story is that she didn't try to escape<br>
but only got lost.<br>
His "badge of office" is a flagellum-whip, another slave-tag and<br>
on occasion empty stocks.<br>
<br>
There are some reference works on which we based ourselves and I would gladly give you titles and ISBN but the books are<br>
all in German.If that's not a problem just let me know.<br>
<br>
Just wanted to let you know how we work with the subject.<br>
Cheers,<br>
Cordvs. <p></p><i></i>
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#4
Hello all<br>
<br>
Well all the gladiators in our show when not in armur dress as slaves and know a little about the status of teh Roman slave. One of the women in our society does a slave talk and has had a collar and chains built based upon some finds (somewheer) I can't remember. In our gladiatorial talk I am sure to mention the position of the gladiator socially and legally.<br>
<br>
For the most part I find that being a slave at shows is easier than not being one.<br>
<br>
Hope this helps <p>Graham Ashford
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#5
We western freedom worshippers seem to have a lot of difficulty with the concept of slavery. It was an integral part of an entire way of life and accepted in a way that the modern mind can't seem to wrap itself around.<br>
<br>
Some slaves had jobs that would be considered top professions today. I wonder how the feelings of a top-ranked slave in the Roman Empire would compare to those of some minimum-wage worker in a crappy job in some western city today?<br>
<br>
Wendy <p></p><i></i>
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#6
I think the concept the modern concept of law and order, and the presumption that things don't happen to you because the perpetrator knows someone will find out, clouds that issue for people. I think this is where the understanding of history, that the world was (and could be again) quite different and strange than today.<br>
There is a passage in Carolyn Lawrence's new book where children separated from their parents are seized and sold into slavery, and they disappear without a trace, that starts to show just what it meant to go wandering off on your own. <p></p><i></i>
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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#7
Wendy, I wanted to say something on similar lines but you managed to put it in a nutshell!<br>
Of course brutality and cruelty existed and it's not possible to generalize as slavery in the Roman world covers such a broad spectrum of time and conditions (e.g the lot of an agricultural labourer was a world apart from the likes of a power wielding Narcissus.) But there is no doubt that viewed objectively in the context of time and place, many slaves led a tolerable existence with reasonable prospects of manumission, and the possibilities of attaining wealth and status.<br>
<br>
J. Carcopina's viewpoint is interesting (Daily life in ancient rome-society and social classes.)<br>
<p></p><i></i>
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#8
Don't forget that Greeks and others sold themselves and their children into Roman slavery to improve their lives. Slaves could own property, and with the concept of Pater Familius, the Roman family members are almost like slaves in some legal instances. I don't have access to my library, but there is a book with title like sons, slaves and ??? or something, that discusses in brief the status of men, women, freedmen and slaves in Roman society. The sones and daughters and wives did not own property in some Roman eras, only the head of household, and you could not buy or sell or get married without your father's permission. Joining the military was one way to escape a demanding father.<br>
<br>
A good slave is an expensive investment! <p>"Just before class started, I looked in the big book where all the world's history is written, and it said...." Neil J. Hackett, PhD ancient history, professor OSU, 1987</p><i></i>
Caius Fabius Maior
Charles Foxtrot
moderator, Roman Army Talk
link to the rules for posting
[url:2zv11pbx]http://romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic.php?t=22853[/url]
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