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This list relates to the 2016-17 which ended on 31/07/2017
  1. Core text 2 items
    This is not a compulsory purchase as there are several copies available in the university and Classics libraries, but it is strongly recommended.
    1. Greek and Roman slavery - ed. Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 2005

      Book 

    2. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann c1981

      Book 

  2. Other key texts 9 items
    You should aim to have read through the following books by the end of the course. You might consider purchasing the two texts marked as Recommended.
    1. The slave in Greece and Rome - Jean Andreau, Raymond Descat, Marion Leopold 2011

      Book 

    2. Slavery and society at Rome - K. R. Bradley 1994

      Book Recommended

    3. Slavery in the Roman world - Sandra R. Joshel 2010

      Book 

    4. The invention of ancient slavery? - Niall McKeown 2007

      Book Recommended

    5. Also very useful, but for dipping into:

  3. WEEK 1: Introduction 6 items
    The first seminar will introduce the themes and questions covered by the course. We will cover several very important ideas and debates, so it is essential that you prepare adequately. You must read all five texts below and be ready to discuss all the questions.
    1. (i) What is slavery? 2 items
      1. Slavery and social death: a comparative study - Orlando Patterson 1982 (electronic book)

        Book  Read: "Introduction".

    2. (ii) Two very different perspectives on Roman slavery 2 items
      Read these two very different descriptions of slavery in the Roman world. Can they be reconciled with each other. Which is more convincing? On what basis would you choose between them?
      1. Ancient slavery and the ideal of man - Joseph Vogt, Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1974

        Book  Chapter 5 (‘Human relationships in ancient slavery’

      2. Slaves and masters in the Roman Empire: a study in social control - K. R. Bradley 1987

        Book  Read: Chapter 1, "Loyalty and obedience"

    3. (iii) Litigating about slaves 2 items
      1. Justinian's Digest, Book 21 Chapter 1. [MMS : Reading for week 1]

      2. Justinian's Digest, our single most important source for Roman law, was a massive compilation of the writings of the most eminent jurists, assembled on the orders of Justinian in the sixth century CE. Most of the jurists selected for excerption had been writing in the late second and early third centuries CE. These jurists were legal experts who were often called upon to interpret or resolve ambiguities in the law. In this case I have given you a chapter on the law of sale.

         

        Much of the legal commentary concerns the sale of slaves. I want you to read this dense text (I won't pretend it's an easy read) with two lenses: first as a social historian, thinking about how it might shed light on the conditions of slavery in the Roman world. Try to identify 3-5 details that surprised you. Secondly, read it as a cultural historian, thinking about how this legal discourse 'constructs' the slave – and why this might matter. How do these jurists write about slaves? Are there any revealing preconceptions about the nature of slaves or slavery?

  4. WEEK 2: Slavery in the city 16 items
    1. (i) Questions to research in the secondary reading and Wiedemann's sourcebook:

      • What did slaves do in the city (try to map the full range of different roles, both in domestic service and in the urban economy)? What were their lives like (again try to get a sense of the full range of different experiences)? Were slaves better or worse off than the free poor?
      • Does it make sense to think of slaves as a single group? Are there similarities that outweigh the differences?

    2. Texts for discussion 2 items
      1. (1) The colloquia (Handout).
        These colloquia ('conversations') are (probably) second- and third-century school texts. For more detail, see the introduction to Dickey, E., The Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana, Volume 1 (Cambridge, 2012). Try reading these texts with two lenses again. (1) What do they tell us about 'real' masters and slaves. (2) What can we say about these as texts? How do they 'represent' or 'construct' slaves? Does it matter that they are schoolbooks? Might it tell us something about how young Romans learned how to be masters? This raises some more profound questions. How important is socialisation in creating and perpetuating a slave society. Might we have been complacent masters if we were brought up the same way?

      2. (2) Seneca Letter 47 (Wiedemann no. 238) and Pliny Letters 1.4, 3.14, 5.19, 8.1 and 8.16 (Handout). These are important texts that we will be returning to several times in this course. Ask yourself (1) whether and how we could use these texts to write a social history of slavery. (2) what Seneca and Pliny might have been trying to achieve in writing these texts.

    3. Other primary sources 1 item
      1. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann c1981

        Book  Texts no. 126-38 and 81-100. (NB these are text numbers, not page numbers)

    4. Scholarship 12 items
      Start with one or two of the broad surveys and then read a couple of the more detailed studies.
      1. Broad surveys 4 items
        1. The slave in Greece and Rome - Jean Andreau, Raymond Descat, Marion Leopold c2011

          Book  Chapter 5.

        2. Slavery and society at Rome - K. R. Bradley 1994

          Book  Chapter 4 ('Slave Labour') and Chapter 5 ('Quality of life').

        3. Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 - Kyle Harper 2011 (electronic book)

          Book  Chapter 3.

      2. Detailed studies 8 items
        1. Banking and business in the Roman world - Jean Andreau, Janet Lloyd 1999

          Book  Chapter 5 (on slave managers in business).

        2. Servus and domus: the slave in the Roman house - M. George

          Article  Also available online at: https://berlinarchaeology.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/george-1997.pdf

        3. Houses and society in Pompeii and Herculaneum - Andrew Wallace-Hadrill 1994

          Book  Chapter 3, esp pp. 38-44.

  5. WEEK 3: Rural slavery 11 items
    1. (i) Questions to research in the secondary reading and Wiedemann's sourcebook:

      • How many slaves were there in the countryside? What did they do? What were their lives like?
      • Was Roman Italy characterised by a 'slave mode of production'? If so, can we map its rise and fall?
      • Be prepared to discuss (i) the idea of 'the slave villa', (ii) the overseer/manager (vilicus) (iii) 'chained' slaves (vincti) and (iv) the ergastulum.

    2. Primary sources 1 item
      1. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann c1981

        Book  Texts no 141-157 and 202.

    3. Scholarship 9 items
      Start with the texts marked ‘Essential’ and then read a few of the others.
      1. Slavery and society at Rome - K. R. Bradley 1994

        Book Essential Chapter 4 ('Slave Labour') and Chapter 5 ('Quality of life').

      2. The invention of ancient slavery? - Niall McKeown 2007

        Book Essential Chapter 3 ('Struggling with class').

      3. Men without hope - Ulrike Roth 2011

        Article Essential

      4. Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 - Kyle Harper 2011 (electronic book)

        Book  Chapter 4 ('Agricultural slavery').

      5. Conquerors and slaves - Keith Hopkins 1978 (electronic book)

        Book  Chapters 1 and 2.

      6. Thinking tools: agricultural slavery between evidence and models - Ulrike Roth 2007

        Book  Especially the Introduction, Chapter 3 and Conclusion.

      7. The archaeology of Greek and Roman slavery - F. H. Thompson 2002

        Book  Chapter 4 ('Slaves in agriculture').

  6. WEEK 4: Slave bodies 17 items
    The goal of this class is to explore the idea that the vulnerability of one’s body (both to corporal punishment and to sexual exploitation) was one of the defining aspects of the experience of slavery.
    1. (i) Questions to research:

      • What restrictions did Roman law and/or convention place on the use of violence by those in authority and on sexual relations? How did the distinction between slave and free matter for these restrictions? On violence, research the use of whipping/beating, torture and crucifixion. On sexual relations, research the meaning of the two principal sexual crimes: adulterium and stuprum.
      • Did either Roman law or convention place any restrictions at all on how masters could treat their slaves?
      • In what contexts do Latin writers use the terms exoleti (literally, 'over-aged') and deliciae ('pets'/'darlings')? What should we make of the fact that these terms existed?

    2. Texts for discussion 1 item
        • Read the selection of poems by Martial and Statius about deliciae. What can we say about the social status of these children, their experience, and the nature of their relationships with their masters? Was there a sexual component? On what basis can we decide?

    3. Primary sources 4 items
      1. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1981

        Book  Texts no 177-208.

      2. Lex libitinaria from Puteoli (Handout)

      3. Martial and Statius on deliciae ('pets'/'darlings') (Handout)

      4. Reread the Digest chapter from a week 1 with a focus on what it reveals about punishment and sexual relations

    4. Scholarship 11 items
      Start with Harper and then move on to some of the others
      1. Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 - Kyle Harper 2011 (electronic book)

        Book  pp 227-36 (on violence) and Chapter 7 (‘Sex, status and social reproduction’). See also Chapter 11 (‘The community of honour’)’)

      2. Slaves and other objects - Page DuBois 2003

        Book  Chapter 4 ('The slave body').

      3. Roman slavery and Roman material culture - Michele George 2013

        Book  Look up deliciae in the index.

      4. Seneca: a philosopher in politics - Miriam T. Griffin 1992

        Book  Chapter 8 (‘Seneca and slavery’) pp 268-70 (on imperial legislation to protect slaves).

      5. Prostitution, sexuality, and the law in ancient Rome - Thomas A. McGinn 1998

        Book  Chapter 8 (‘Ne serva prostituatur: restrictive covenants in the salve of slaves’).

      6. Patriarchy, property, and death in the Roman family - Richard P. Saller 1994

        Book  Chapter 6 (‘Whips and words’).

      7. Roman homosexuality: ideologies of masculinity in classical antiquity - Craig A. Williams 1999

        Book  Chapter 1 (‘Slaves, prostitutes and wives’) and pp. 83-86 (on exoleti).

  7. WEEK 5: Slavery in fiction 16 items
    1. Questions to research:

      • What do you think of Hopkins' and McKeown's arguments about the value of fictional texts to the study of slavery?
      • Can we use Plautus' comedies to write the history of Roman slavery? If so, how? Does it matter that they were (loosely) based on Greek originals?
      • What do these texts tell us about relations between masters and slaves – or about how a society of masters viewed those relations?
      • Do they reveal the anxieties of a society of masters?

    2. Texts (on handout) 1 item
      1. Plautus, Captives (Captivi)

    3. Reading 10 items
      1. Slavery and the Roman literary imagination - William Fitzgerald 2000

        Book  Chapter 4 (‘The continuum of (servile) relationships’), especially pp 78-86.

      2. Slaves, masters, and the art of authority in Plautine comedy - Kathleen McCarthy 2000

        Book  Introduction, Chapter 2 (on Casina) and Chapter 5 (on Captivi). [Ch. 5 digitised]

      3. The invention of ancient slavery? - Niall McKeown 2007

        Book  Chapter 5 (‘I too want to tell a story’), especially pp 108-118. [A good text to start with]

      4. Roman laughter: the comedy of Plautus - Erich Segal 1987

        Book  Chapter 4 (‘From Slavery to Freedom’).

      5. Plautus and Roman slavery - Roberta Stewart 2012

        Book  Chapter 2, esp 55-79.

    4. Further reading on Plautine comedy (if you want to pursue this further) 4 items
      1. Comedy and the rise of Rome - Matthew Leigh 2004

        Book 

      2. Roman comedy - David Konstan 1983

        Book 

  8. WEEK 6: Independent Learning Week 5 items
    1. A comparative perspective : Slavery in the American south

      • Comparative history is an important strategy for ancient historians, particularly in the study of topic such as slavery where the gaps in the evidence are massive. Studying better-documented slave societies can help us to develop new hypotheses, or at least to pose new questions.
      • There will be no meeting this week, but you are expected to read at least one of the texts listed below
      • Be prepared to summarise it and discuss any possible implications for our understanding of Roman slavery.

    2. Reading 4 items
      1. Soul by soul: life inside the antebellum slave market - Walter Johnson 1999

        Book Essential Intro and Chapter 1.

  9. WEEK 7: Control 10 items
    1. Questions to research:

      • How did individual masters (and the society of masters as a whole) keep so many slaves in a state of subjection? What was the relative importance of coercion and incentives?
      • How did Roman writers think they maintained control of their slaves?
      • One of the problems here is that there are so few surviving analyses of slavery by Roman authors. One option (which I have tried) is a more oblique approach which looks at how Roman writers used slavery to make sense of other relationships of subjection. Read Lavan 2011 and see what you think. You might then consider how slavery is imagined in some other text or author you have read before.

    2. Primary sources (handout) 4 items
      1. Pliny Letters 3.14 and Tacitus Annals on the SC Silanianum

      2. Cicero On Duties (De Officiis) 2.21-6.

      3. Herodotus 4.3 (an early Greek text but still useful to think with)

      4. Reread the agricultural writers from Week 3 and the sources on violence from Week 4.

    3. Scholarship 5 items
      1. Slaves and masters in the Roman Empire: a study in social control - K. R. Bradley 1987

        Book  Especially the Epilogue (‘Control’).

      2. Slavery and Supervision in Comparative Perspective: A Model - Stefano Fenoaltea 1984

        Article  Only read this after reading the summaries in Harper and Scheidel.

      3. Ancient slavery and modern ideology - M. I. Finley, Brent D. Shaw 1998

        Book  Chapter 3 (‘Slavery and Humanity’).

      4. Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 - Kyle Harper 2011 (electronic book)

        Book  Chapter 5 (‘Semper timere: The aims and techniques of domination’).

      5. Slavishness in Britain and Rome in Tacitus' Agricola - M Lavan 2011

        Article  (an attempt to delineate a Roman psychology of slavery by exploring the use of slavery as metaphor)

  10. WEEK 8: Resistance 8 items
    1. Questions to research:

      • How many slave revolts were there in Roman Italy (including Sicily) from the second century BCE to the third century CE?
      • Should we be surprised by how few there were? Why weren't there more revolts?
      • What other forms might slave resistance have taken, besides outright revolt?
      • How do Roman writers write about slave revolts? Do they represent them as abnormal or inevitable, as justified or criminal, as threating or doomed to failure?

    2. Primary sources 1 item
      1. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1981

        Book  Chapters 10 and 11 (Text nos. 209-234)

    3. Reading 6 items
      1. Start by reading: 1 item
        1. Weapons of the weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance - James C. Scott 1985 (electronic book)

          Book  Preface, Chapter 1 and especially Chapter 2. This anthropological study of village societies in SE Asia is a classic and hugely influential study of resistance among subordinated groups. Read it and see whether it changes the way you think about slave resistance. NB The E-Book controls don’t seem to display properly in Chrome or IE. You can change page by using the <<Prev Next>> buttons at the bottom of the page, beside the page number.

      2. Then read some of the following: 5 items
        1. Slavery and society at Rome - K. R. Bradley 1994

          Book  Chapter 6 (‘Resisting slavery’).

        2. Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 - Kyle Harper 2011 (electronic book)

          Book  pp 273-9 (‘The Roman slave community’).

        3. Slave revolts in antiquity - Theresa Urbainczyk 2008

          Book 

  11. WEEK 9: Manumission 18 items
    1. (i) Questions to research:

      • How did manumission work?
      • How thoroughly were ex-slaves integrated into free society? Did free slaves automatically become Roman citizens? Did they have the same rights as other citizens? What happened to their children?
      • How common was manumission? Have we any idea what proportion of slaves were freed?
      • Why did masters free slaves? Was it a function of affection or self-interest? (Another way of putting this is to ask whether or not manumission was economically 'rational' for masters.)
      • How did Romans reconcile the notion of slavishness with the practice of enfranchising ex-slaves?

    2. (ii) Texts for discussion

       

      Cicero Letters to Friends Book 16 (Handout). The final volume of Cicero's Letters to Friends was devoted to letters of Cicero ('Tullius'), his brother Quintus and his son Marcus to Tiro, Cicero's slave and then freedman - and probably the editor of Cicero's letters. Read it for insight into relations between freedmen and their patrons. Is it 'one of the most important texts on slavery to have survived from the ancient world' (Beard)? For more discussion, see Beard and Gunderson below.

    3. Primary sources 1 item
      1. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1981

        Book  Texts nos. 28-50 (most of Chapter 3).

    4. Reading 15 items
      Start by reading McKeown and a few chapters of Mouritsen 2011 and then read at least two of the rest:
      1. Then read at least two of the following: 15 items
        1. The freedman - J. Andreau

          Chapter 

        2. Slaves and masters in the Roman Empire: a study in social control - K. R. Bradley 1987

          Book  Chapter 3 (‘Manumission’).

        3. Being a Roman citizen - Jane F. Gardner 1993

          Book  Chapter 2 (‘Birth: The freedman’s condition’).

        4. S.V.B.; E.V. - Erik Gunderson 2007

          Article 

        5. Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 - Kyle Harper 2011 (electronic book)

          Book  Chapter 12 (‘Rites of manumission, rites of the freed’).

        6. Conquerors and slaves - Keith Hopkins 1978

          Book  Chapter 3 (‘Between slavery and freedom: on freeing slaves at Delphi’).

        7. The invention of ancient slavery? - Niall McKeown 2007

          Book Essential Chapter 1 (‘The changing face of Roman slavery’).

        8. The freedman in the Roman world - Henrik Mouritsen 2011

          Book Essential Chapters 1 (‘Introduction’) and 2 (‘Macula servitutis: Slavery, freedom and manumission’) – and as much of the rest as you like.

  12. WEEK 10: Thinking about slavery 12 items
    1. Questions to research:

      Philosophers.

      • What was Aristotle's 'theory of natural slavery' and how much influence did it have on Roman thought and writing?
      • What other questions did slavery raise for Greek and Roman philosophers?

      Jurists

      • What issues did slavery raise for Roman jurists?
      • How should we interpret Florentinus famous statement that slavery was 'contrary to the natural order' (contra naturam, Wiedemann no. 1) ?

      Thinking with slavery

      • Slavery was evidently particularly 'good to think with' as metaphors and analogies drawn from the sphere of slavery pervade Latin literature. Choose one of the papers in the second section of the bibliography below and read it with an eye to how Romans turned to slavery for a conceptual model for thinking about other issues – and reflect on how the metaphors/analogies might illuminate their underlying beliefs about slavery itself.

    2. Primary sources 2 items
      1. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1981

        Book 

      2. To read:

         

        Philosophers: Wiedemann nos. 2 (Aristotle on natural slavery), 238 (Seneca Letters 47, discussed in Week 2), 239 (Seneca On Benefits 17-28), 235 (Dio Chrysostom Oration 15 [On Slavery II])

         

        Jurists: Wiedemann nos. 1 and 4-5

         

        Scholars: Wiedemann 80 (Athenaeus)

    3. Reading on philosphers and jurists 4 items
      1. Ideas of slavery from Aristotle to Augustine - Peter Garnsey 1996

        Book  Chapter 1 (‘Slavery and slave theory in antiquity’) and as much of the rest as you like.

      2. The freedman in the Roman world - Henrik Mouritsen 2011

        Book  Chapter 2 (‘Macula servitutis: Slavery, freedom and manumission’).

      3. Ancient slavery and the ideal of man - Joseph Vogt 1974

        Book  Chapter 5

    4. Reading on metaphors drawn from the domain of slavery 5 items
      Read any one of these.
      1. Constructing autocracy: aristocrats and emperors in Julio-Claudian Rome - Matthew B. Roller 2001

        Book  Chapter 4 (‘Modelling the emperor’).

      2. Slaves to Rome: Paradigms of Empire in Roman Culture - Myles Lavan 2013 (electronic book)

        Book  Chapter 2 (‘Masters of the world’).

  13. WEEK 11: Christians and slaves 11 items
    1. Questions to research:

      • What role did slaves play in the early Christian church?
      • Did the spread of Christianity have any effect on practices of slavery in the Roman empire?  
      • What did early Christian writers (from Paul to Augustine) say about the legitimacy of slavery? Was it compatible with Christian ethics?
      • Why are the metaphors of 'slave to Christ' and 'slave to God' so common in early Christian writing? What did they mean? Can our knowledge of how slavery was practised and experienced illuminate those metaphors? Conversely, can those metaphors enrich our understanding of how slavery was experienced?

    2. Primary sources 3 items
      1. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1981

        Book  Texts nos. 31, 52, 54, 195, 213, 241, 242.

      2. Garnsey nos. B11 and Aug4 [Handout]

    3. Reading 7 items
      1. Ideas of slavery from Aristotle to Augustine - Peter Garnsey 1996

        Book  Chapter 11 (Chapters 12-14 are also well worth reading).

      2. Slavery in early Christianity - Jennifer A. Glancy 2002

        Book  Especially Chapter 2.

      3. Slavery as salvation: the metaphor of slavery in Pauline Christianity - Dale B. Martin 1990

        Book  Introduction and Chapter 2.

  14. Consolidated bibliography 69 items
    1. The slave in Greece and Rome - Jean Andreau, Raymond Descat, Marion Leopold 2011

      Book 

    2. Senca and slavery - K.R. Bradley 1986

      Article 

    3.  Bradley, K. R., 'Servus onerosus: Roman law and the troublesome slave', Slavery and Abolition 11 (1990): 135-57.

    4. Slavery and society at Rome - K. R. Bradley 1994

      Book 

    5. Aristotle and slavery - P.A. Brunt

      Chapter 

    6. Slave systems: ancient and modern - Enrico Dal Lago, Constantina Katsari, MyiLibrary 2008 (electronic book)

      Book 

    7. Ancient slavery and modern ideology - M. I. Finley, Brent D. Shaw 1998

      Book 

    8. Conquerors and slaves - Keith Hopkins 1978

      Book 

    9. James, S., 'Slave-rape and female silence in Ovid's love poetry', Helios 24 (1986): 60-76.

    10. Theorie de l'esclavage - H. Levy-Bruhl

      Chapter 

    11. Slaves and the criminal law - O.F. Robinson 1981

      Article 

    12. Russell, K. D., 'Slavery as reality and metaphor in the non-Pauline New Testament books', Revue de l'Université d'Ottawa (1962): 439-69.

    13. The slave - Y. Thebert

      Chapter 

    14. Slave revolts in antiquity - Theresa Urbainczyk 2008

      Book 

    15. Ancient slavery and the ideal of man - Joseph Vogt, Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1974

      Book 

    16. Roman slave law - Alan Watson 1987

      Book 

    17. Greek and Roman slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1981

      Book 

    18. Slavery - Thomas E. J. Wiedemann 1987

      Book 

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