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Roman Slavery: Assignment

Roman Slavery

Roman Slavery

Now that you have watched the video on Spartacus and read a little about Roman slavery, I want you to dig deeper into the topic, using the LibGuide created by Ms. Bogas

Look at this excerpt from Seneca (Roman author, 1st century AD):

"There is a proverb: 'You have as many enemies as you have slaves.' But in truth we make them our enemies. We abuse them as if they were beasts of burden. When we recline for dinner, one wipes our spittle, another picks up the scraps and crumbs thrown down by drunkards. The point of my argument is this. 'treat your inferior as you would like to be treated' ". (Seneca, Letter 47.5-11) (

  1. How widespread were Seneca’s views on slavery?  Did many slaves receive the kind of treatment that he advises? What is your evidence for your views?

  2. How and why were slaves freed in ancient Rome?  What do we know about the lives of freed slaves?

You must research your answer to one of the questions above, and write an essay that reflects your research. You must refer to the sources you use in the body of your essay, as well as the bibliography.

  • The essay must be at least 500 words in length, and must be shared with me via Google Docs.
  • Your research must include at least three sources.

  • At least one source must be a print book (from the library);

  • At least one source must be from one of the library’s online databases;

  • One source can be a website (it is recommended that you use one of the websites listed in the Libguide under “reputable sources”).

  • Although you may consult Wikipedia for places to start, you may NOT use it as one of your three sources.

  • Your bibliography will be shared with me via Noodle Bib.

  • The essay is due by the end of the day Friday, November 6.