The Ancient Library

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monastery for a secular life, or rambled about in the towns or the country, he might be reduced to his former servile condition.

There were slaves that belonged to the state and were called Servi Public! (Plant. Capt. ii. 2. 85) : they had the testament! factio to the amount of one half of their property (Ulp. Frag, tit 20), from which circumstance it appears that they were viewed in a light somewhat different from the slaves of private persons.

In times of revolution under the Republic, it was not unusual to proclaim the liberty of slaves to induce them to join in revolt (Pliit. Mar, c. 41, 42) ; but these were irregular proceedings, and neither justifiable nor examples for imitation. Lord Dunmore, the last British Governor of Virginia, at the commencement of the American Revolution, followed this bad example. [G. L.]

The preceding account treats of the legal con­dition of slaves in relation to their masters. It remains to give an account of the history of slavery among the Romans, of the sale and value of slaves, of the different classes into which they were divided, and of their general treatment.

Slaves existed at Rome in the earliest times of which we have any record ; but they do not ap­pear to have been numerous under the kings and in the earliest ages of the republic. The different trades and the mechanical arts were chiefly carried on by the clientes of the patricians, and the small farms in the country were cultivated for the most part by the labours of the proprietor and of his own family. But as the territories of the Roman state were extended, the patricians obtained pos­session of large estates out of the ager publicus, since it was the practice of the Romans to deprive a conquered people of part of their land. These estates probably required a larger number of hands for their cultivation than could readily be obtained among the free population, and since the freemen were constantly liable to be called away from their work to serve in the armies, the lands began to be cultivated almost entirely by slave labour. (Com­pare Liv. vi. 12.) Through war and commerce slaves could easily be obtained, and at a cheap rate, and their number soon became so great, that the poorer class of freemen was thrown almost entirely out of employment. This state of things was one of the chief arguments used by Licinius and the Gracchi for limiting the quantity of public land which a person might possess (Appian,, B. C. i. 7, .9, 10) ; and we know that there was a pro­vision in the Licinian Rogations that a certain number of freemen should be employed on every estate. (Appian, B. C. i. 8.) This regulation, however, was probably of little avail: the lands still continued to be almost entirely cultivated by slaves, although in the latest times of the re­public we find that Julius Caesar attempted to remedy this state of things to some extent by enacting, that of those persons who attended to cattle a third should always be freemen. (Suet. Jui. 42.) In Sicily, which supplied Rome with so great a quantity of corn, the number of agri­cultural slaves was immense : the oppressions to which they were exposed drove them twice to open rebellion, and their numbers enabled them to defy for a time the Roman power. The first of these Servile wars began in b. c, 134 and ended in b. ck 132, and the second commenced in b.c. 102 and lasted almost four years.



Long however after it had become the custom to employ large gangs of slaves in the cultivation of the land, the number of those who served as per­sonal attendants still continued to be small. Per­sons in good circumstances seem usually to have had only one to wait upon them (Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 1. s. 6), who was generally called by the name of his master with the word por (that is, puer) affixed to it, as Caipor, Lucipor, Marcipor^ Publipor, Qiiintipor^ &c. ; and hence Quintilian i. 4. § 26) says, long before whose time luxury had augmented the number of personal attendants, that such names no longer existed. Cato, when he went to Spain as consul, took only three slaves with him. (Apul. Apol. p. 430, ed. Ouden.) But during the latter times of the republic and under the empire the number of domestic slaves greatly increased, and in every family of importance there were separate slaves to attend to all the necessities of domestic life. It was considered a reproach to a man not to keep a considerable number of slaves. Thus Cicero, in describing the meanness of Piso's housekeeping, says " Idem coquus, idem atriensis : pistor domi nullus " (in Pis. 27). The first ques­tion asked respecting a person's fortune was *' Quot pascit servos?" (Juv. iii. 141). Horace (Sat.i. 3. 12) seems to speak of ten slaves as the lowest number which a person in tolerable circumstances ought to keep, and he ridicules the praetor Tullius for being attended by no more than five slaves in going from his Tiburtine villa to Rome. (Sat. i. 6. i07.) The immense number of prisoners taken in the constant wars of the republic, and the increase of wealth and luxury augmented the number of slaves to a prodigious extent. The statement of Athenaeus (vi. p. 272, e), that very many Romans possessed 10^000 and 20^000 slaves and even more, is probably an exaggeration, but a freedman under Augustus, who had lost much property in the civil wars, left at his death as many as 4,116. (Plin. H. JV. xxxiii. 10. s. 47.) Two hundred was no uncommon number for one person to keep (Hor. Sat. i. 3. 11)^ and Augustus permitted even a person that was exiled to take twenty slaves or freedmen with him. (Dion Cass. Ivi. 27.) The mechanical artSj which were formerly in the hands of the Clientes, were now entirely exercised by slaves (Cic. de Off. i. 42) : a natural growth of things,, for where slaves perform certain duties or practise certain arts, such duties or arts will be thought degrading to a freedman. It must not be forgotten that the games of the amphitheatre re­quired an immense number of slaves trained for the purpose. [gladiatores.] Like the slaves in Sicily, the gladiatores in Italy rose in b. c. 73 against their oppressors, and under the able gene­ralship of Spartacus, defeated a Roman consular army, and were not subdued till b. c. 71, when 60,000 of them are said to have fallen in battle. (Liv. Epit. 97.)

Under the empire various enactments, mentioned above (p. 1036,a), were made to restrain the cruelty of masters towards their slaves ; but the spread of Christianity tended most t$ ameliorate their con­dition, though the possession of them was for a long time by no means condemned as contrary to Christian justice. The Christian writers, however, inculcate the duty of acting towards them as we would be acted by (Clem. A lex. Paedagoy. iii. 12), but down to the age of Theodosius wealthy per­sons still continued to keep as many as two or

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