Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/234

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218
SLAVERY


unworthy compliance on the other, the latter having its raison d'Hre in degrading services rendered by the slave. Aristophanes and Plautus show us how often resort was had to the discipline of the lash even in the case of domestic slaves. Those employed in workshops, whose overseers were themselves most commonly of servile status, had probably a harder lot than domestics; and the agricultural labourers were not unfrequently chained, and treated much in the same way as beasts of burden. The displeasure of the master some- times dismissed his domestics to the more oppressive labours of the mill or the mine. A refuge from cruel treatment was afforded by the temples and altars of the gods and by the sacred groves. Nor did Athenian law leave the slave without protection. He had, as Demosthenes boasts, an action for outrage like a freeman, and his death at the hand of a stranger was avenged like that of a citizen (Eurip. Hec. 288), whilst, if caused by his master's violence, it had to be atoned for by exile and a religious expiation. Even when the slave had killed his master, the relatives of the house could not themselves inflict punishment ; they were obliged to hand him over to the magistrate to be dealt with by legal process. The slave who had just grounds of complaint against his master could demand to be sold ; when he alleged his right to liberty, the law granted him a defender and the sanctuaries offered him an asylum till judgment should be given. Securities were taken against the revolt of slaves by not associating those of the same nationality and language ; they were sometimes fettered to prevent flight, and, after a first attempt at escape, branded to facilitate their recovery. There were treaties between states for the extradition of fugitives, and contracts of mutual assurance between individuals against their loss by flight. Their inclination to take advantage of opportunities for this purpose is shown by the number that escaped from Athens to join the Spartans when occupying Decelea. There were formidable revolts at the mines of Laurium, and more than once in Chios. The evidence of slaves — women as well as men — was often, with the consent of their masters, taken by torture; and that method is generally commended by the orators as a sure means of arriving at the truth. The slave could purchase his liberty with his peculium by agree- ment with his master. He could be liberated by will, or, during his Em and- master's life, by proclamation in the theatre, the law palion. courts, or other public places, or by having his name inscribed in the public registers, or, in the later age of Greece, by sale or donation to certain temples — an act which did not make the slave a hierodulus but a freeman. Conditions were sometimes attached to emancipation, as of remaining for life or a definite time with the former master, or another person named by him, or of performing some special service; payments or rights of succession to property might also be reserved. By manumission the Athenian slave became in relation to the state a metic, in relation to his master a client. He was thus in an intermediate condition between slavery and complete freedom. If the freedman violated his duties to his patron he was subject to an action at law, and if the decision were against him he was again reduced to slavery. He became a full member of the state only, as in the case of foreigners, by a vote in an assembly of six thousand citizens; and even this vote might be set aside by a graphe paranomon. Slaves who had rendered eminent services to the public, as those who fought at Arginusae and at Chaeronea, were at once admitted to the status of citizens in the class of (so-called) Plataeans. But it would appear that even in their case some civic rights were reserved and accorded only to their children by a female citizen. The number of freedmen at Athens seems never to have been great. (See further Greece, Ancient History, §5.)

It is well known that Aristotle held slavery to be necessary and natural, and, under just conditions, beneficial to both parties in Theoretic * ne re ' a t> on — views which were correct enough from the views on Political side, regard being had to the contemporary slavery social state. His practical motto, if he is the author of the Economics attributed to him, is — " no outrage, and no familiarity." There ought, he says, to be held out to the slave the hope of liberty as the reward of his service. Plato condemned the practice, which the theory of Aristotle also by implication sets aside as inadmissible, of Greeks having Greeks for slaves. In the Laws he accepts the institution as a necessary though embarrassing one, and recommends for the safety of the masters that natives of different countries should be mixed and that they should all be well treated. But, whilst condemning harshness towards them, he encourages the feeling of contempt for them as a class. The later moral schools of Greece scarcely at all concern themselves with the institution. The Epicurean had no scruple about the servitude of those whose labours contributed to his own indulgence and tran- quillity. The Stoic regarded the condition of freedom or slavery as an external accident, indifferent in the eye of wisdom; to him it was irrational to see in liberty a ground of pride or in slavery a subject of complaint ; from intolerable indignity suicide was an ever-open means of escape. The poets — especially the authors of the New Corned}' — strongly inculcate humanity, and insist on the funda- , mental equality of the slave. The celebrated " homo sum " is a translation from Alexis, and the spirit of it breathes in many passages of the Greek drama. A fragment of Philemon declares, as if in reply to Aristotle, that not nature, but fortune, makes the slave. Euripides, as might be expected from his humanitarian cast of sentiment, and


the " premature modernism " which has been remarked in him, rises above the ordinary feelings of his time in regard to the slaves. As Paley says, he loves " to record their fidelity to their masters, their sympathy in the trials of life, their gratitude for kindness and considerate treatment, and their pride in bearing the character of honourable men. . . . He allows them to reason, to advise, to suggest; and he even makes them philosophize on the follies and the indiscretions of their superiors " (compare Med. 54; Orest. 869; Hel. 728; Ion. 854; Frag. Melan. 506; Phrix. 823). But we are not to suppose that even he, latitudinarian and innovator as he was, could have conceived the possibility of abolishing an in- stitution so deeply rooted in the social conditions, as well as in the ideas, of his time.

(For the Helots in Laconia, see Helots.)

Rome. — We have already observed that the Roman system of life was that in which slavery had its most natural and relatively legitimate place; and accordingly it was at Rome that, as Blair has remarked, the institution was more than anywhere else " extended in its operation and methodized in its details."

We must distinguish from the later slavery at Rome what Mommsen calls " the old, in some measure innocent " slavery, under which the farmer tilled the land along with his slave, or, if he possessed more land than he could manage, Sources. placed the slave — either as a steward, or as a sort of lessee obliged to render up a portion of the produce — over a detached farm. Though slaves were obtained by the early victories of Rome over her Italian neighbours, no large number was employed on the small holdings of those periods. But the extension of properties in the hands of the patricians, and the continued absences of citizens required by the expanding system of conquest, necessarily brought with them a demand for stave labour, which was increasingly supplied by captives taken in war. Of the number furnished from this source a few particulars from the time of the mature republic and the first century of the empire will give some idea. In Epirus, after the victories of Aemilius Paullus, 150,000 captives were sold. The prisoners at Aquae Sextiae and Vercellae were 90,000 Teutons and 60,000 Cimbri. Caesar sold on a single occasion in Gaul 63,000 captives. But slavery, as Hume has shown, is unfavourable to population. Hence a regular commerce in slaves was established, which was based on the " systematically-prosecuted hunting of man," and indicated an entire perversion of the primitive institution, which was essentially connected with conquest. The pirates sold great numbers of slaves at Delos, where was the chief market for this kind of wares; and these sales went on as really, though more obscurely, after the successful expedition of Pompey. There was a regular importation to Rome of slaves, brought to some extent from Africa, Spain and Gaul, but chiefly from Asiatic countries — Bithynia, Galatia, Cappadocia and Syria. A portorium-r-a.pparent\y one-eighth for eunuchs, one- fortieth for others — was paid on their import or export, and a duty of 2 or 4 % on their sale.

There were other sources from which slavery was alimented, though of course in a much less degree. Certain offences reduced the guilty persons to slavery (servi poenae), and they were employed in public work in the quarries or the mines. Originally, a father could sell his children. A creditor could hold his insolvent debtor as a slave, or sell him out of the city (trans Tiberim). The enslave- ment of creditors, overwhelmed with usury in consequence of losses by hostile raids or their own absence on military service, led to the secession to the Mons Sacer (493 B.C.). The Poetelian law (326 B.C.) restricted the creditor's lien (by virtue of a nexum) to the goods of his debtor, and enacted that for the future no debtor should be put in chains; but we hear of debtors addicti to their creditors by the tribunals long after — even in the time of the Punic Wars.

There were servi publici as well as privati. The service of the magistrates was at first in the hands of freemen; but the lower offices, as of couriers, servants of the law courts, of prisons „ and of temples, were afterwards filled by slaves. The f m P">y m execution of public works also came to be largely com- menu. mitted to them — as the construction of roads, the cleansing of the sewers and the maintenance of the aqueducts. Both kinds of functions were discharged by slaves, not only at Rome, but in the rural and provincial municipalities. The slaves of a private Roman were divided between the familia rustica and the familia wrbana. At the head of the familia rustica was the villicus, himself a slave, with the wife who was given him at once to aid him and to bind him to his duties. Under him were the several groups employed in the different branches of the exploitation and the care of the cattle and flocks, as well as those who kept or prepared the food, clothing and tools of the whole staff and those who attended on the master in the various species of rural sports. A slave prison (ergastulum) was part of such an establishment, and there were slaves whose office it was to punish the offences of their fellows. To the familia urbana. belonged those who discharged the duties of domestic attendance, the service of the toilet, bath, table and kitchen, besides the entertainment of the master and his guests by dancing, singing and other arts. There were, besides, the slaves who accompanied the master and mistress out of doors, and were chosen for their beauty and grace as guards of honour, for their strength as chairmen or porters,