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Title: Greek Slave Systems in their Eastern Mediterranean Context, c.800-146 BC
Author: Lewis, David M
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2018
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780198769941
Volumes: 1; Pages: 384
List Price in Hardcover: $98.99 Our price: $79.99
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The orthodox view of slavery in the ancient Mediterranean holds that Greece and Rome were its only 'genuine slave societies', that is, societies in which slave labour contributed significantly to the economy and underpinned the wealth of elites. Other societies, traditionally labelled 'societies with slaves', are thought to have made little use of slave labour and therefore have been largely ignored in recent scholarship. This volume presents a radically different view of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean world, showing that elite exploitation of slave labour in Greece and the Near East shared some fundamental similarities, although the degree of elite dependence on slaves varied from region to region. Whilst slavery was indeed particularly highly developed in Greece and Rome, it was also economically entrenched in Carthage, and played a not insignificant role in the affairs of elites in Israel, Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia. The differing degrees to which Eastern Mediterranean elites exploited slave labour represents the outcome of a complex interplay between cultural, economic, political, geographical, and demographic factors.
Proceeding on a regional basis, this book tracks the ways in which local conditions shaped a wide variety of Greek and Near Eastern slave systems, and how the legal architecture of slavery in individual regions was altered and adapted to accommodate these needs. The result is a nuanced exploration of the economic underpinnings of Greek elite culture that sets its reliance on slavery within a broader historical context and sheds light on the complex circumstances from which it emerged.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
i. Introduction and Brief History of the Issue
Part I: Prolegomena
1. Ownership and the Articulation of Slave Status in Greek and Near Eastern Legal Practice
2. The Riddle of Freedom
3. Status Distinctions in Greece and the Ancient Near East
4. Slave Societies, Societies with Slaves: Capturing the Relative Importance of Slavery to Ancient Economies
Part II: Epichoric Slave Systems of the Greek World
5. The Archaic Greek World
6. Helotic Slavery in Classical Sparta
7. Classical Crete
8. Classical Attica
Part III: Slave Systems of the Wider Eastern Mediterranean World
9. Iron Age II Israel
10. Assyria: The 8th-7th Centuries BC
11. Babylonia: The 7th-5th Centuries BC
12. The Persian Empire
13. Punic Carthage
Part IV: Why Slavery?
14. Differentials in the Magnitude of Slaveholding: Towards an Understanding of Regional Variation
Appendix: The Meaning of oiketes in Classical Greek