Rome and Slavery

By: Owen Graves

“The result is that slaves who cannot talk before his master's face talk about him behind his back. It is this sort of treatment which makes people say, 'You've as many enemies as you've slaves.' They are not our enemies when we get them; we make them so.” -Seneca

How Romans became Slaves

The Role of Slaves


Manumission was the process of freeing a Roman. They were then called libertus.

Benefits and Downfalls of slavery

Slaves both helped and hurt Rome.  They provided the means for Rome to achieve its great wealth and provided the manual labor necessary for some of Rome's greatest wonders, such as the Colosseum or the Circus Maximus.  On the other hand it also hindered Rome from developing new technology and forced Rome to rely on its masses of slaves, estimated to be about 25% of the population at times.  This coupled with other factors such as wars and corruption led to the fall of Rome.

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