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2-26-08 Labor and Agriculture

2-26-08 Labor and Agriculture - LABOR AND AGRICULTURE...

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LABOR AND AGRICULTURE - Slavery was an integral part of the Roman labor force. - Most of the Empire was not based on a slave economy - Every Roman citizen between 14 and 60 years old had to contribute five days of labor per year to the Empire. - Physical labor lowered man to the animal, and was looked down upon. - Even skilled artisans, such as mosaicists, since they worked with their hands, were looked down upon. - Mental labor, such as architecture or law, distinguished humans from animals. - Philosophy, poetry, literature, and history were held in high esteem as secondary pursuits of the patrician class. - As primary pursuit, teachers, philosophers, and poets could be quite poor and dependent upon their patrons. - Tutors were slaves - Social stature and wealth did not always coalesce. - A prized chef, or even a baker, might easily learn more than an intellectual. - The vast majority of Rome’s labor force was employed in agriculture. - Agriculture was the primary business of the Roman Empire and of most societies until the 19 th century.
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