AP World History Chapter 6 Notes Pg 247-252

Slave owners were supposed to provide the necessities

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Slave owners were supposed to provide the necessities of life to their slaves, who might have had a more secure life than was available to impoverished free people, who had to fend for themselves, but the price of this security was absolute subjection to the will of the master. Lacking all rights in the law, slaves could not legally marry, although many contracted unofficial unions. Slaves accumulated money or possessions, but such property legally belonged to their masters and could be seized at any time.
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If a slave murdered his master, Roman law demanded the lives of all of the victim’s slaves. For an individual slave, the quality of life depended almost entirely on the character of the master. manumission of slaves was a widespread practice, and in the Roman Empire, unlike greece, freedom was accompanied by citizenship. Resistance and Rebellion Roman slaves responded to enslavement in many ways (survival, suicide, theft, sabotage, pretended illness, working poorly, placing curses on their masters, fleeing, asking for information about their runaway, murders of slave owners, rebellion, etc.). The most famous uprising/rebellion occurred in 73 BCE when a slave gladiator named Spartacus led seventy other slaves from a school for gladiators in a desperate bid for freedom. The surprising initial success attracted a growing following of rebellious slaves, who set Italy ablaze. They crucified some captured slave owners and set others to fighting one another in the style of gladiators. Following a series of remarkable military victories, the movement split and eventually succumbed to the vastly superior numbers of the Roman legions. A terrible vengeance followed as some 6,000 rebel slaves were crucified along the Appian Way from Rome to capua, where the revolt had begun. Nothing on the scale of the Spartacus rebellion occurred again in the Western world of slavery until the Haitian revolution of the 1790’s. Haitian rebels sought the creation of a new society free of slavery altogether. None of the Roman slave rebellions, including that of Spartacus, had any such overall plan. They simply wanted to escape Roman slavery themselves. Although rebellion created a perpetual fear in the minds of slave owners, the slave system itself was hardly affected.
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  • Winter '17
  • Rowe
  • poor man’s slave

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