CLAS 357 - Slavery and Freedom in Ancient Rome

Roman slavery was a brutal and dehumanizing institution normalized by tradition and enforced by violence. Roman law went so far as to codify the fiction that the enslaved had no parents or ancestry, but lived experience was more complicated. The proximity of slaves and free persons within Roman families and their intimate interactions complicated ideological assertions of "the natural slave". In this course we begin with an overview of the Roman institution of slavery and the roles of slaves within families. We then focus on how Roman writers in various literary genres appropriate the social and legal categories "free" and "enslaved" to interrogate personal experience. We also examine other types of documentary evidence and the remains of material culture related to Roman slavery throughout the semester.

Grade Basis
Regular Grades
Course Attributes
Writing Emphasis