Corporal Anxiety and Christian Theology
Most slaves in the Roman Empire were probably houseborn, i.e., the offspring of slave mothers. Other sources of slaves included exposure of children, war, kidnapping, and – to a very limited extent – self‐sale. Documentary evidence is especially likely to illuminate the slave system at moments of transition in the life of a slave: in documents related to the transfer of ownership (through the slave trade or through testamentary legacies), in fugitive slave notices, and in declarations of manumission. Early Christian rhetoric repeatedly evoked liminal moments of slavery through, for example, the metaphor of enslavement and the metaphor of being freed.
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