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Slavery in Early Christianity$
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Jennifer A. Glancy

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195136098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195136098.001.0001

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Body Language

Body Language

Corporal Anxiety and Christian Theology

(p.71) 3 Body Language
Slavery in Early Christianity

Jennifer A. Glancy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   exposure, fugitive, houseborn, kidnapping, manumission, metaphor, self‐sale, slave, trade, war

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