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Jewish Slavery in Antiquity$
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Catherine Hezser

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280865.001.0001

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Slaves within the Household

Slaves within the Household

Chapter:
(p.123) 6 Slaves within the Household
Source:
Jewish Slavery in Antiquity
Author(s):

Catherine Hezser (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280865.003.0007

Probably at all times, a large proportion of slaves was employed in the domestic service, ‘for, by and large, personal servants were always slaves’. The number of domestic slaves employed in a household depended on the householder's wealth. While rich Greeks and Romans had hundreds or even thousands of household slaves, smaller numbers of servants were probably found in the houses of the less well-to-do as well. Especially in late antiquity, when the employment of slaves in agriculture seems to have declined, slaves were still found in the domestic sphere, where they remain predominant. In Roman-Byzantine times, from the second to the 5th century CE, slaves are mostly represented in the epigraphy of the cities and were employed in the domestic service, in crafts, and in administrative positions.

Keywords:   domestic slaves, household, ancient Rome, slavery, late antiquity, Roman-Byzantine times

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