The diversity of private slaving strategies in classical Athens

Porter, Jason D. (2019) The diversity of private slaving strategies in classical Athens. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

To a degree, classical Athenian slavery is very easy to describe. It was a system that attached rights of ownership to particular individuals within Athens’ polity, legally defined as a distinct status group: douloi. Nevertheless, the legal definition of slavery does not in and of itself account for some of the different characteristics of slavery as it appears in different examples throughout classical Athenian history. In order to provide a more nuanced picture of slavery and its consequences, this PhD discusses Athenian slavery from the perspective of slaveholding strategies: the varying ways in which classical Athenian slave-owners employed slaves and the different methods of coercion they applied as appropriate to these varying uses. This approach is drawn from the work of Joseph Miller, who tried to eschew definitions of ‘the institution of slavery’, in favour of a more dynamic progression of varied, though interrelated, historical phenomena. In so doing, this thesis sheds light on both the complexity of Athens’ slave system and its equally complex interaction with Athens’ society and economy. It also helps describe the wide and often commented on variation in the lives of Athenian slaves.

With the exception of its first chapter, this study is based around case studies of specific slaving strategies in a particular source, to capture the inherent individuality of slaving strategies from example to example. However, I use wider sources, mostly from Athens but also from other historical slaving societies, to note differences between similar examples of enslavement and contextualise these individual examples within the broader history of Athens and of slaving. The selection of case-studies, moreover, is meant to provide further scholarship on forms of Athenian slavery that have not been studied in much detail before.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hodkinson, Stephen
Stewart, Edmund
Bayliss, Andrew J.
Vlassopoulos, Konstantinos
Keywords: Slavery, Athens (Greece), history;
Subjects: D History - General and Old World > DF Greece
H Social sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 59315
Depositing User: Porter, Jason
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2020 09:37
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 09:31
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/59315

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