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Historicising Ancient Slavery$
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Kostas Vlassopoulos

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474487214

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474487214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

The Slave View of Slavery: Slave Hopes and the Reality of Slavery

The Slave View of Slavery: Slave Hopes and the Reality of Slavery

(p.147) 7 The Slave View of Slavery: Slave Hopes and the Reality of Slavery1
Historicising Ancient Slavery

Kostas Vlassopoulos

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 7 focuses on how enslaved persons conceived and experienced slavery and their own identities. The first section of the chapter explores the diverse modalities of slavery that co-existed in ancient societies. Slavery could be conceived as an instrumental relationship; an asymmetrical negotiation of power between masters and slaves; a relationship of benefaction and reward; or an extreme form of bad luck. The existence of different modalities of slavery allowed masters and slaves to negotiate their respective positions and enabled slaves to conceive slavery and their relationship to their masters in their own ways. Slaves tried to modify slavery from a unilateral and instrumental form of power exercised by their masters into something more negotiable, even if in asymmetric ways. The second part of the chapter uses the various hopes of enslaved persons both about life in slavery and life beyond slavery in order to explore the identities and communities that enslaved persons constructed and adopted.

Keywords:   Hope, modalities of slavery, asymmetry, negotiation of power, bad luck, instrumental relationship, paternalism

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