Изображения страниц

they imported whole armies of slaves, partly for home use, and partly, at least among the Carthaginians, to be shipped for foreign markets. They were chiefly drawn from the interior, where kidnapping was just as much carried on then as it is now. Black male and female slaves were even an article of luxury, not only among the above-mentioned nations, but in Greece and Italy. The Troglodyte Ethiopians seem to have been a wild negro race, dwelling in caves in the neighboring mountains, who were kidnapped by the Garamantes to be sold for slaves.* The slave-trade in Africa was directed mainly to females, who, in the Balearian Islands, were sold for three times as much as the men.t For the building of public works at Rome, vast numbers of slaves were procured. The piers, porticos, aqueducts, and roads, whose magnificent ruins are now an object of admiration, were constructed by the sweat and blood of slaves. In raising such a structure as the mausoleum of Adrian, thousands of wretched men, torn from their own firesides, toiled unto death. The island of Delos became an extensive mart for slaves. In that opulent emporium 10,000 could be bought and sold in a single day. Predatory excursions were made into Cilicia, Pamphylia, and Syria, and great numbers were carried off to the market-places of Sidon, or Delos. For a long period, great numbers of slaves (“maxi

* Heeren's Hist. Researches, Vol. I, Oxford edit., pp. 181, 223, 239. "Cum obsidibus Carthaginiensium, ut principum liberis, magna vis servorum erat. Augebant eorum numerum, ut ab recenti Africo bello, et ab ipsis Setinis captiva aliquot nationis ejus ex præda empta mancipia." — Livy, XXXII. 26.

[blocks in formation]


mus mancipiorum fuit proventus") were drawn from the interior of Asia Minor, particularly from Phrygia and Cappadocia. Slave and Phrygian became almost convertible terms. So great a multitude were carried into slavery, that but few towns were planted; the country was rather a pasturage for flocks. There were 6,000 slaves which belonged to the temple of a goddess in Cappadocia. Hence the words of Horace, "Mancipiis locuples, eget æris Cappadocum At an early period, the emporia for slaves, from the extensive Scythian regions, were Panticapæum, Dioscurias, and Phanagoria, all on the Euxine or Black Sea. Slaves appear to have reached the market of Rome, under the Cæsars, in separate bands, composed of natives of their several countries. The Getæ probably came from a country a little to the east of Pontus. The Davi were probably an Oriental race. Alexandria was a considerable place for the sale of slaves of a particular kind. Slaves possessing certain accomplishments were procured from Cadiz.† Corsica, Sardinia, and Britain, were the birthplace of slaves. The profits of dealers, who bought slaves that were captured in distant wars, were often enormous. In the camp of Lucullus, in Pontus, a man might be purchased for three shillings, while the lowest price for which the same slave could be had at Rome was, perhaps, nearly £15. In most countries, it was common for parents to sell their children into slavery. In trafficking with comparatively barbarous nations, dealers procured slaves by barter, at a very cheap rate. Salt, for example, was anciently much

* See Heyne's Opuscula Academica, Vol. IV. p. 137. Göttingen, 1796.

"Forsitan expectes, ut Gaditana canoro," etc.- Juv. Sat. XI. 162. Plutarch, Vit. Lucullus.

taken by the Thracians in exchange for human beings. Man-stealing was, at all times, a very prevalent crime among the ancients. Paul in denouncing man-stealers, 1 Tim. i. 10, as among the worst of sinners, impresses us with the belief, that the offence was very frequent. Even Romans were often carried off into illegal bondage, especially in troublous times, when individuals were permitted to keep private jails and workhouses, which served both for detention and concealment.* In calamitous times, the sale of children by their indigent parents was of frequent occurrence. Constantine allowed a new-born infant to be sold under the pressure of extreme want. This sale, in any need, was legalized by Theodosius the Great.

3. Free-born Romans might be reduced to slavery by the operation of law. Criminals doomed to certain ignominious punishments were, by effect of their sentence, deprived of citizenship, and sunk into a state of servitude. They were then termed servi pana, and during the Commonwealth were the property of the public. A pardon or remission of the penalty left the convict still a slave, unless he was restored to his former rank by a special act of grace. But this condition of penal slavery was entirely abolished by Justinian. Of old, those that did not give in their names for enrolment in the militia, were beaten and sold into bondage beyond the Tiber. Those who did not make proper returns to the censor, were liable to be visited with the same punishment. An indigent thief was adjudged as a slave to the injured party. By the Claudian decree, reënacted under Vespasian, it was ordered that a free-born woman, having an intrigue with another person's slave, should herself be made

* "Repurgandorum tota Italia ergastulorum, quorum domini in invidiam venerant," etc. - Suet. Vit. Tib. VIII.

the slave of her paramour's master. Various other laws of this sort were passed under the Emperors. In early times, the exposure of children was common. Both the Senecas relate that the custom of exposing feeble and deformed children was common.† Healthful infants were also sometimes left to perish. Not only prostitutes, but the wives of the most noble Romans, were frequently guilty of destroying their children before their birth. It came at length to be established as a rule, that those fathers or masters who exposed their own, or their slaves' offspring, should lose their respective rights, and that the children should become the slaves of any one who chose to take them up and support them. Justinian at last ordered that all exposed children should be free. Vagrant slaves, mancipia vaga, were dealt with as stray goods. Freedmen, if guilty of ingratitude towards their former masters, might be again reduced to slavery, though, according to Tacit. Ann. XIII. 26, 27, the practice was discontinued in the reign of Adrian.

4. Slavery by birth. The following is the declaration of the civil law: "Slaves are either born such, or become so. They are born such, when they are the slaves of bond

* "Portentosos foetus extinguimus, liberos quoque, si debiles monstrosique editi sunt, mergimus.” — Sen. de Ira, Lib. I. Cap. 15.

"Ex nepte Julia, post damnationem, editum infantem agnosci alique vetuit." - Suet. Vit. Octav. LXV. After the death of Germanicus, as an indication of the intensest grief, "partus conjugum expositi."- Suet. Cal. V.

"Tantum artes hujus, tantum medicamina possunt,

Quæ steriles facit, atque homines in ventre necandos
Conducit." -Juv. Sat. VI. 595.

See also Sen. Consol. ad Helviam. 16, who speaks of the custom as not uncommon. Suet. Vit. Dom. XXII. See the Opus. Academ. of Tzschirner., p. 72, Lip. 1829.

women; and they become slaves, either by the law of nations, that is, by captivity, or by the civil law, which happens, when a free person, above the age of twenty, suffers himself to be sold, for the sake of sharing the price paid for him." Slavery by birth thus depended on the condition of the mother alone, and her master became owner of her offspring, born while she was his property. In order to determine the question of a child's freedom or servitude, the whole period of gestation was taken into view, by the Roman jurists; and if at any time between conception and birth the mother had been for one instant free, the law, by a humane fiction, supposed the birth to have taken place then, and held the infant to be free born.* For fixing the ownership of a child, the date of the birth was alone regarded; and the father of a natural child, by his bondwoman, was the master of his offspring, as much as of any other of his slaves.

We will now proceed to an investigation of the condition of the Roman slaves, first as it was in law, and secondly as it was in fact.

Slavery is defined in the Codex Just., as that by which one man is made subject to another, according to the law of nations, though contra naturam, contrary to natural right. "Manumission took its rise from the law of nations, for all men by the law of nature are born in freedom; nor was manumission heard of, while servitude was unknown." "All slaves are in the power of their masters, which power is derived from the law of nations; for it is equally observable among all nations, that masters have had the power of

* "Quia non debet calamitas matris ei nocere, qui in ventre est." Lib. I. Tit. 4, De Ingen.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »