Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The enslavement of war captives by the Romans to 146 BC
Author: Wickham, Jason
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
War captives are generally thought to have comprised the main portion of the Roman slave supply during the Republic. Likewise, the result of mass enslavement through continuous war has been interpreted as a principle factor in the agricultural evolution in Italy from the second century BC which saw a significant increase in large plantation style farming (latifundia). The misconception of a male bias in agricultural labour has put a heavy influence on the need for an external supply of slaves rather than through reproduction. However, an analysis of documentary evidence suggests that wartime enslavement was more limited. Problems in supervising, transporting, and trading large numbers of slaves, as well as competing markets elsewhere in the Mediterranean, made immediate absorption of captives as slaves into the central Italian economy problematic. Furthermore, the vast majority of wartime enslavements occurred following the capture of cities, where larger numbers of civilian prisoners were taken, mostly comprising women, children and slaves. Ancient sources frequently exaggerated the number of war captives and often neglected to elaborate on the fate of those taken in war. Many modern historians have been far too quick to assume that prisoners were enslaved, which has given a disproportionate view of the importance of the contribution of war captives to the slave supply and their effect upon the growing slave population at Rome during the Republic. Such assumptions have left critical analysis wanting and, as a result, war captives have been largely neglected by Roman historians. This study attempts to address the gap in our analysis of these crucial practices in antiquity and to offer an explanation of how the taking of war captives was impacted by Rome’s changing socio-political and economic structures during the Republic.
Supervisor: Adams, Colin ; Oliver, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CC Archaeology