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date: 26 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the relation between gender and slavery among the Greeks and Romans. It considers the gendered division of labour for slaves with a special emphasis on female slaves and female masters in the domestic context. Important topics covered include sexual violence against slaves, manumission, and prostitutes as slaves. It argues that female slaves were most common in domestic contexts and the sex and entertainment industry. Both contexts, however, meant that female slaves were open to sexual abuse, but close contact with the free might also benefit female slaves by leading to their manumission. Slaves frequently appear outside ancient constructions of gender, officially denied socio-political status as husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers, and free from behavioural expectations like male courage and female virtue; but this lack of a gendered identity was likely another element of their oppression.

Keywords: female slaves, female masters, prostitutes, manumission, division of labour, domestic slaves, sexual violence, gender, household

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