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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

If slavery is thought of as a legal status, slaves are hard to detect in much of the visual evidence surviving from antiquity. Frequently, legal status has to be deduced from the way in which a figure is treated (free persons’ bodies were inviolate, slaves’ bodies were not). If slavery is thought of as a condition, or set of conditions, then the visual evidence is far less reticent. Scenes of domination, labour, service are widely found in Greek and Roman art of all sorts. This chapter explores such scenes in both Greek and Roman art and analyses the way in which the composition and context of the visual images construct arguments for understanding domination, labour, and service in particular ways.

Keywords: art, domination, labour, service, slavery, slaves, visual

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