Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Greeks had no single generic term for ‘slave’, but a variety of terms for diverse relations of dependence and unfree people, many of which were also used to describe free people. Although much less complex, the Roman slave terms show similar features. Despite the ambiguity of the ancient terminology, we may make inferences about various aspects of unfreedom, about ambiguities in social and juridical distinctions, and about attitudes to menial work. This chapter examines Greek and Roman terminologies, aiming at detecting their semantic fields and pointing to a possible identical semantic process behind the adoption of the main slave terms in Greece, Rome, and the modern western world.

Keywords: slavery, slaves, terminology, Greek, Roman, doulos, servus

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.