Comparison of Roman and American slavery

Essay by omniromHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2004

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Comparison of Roman and Western Slavery

Slavery is one of the most common entities between the Roman's society and the Western society in the late 1800's. Both civilizations have many differences and similarities between their views on slavery, treatments of the slaves, and economics of slavery. Such similarities include the imprisonment of slaves, the cruel treatments towards slaves, and the legal status of slaves as their owner's property. However, despite the many differences, slavery between polar societies always has its differences. These differences include the rights of the slaves, the slave's origins, and the payment of the slaves. Through the comparison of slavery present in Western society of the later 1800's and Roman society, several astonishing similarities and differences become apparent, especially when considering the movie, "Sparticus".

The astonishing amount of similarities between the slavery in Roman society and the slavery in Western society show the great importance of slavery to one's populace.

In both society's, the slave was the basic unit of society, for all of the agricultural market rested upon their shoulders. Just as cotton was the staple crop of the United States, wheat was the fundamental crop in Roman society, both of which are cultivated by slaves. In both societies, owning a multitude of slaves showed one's social status, for if one owned numerous slaves, then they were considered wealthy. Additionally, the lower class looked down upon the slaves as lower individuals than themselves, treating them like animals through their constant beatings and tiresome work. This work that the slaves had to endure was similar in both societies, for they similarly had to work in the fields for long hours. A child born of a slave woman was a slave (the legal status of his father being irrelevant) and the property of the slave woman's owner. Ultimately,