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Semester 1

Ancient Greek Slavery (ANHI10057)

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Ancient History





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Visiting students must have previously taken at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Ancient History) at grade B or above for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the academic pre-requisites does NOT guarantee admission. **Please note that 3rd year Ancient History courses are very popular and have strict visiting student quotas, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the Ancient History department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

The course looks at the role of slavery in ancient Greek society. Students will investigate a range of evidence, including law court speeches, tombstones, vase paintings, domestic architecture, philosophical treatises, manumission inscriptions, etc. to gain a varied understanding of the ways in which the peculiar institution manifested itself in Greek society. Students will explore the relationship between slavery and other forms of unfree labour as well as between slavery and freedom, slavery and citizenship, and slavery and democracy. Like its 'partner', the Honours course on 'Roman Slavery', this course springs directly from the course organiser's main research interest: the study of slavery in classical antiquity.

Course Description

The course offers focussed study of slavery in the ancient Greek world, covering a range of important topics that cover both thematic and conceptual issues, as well as questions concerning the source material. A typical class schedule may look like this: Week 1: Introduction: What is Greek slavery? Week 2: Ideologies of slavery in ancient Greece Week 3: Slaves in the home Week 4: Slaves in the crafts Week 5: Slaves on the land Week 6: Slave numbers Week 7: Slavery, freedom, citizenship, democracy Week 8: Spartan helotage Week 9: Slave revolt and rebellion Week 10: Slave manumission Week 11: Conclusion: The location of Greek slavery. In the course of the semester, the students should acquire familiarity with a) various types of slave labour exploited (e.g. agricultural, industrial and commercial), as well as the differences between public and private slavery; b) the various bodies of evidence available for the study of ancient slavery (i.e. archaeology, epigraphy, literary evidence and papyrology); and c) the various approaches taken by scholars towards the study of (ancient) slavery (e.g. comparatist, feminist, Marxist, quantitative). Because of the significance of slave and forced labour in ancient societies, the topic offers itself as a valuable introduction to the study of the ancient world as a whole, as well as to issues of labour, labour rights and movements - or their absence. Likewise, the course is an ideal introduction to the study of slavery as a historical phenomenon, and the course is therefore explicitly comparatist.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 60%, Coursework 40%, Practical Exam 0%

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