This book is concerned with discovering what it was like to be a slave in the classical Roman world, and with revealing the impact the institution of slavery made on Roman society at large. It shows how and in what sense Rome was a slave society through much of its history, considers how the Romans procured their slaves, discusses the work roles slaves fulfilled and the material conditions under which they spent their lives, investigates how slaves responded to and resisted slavery, and reveals how slavery, as an institution, became more and more oppressive over time under the impact of philosophical and religious teaching. The book stresses the harsh realities of life in slavery and the way in which slavery was an integral part of Roman civilisation.
"...it should quickly become a standard reference work." History "Belongs in every college and seminary library." Religious Studies Review "While he documents such objective aspects of slavery as the sources of new slaves, the mechanics of sale and manumission, the material aspects of slave life such as food, clothing, and housing, and the types of rewards and punishments, he also performs the more difficult, original and compelling task of determining how these conditions were subjectively experienced by the slaves themselves. That he handles these complex issues so well in a highly readable book of only 202 pages is a testament to his skill as both a writer and a scholar." New England Classical Journal "...he [Bradley] provides a wealth of historical evidence to support his claim. For philosophers, Bradley provides a rich ore that will help illuminate and recast much of the tradition. ...Bradley's work is exceptionally fruitful. He masterfully intertwines a rich narrative suitable for non-specialists with abundant citations that should sate more advanced readers. The work is both entertaining and informative, and for those reasons, highly recommended." Canadian Philosophical Reviews "This is an excellent introduction to Roman slavery and the best textbook-style work on the subject currently available. Obtaining the rights for translations into other languages should be high on the agenda of attentive academic publishers worldwide." Phoenix "An excellent introduction to Roman slavery, the book will also serve as a sobering corrective to any attempt to palliate slavery in any society." R.I. Curtis, Choice