Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 10, 2008

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Black captive with tied hands

Slavery in ancient Greece was considered not only necessary but natural; neither the Stoics nor the Early Christians questioned the practice. However, some isolated debate began to appear, notably in Socratic dialogues, as early as the 4th century BC. Although slaves as dependent groups existed, such as the Penestae of Thessaly, the Spartan Helots or even the Klarotes of Crete, these were more like Medieval serfs. Other parts of Greece practiced chattel slavery, where the individual is deprived of liberty and forced to submit to an owner who may buy, sell, or lease him or her as one might any chattel good. The study of slavery in Ancient Greece poses a number of significant methodological problems. Documentation is disjointed and very fragmented, focusing on the city of Athens. No treatise is specifically devoted to the subject. Judicial pleadings of the 4th century BC were interested in slavery only as a source of revenue. Comedy and tragedy represented stereotypes. Iconography made no substantial differentiation between slave and craftsman. Even the terminology is often vague. (more...)

Recently featured: Plano Senior High SchoolHoysala EmpireHockey Hall of Fame