Item description for Slavery in Classical Greece (Classical World Series) by N. R. E. Fisher...
This is an authoritative and clearly written account of the mainissues involved in the study of Greek slavery from Homeric times to thefourth century BC. It provides valuable insights into the fundamentalplace of slavery in the economies and social life of classical Greece, and includes penetrating analyses of the widely-held ancientideological justifications of slavery. A wide range of topics iscovered, including the development of slavery from Homer to theclassical period, the peculiar form of community slaves (the helots)found in Sparta, economic functions and the treatment of slaves inAthens, and the evidence for slaves' resistance. Throughout the authorshows how political and economic systems, ideas of national identity, work and gender, and indeed the fundamental nature of Greekcivilisation itself, were all profoundly affected by the fact that manyof the Greek city-states were slave societies. With 12 illustrations.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Slavery in Classical Greece (Classical World Series)?
Superb...and eminently readable! Feb 18, 2007
This is one of the best books I have ever read on slavery in antiquity. Many books on slavery in ancient Greece and Rome are almost prudish in their approach to the issue. But in order to convey the true nature (and horror) of slavery, no scholarly work can ignore such aspects of slavery as sexual mores or physical violence. Vague references simply will not do.
This book digs right into the nitty-gritty of everyday slave life. Although it's a very short work, the author manages to convey the most amazing details of slave life -- right down to the kind of undergarments a slave might be permitted to wear. Unlike some works, which never really explain how slaves could rise to positions of great power and prestige and still remain slaves, this volume does so and makes it seems reasonable.
The book also places slavery in context as well. That's something missing in most other works on slavery in ancient Europe and the Middle East. The sections on Spartan slavery and how it meshed nearly seamlessly with Spartan attitudes on the upbringing of young males (especially the length passages on the "crypteia") really make history come alive.
I can't say enough good things about this book. Its superb reliance on primary sources, its terrific critical analysis of modern scholarly works, its heavy contextualization of slavery and slave-owning, its crisp and elegant writing, its no-nonsense and fact-based approach to sensitive topics: It is everything I wanted from a book about this important topic.