Slavery in antiquity  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Slavery in the ancient world, specifically, in Mediterranean cultures, comprised a mixture of debt-slavery, slavery as a punishment for crime, and the enslavement of prisoners of war.

The institution of slavery condemned a majority of slaves to agricultural or industrial labour and they lived hard lives. In some of the city-states of Greece and in the Roman Empire, slaves formed a very large part of the economy, and the Roman Empire built a large part of its wealth on slaves acquired through conquest.

Masters could free slaves, and in many cases such freedmen went on to rise to positions of power. This would include those children born into slavery but who were actually the children of the master of the house. Their father would ensure that his children were not condemned to a life of slavery.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Slavery in antiquity" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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