Slavery & The Roman Empire

Slavery & The Roman Empire

Modern Slavery Comparison

The Roman Republic used slaves for many decades and treatment of slaves varied drastically. Today, although slavery is outlawed it still exists in many forms. Since slavery is illegal in our society, it is covered up and many people are unaware of its existence. Although the practices may be somewhat different, many of the tactics employed to create slaves and keep slaves in their place are similar in each society. Both societies have the intention to instill fear into slaves in order to keep them marginalized and afraid to rebel.

In Rome, slaves lived in fear of punishment and anyone known to have helped a slave runaway faced severe consequences. As well, the punishment for rebellious slaves was brutal and was often crucifixion (Spielvogel & Duiker, 2013). Currently, tactics that are employed by slave traders include the fear of debt and connections to family members of exploited workers. This makes people who have become slaves afraid that their families may become harmed if they do not work.

The use of fear tactics are unsurprising to read but sad with many modern estimates claiming more slaves today than there have ever been at one time in history. Of course, this is due to a higher population but it still means that there has been a decline in any sort of progress to mitigate the problems of slavery. One aspect to current slavery that is so dangerous is that it goes widely unrecognized. This is a difference in Roman society where it was a common practice. Many people owned slaves and everyone knew about it. Today, there are uncounted slaves and unfairly treated workers that because of little to no regulations, slip through the cracks and continue to be abused and exploited.


Spielvogel, J. J., & Duiker, W. J. (2013). The Essential World History. Cengage Learning.

By Ssolbergj — The vexilloid of the Roman Empire. CC BY 3.0


Triola Vincent. Tue, Mar 02, 2021. Slavery & The Roman Empire Retrieved from https://vincenttriola.com/blogs/ten-years-of-academic-writing/slavery-the-roman-empire

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