The historical phenomena of slavery.


Slavery has existed and it continues to exist – just a genocide has been practiced and continues to be practiced. No less a document of freedom than the Constitution of the United States enshrined it into law and it is the principal source of horror in our history since. One of the principal problems is that as an issue it has been politicized and polemicised to the point that it is not  discussed intelligently and legislated against comprehensively – what is the value of freeing “your” slaves if you are buying cheap goods produced by “his” slaves? This book is a rational discussion of the basis of slave society and although it is at a safe remove from current controversies it is a relevant discussion that could contribute to larger solutions. The fact that it was published over thirty years ago and is so little known should indicate how serious – and destructive – the force of demagogues can be.

Ancient slavery and modern ideology      M. I. Finley  Slavery Greece, Rome  New York : Viking Press, 1980 Hardcover. Four lectures presented at the College de France in November and December 1978. 202 p. ; 23 cm. Bibliography: p. 185-194. Includes index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

Slaves have been exploited in most societies throughout human history.There have, however, been only five genuine slave societies, and of these, two were in antiquity: classical Greece and classical Italy. Here distinguished historian Sir Moses Finley examines those two not in isolation, but in comparison.

In this thought-provoking study of slavery in ancient Greece and Italy, Sir Moses Finley discusses how slave societies came into being and considers the moral, social, and economic underpinnings that allowed them to prosper. His comparison of ancient slave societies with their relatively modern counterparts in the New World opens a new perspective on the history of slavery. Sir Moses’ inquiry sheds light on the complex ways in which ideological interests affect historical interpretation.

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