History on the Net Banner

 Users Online


 

The Romans - Slaves

 

Slave


A slave's life was hard. Slaves were usually prisoners captured in war, but some were people who had been kidnapped in Italy.

Slaves were sold at a slave-market. They were put on show, naked, with a notice around their necks. anyone who had enough money could buy them. Once sold they were the property of their new owner and had to work for no money. Sometimes a rich man would have as many as 400 slaves.

Some slave owners beat their slaves and slaves that ran away could be killed. Slaves could not argue with their masters, they had to do exactly as they were told or else they would be punished. If a slave killed his master then all the other slaves in the household would be killed.

Female slave

 

Both men and women were sold as slaves and young boys were the most expensive slaves to buy. Some slaves were well educated, especially those from Greece, and they would be used to teach the children of the house.

Women slaves would be used as hairdressers, dressmakers, cooks and servants for rich women. Other slaves worked in small workshops making leather or silver goods or pots and pans. 

 

Slave working

 

The slaves who had the hardest lives were those who were put to work in the mines. They had to spend long hours underground in hot, cramped conditions. The mines were also unsafe and often slaves were killed in accidents. Farmers used slaves to do the hardest work on their farms like digging and ploughing.

 

Some slaves were called public slaves; they worked for Rome. Their job was to build roads and other buildings and to repair the aqueducts that supplied Rome with fresh water. Other public slaves worked as clerks and tax collectors for the city.

Although they, and other slaves, would be killed if they ran away, many did try to escape. However, this was very difficult because they had no one to help them and many of them did not speak Latin.

Spartacus

 

Spartacus was a famous Roman slave who did manage to escape and form a group of slaves who defeated the Roman army in battle. However, their success did not last for long as the army managed to stop more slaves from joining Spartacus and killed those that had survived the battle.

 

 

 

Activities

Roman Slaves
 Wordsearch
 wordsearch
Roman Slaves
 Quickquiz
quickquiz

 

 Bibliography/Further Information

 

Search this Site    What's New    Historical Terms    Egyptians   Romans    Normans    Medieval Life    Tudors    Stuarts    English Civil War    Native Americans     Black Peoples of America    American West    British Monarchy    The Olympics    Titanic    World War One    Nazi Germany   Holocaust    World War Two    Cold War    A-Z of History    Historical Dictionary    Historical People    Famous Battles    Timelines    Online Lessons    Worksheets    Games    Links to History Sites    History Out and About    On This Day in History


facebook link picture
Follow us on Facebook
Follow History on the Net on Twitter

Tweet button


Stumbleupon


Reddit
 

 

Updated 07/10/2012
Copyright © Historyonthenet 2000-2014 All rights reserved
Site created November 2000


Site design © History on the Net

Validator image

Terms, Conditions and Privacy