Degrees of Freedom

Beryl Rawson

in Children, Memory, and Family Identity in Roman Culture

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582570
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595271 | DOI:
Degrees of Freedom

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Slaves had readier access to freedom in Roman society than in other known slave societies. Those most favoured were urban, talented, pleasing slaves, especially those who formed close personal attachments with their owner. Child slaves, born in the household (vernae), could play a special familial role as surrogate sons and daughters. Those freed prematurely or informally (Junian Latins) had restrictions on their freedom and citizenship and could be circulated or transferred to other households. As heirs they continued their patrons' name and were responsible for their tombs, thus helping preserve their memory.

Keywords: familia Caesaris; freedman; heirs; manumission; nomenclature; slaves; surrogate; tombs; wet-nurses

Chapter.  9502 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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