Documenting Slavery in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt

Roger S. Bagnall

in Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman East

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267022
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948525 | DOI:
Documenting Slavery in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt

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This chapter presents an argument on the very uneven survival of evidence for particular historical institutions and topics: not only those naturally linked to moments in time, like the narrative history of a specific reign, but also those that might seem independent of such considerations, which is a further consequence of the archaeologically driven patterns of the survival of papyri. It chooses slavery to illustrate this point and explore its consequences. The chapter explains that the reason for this choice is above all that this institution and its consequences are perennial objects of profound and passionate interest for students of the ancient world, with a recent bibliography occupying more than eight-hundred pages. It notes that it is also relevant that slavery can be traced over a very long trajectory in Egypt, and that this course has long been a subject of concern to the author.

Keywords: evidence; papyri; slavery; ancient world; bibliography; Egypt

Chapter.  8289 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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