The History of Slavery Essay

637 WordsJun 11, 20123 Pages
The History of Slavery The way slavery enters is with civilization. The first humans, Hunter-gatherers and primitive farmers didn’t need any slaves. They collected and grew just enough food for themselves. Owning another human wasn’t an economic advantage for them as one more pair of hands gave them one more stomach to fill. So slavery started once towns and cities were created, ‘cause once people started to gather in towns and cities, a surplus of supplies like food was created in the countryside, which made it possible to do a wide range of crafts in the town. In a workshop or on a large farm it’s a real advantage to have a reliable source of cheap labour, when it costs not more than the minimum of food and lodging. That were (and still are) one of the conditions of slavery. In all the ancient civilizations slaves were used and it was very easy to get them. War was one of the main source for the supply of slaves. When a town fell, it was normal to take into slavery those inhabitants who would be useful workers and to kill the rest. There were several other ways to buy or acquire slaves. Criminals would be sentenced to slavery instead of killing them. Pirates would offer their captives for sale and poor people would even sell their own children! The children of slaves would be slaves themselves, and so it would go on as not a lot of slave owners would allow them to raise their family. The first signs of slavery were ound in The code of Hammurabi, from Babylon in the 18th century BC. It gives some chilling details of the different penalties and rewards for surgeons operating on free men or slaves. A surprising details is that the Babylonian slaves were allowed to have property. But the first civilization in which we know a great deal about the role of slaves is that of ancient Greece. The two leading states of Greece, Athens and

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