Abstract

summary:

Thousands of people were trafficked around the Mediterranean as a result of Roman conquest. This article seeks to understand who these people were by examining how an individual's standing in their community determined their experience of military defeat. I argue that socio-legal status was key: enslaved people, as opposed to those of free and especially citizen status, were particularly likely to be seized as captives in the first place, trafficked into slavery as a result of capture, and held in bondage in a new political context. Roman conquest, far from leveling hierarchies in defeated communities, often reproduced existing inequalities.

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