Antique slavery

Nov 2019
116
Maykop
Andrew Stepanenko
May 31, 2019 <Античное рабство>

Translated by Berenkova Violetta Michailovna

STRANGE SLAVERY

Scythians were Athenians’ slaves, and it was as so: Scythian armed groups patrolled cities of the Athenian Union and could arrest any townsman, even an aristocrat.
Jews were Egyptians’ slaves, but occupied the highest public positions, were perfectly armed, left Egypt, paying no attention to their owners, and during their campaign easily won other armies.
Circassians were the Ottomans’ slaves, but they commanded armies, the fleet and even the finance of the Empire. The appreciable part of sultans were Circassians on their mother’s side, that is, the supreme authority in the Empire was shifted on Circassian blood.
In Western Europe countries, the phenomenon of hereditary slavery of the highest state elite was not noted; it is typical only for its historical opponents.

CAPTURE OF SLAVES
An ordinary Roman commander easily captured to 100 thousand slaves. Considering the density of Europe population, in order to conquest 100 thousand slaves the commander should seek through 7400 sq. km territory. Caesar personally captured 10 million slaves, according to Plútarchos. This achievement nobody managed to repeat - owing to practical impracticability of the task.

ANTIQUE SLAVE-TRADE
It is considered that Slav-slaves were delivered to Europe and Asia since ancient times and on continuing basis. However, archeologists cannot find the most important evidence: traces. Each slave-trade path should have equipped watering places and covered parking for at least two hundred people, with the possibility to cook food, to relieve the guard and to do something with sick and dead people. 150 years of intensive excavation resulted in different findings - but nothing of the mentioned above.

Today we also documental facts. Genetics have definitely fixed the shift of men from Iran to Northern Black Sea Coast in the past. The DNA-analysis of the Afro-Americans’ blood gives an clear picture of dislocation of all progenitors (their absolute majority originate from Mali). The campaign of the Mongols to Europe has been absolutely disapproved, as the Mongolian genes are not present on any site of this hypothetical way. The export of Slav-slaves to the south of France or to Persia had to leave clear genetic traces, however they are not present – at all.
Slavic traces have been found in Turkey, but there Slavs were tightly incorporated in the government system. The bound was so strong, what even in 1839, according to Military Cartographical Department, local administrative units in Turkey were called “voivodlyk” - voivodeships. We will give a small scan.



…directly to pashas. There were often no voivodlyks in small musselimlyks.

Voivodlyk – is a district, sometimes large in territory, with a small town where its governor lived- voivoda. Seaside towns where ships were built had the voivodlyk rights and were called nazyrlyks. Their heads – nazyrs…

SLAVERY IN ANCIENT ROME
(ВОЗНИКНОВЕНИЕ И РАЗВИТИЕ БАНКОВ. Возникновение банков)

The CITATION: All arising trading-exchange activity was mostly carried out by slaves. As if they were free, slaves controlled the given property (Peculium), took and gave loans in money and natural products to other slaves. Being engaged in trade, acting as witnesses of different monetary operations, they were admitted as legal objects and subjects. The slave could not only pledge, purchase and sell property (including immovable one: houses and lands), but also could act as a pledgee of the property of free people and slaves. The slave could even be the guarantor of the owner when they took the joint loan.

THE CORE IN THE TEXT
A slave lived under the same law rules, as a free person. Give the word "slave" the meaning of "dealer", "manager", and the facts described above will become logical. Here is one vivid example.

DISPENSATORS
Historical and etymological meaning of dispensation is money management. Pope Leo I used the term ‘dispensatio’ when he wrote about the Church administration he was entrusted with. However, in the history of Ancient Rome dispensator was a slave managing cash and accounts books, or a slave executing the order of a big financier. The word ‘dispensator’ has nothing that would specify one’s slavish position. Moreover, with every action - from the guarantee until pledge accepting – the dispensator acts as a free and influential person. Moreover, the dictionary shows the nearest in the meaning word as "procurator". Nevertheless, we must believe that everyone, named in the Roman annals as a dispensator, was automatically a slave.

REAL SLAVERY
Nevertheless, dependence existed in Ancient Rome – it was debt. The CITATION: “the creditor could also take the debtor as proof if the last one did not returned the loan. Therefore, the debtor worked for the creditor free of charge, keeping freedom. After working off the debt and interest on it such debtors lost any dependency on the creditor”.
The last fact is very important: it is the reason why there were so many "emancipated slaves" in Rome. People paid off their debts and continued to work for themselves.

ROMAN "MORTGAGE"
Rome: “The possibility of acquisition of large pieces of land simultaneously as a result of assignment by creditors of the pledged land of bankrupt debtors testified to distribution of loans for land mortgages without the owner’s property confiscation (mortgage)”.

If the debtor was a peasant community, it obviously passed under external management together with the fixed capital (land) and could fulfil the debt only on that land (as is directly told, without its confiscation). The CITATION: “… the debtor worked on the creditor for free, keeping the freedom. After working off the debt and interest on it, such debtors lost any dependency on the creditor”.

It not mortgage in the modern meaning of the word; the mortgage assumes responsibility of the debtor for payments, and here payments are in hands of the creditor (the external managing director). The creditor’s failure of payments to himself, for example, for the purpose of assignment of the debtor’s calls into question the creditor’s position. "Slaves" in this scheme must eventually pay off their debt and receive the status of "emancipated slaves".

ERROR SOURCE
The antique economy is described in the terms of the ideas of the second half of 19 century. Speaking more concrete, most likely, meme about a slaveholding society appeared from incorrect translation of the terms “emcia”, “coemcia”.
Coemcia (Lat. coemptio, purchase). 1. Marriage form between plebeians when the wedding ceremony was accompanied by the symbolical purchase.
They write that this purchasing (emptio) was mutual: the husband buys the wife, and the wife buys the husband, that is, more likely the agreement with mutual pledge, rather than purchase and sale relations. In Catalonia it happened untill 1486: if the wife was unfaithful, part of her property was taken away (cugucia) by her husband, and the other part – by the seigneur, probably, as the notarial guarantor of the marriage contract observance.
Let us apply this understanding of the meaning of “emcia” and “coemcia” to the ancient Roman right, and the slaveholding system disappears, and the slave trade turns into usual medieval commendation.
 
Nov 2019
116
Maykop
CONFIRMATION
Friend hupovoy sent direction to the book "Hire of services" by A.M.Guljaev, 1893 edition. Here is the citation.
"We have clear direction in the sources (Gaius) 15) that there was time when emptio and venditio, locatio and conductio were used promiscue: emptio meant not only purchasing, but sale as well; locatio and conductio were used indifferently, for designation of both parties’ actions which took part in that agreement".

Our concepts "purchase" and "sale" are obviously various, and the term emptio is applicable to both parties of the agreement. Ancient Rome specialists introduced for unclear Latin words those definitions that responded to the trade realities of 19 century, and mutual tribal guarantee turned into "human trading", and antique "slaves" began to dispose of banking capitals and to rule empires.

COMMENDATION
Here are only those definitions that concern our theme.
1) In decline period of the late Roman Empire commendation meant voluntary passing of separate people, and sometimes and even population of the whole community and their property under the patronage of "the most powerful people".
2) In the early Middle Ages in Western Europe it meant the agreement fixing the act of voluntary passing of a person under protection the more powerful person, who became his boss.

The first type of commendation - the act of acknowledgement by the vassal of the submission to the seigneur which followed by the oath of fidelity and granting of the vassal with beneficence or feod.
The second type - commendation of bankrupt free people to a large landowner. Commendation often meant material dependence: the subordinate person quite often became the holder of the land belonging to his boss.

All types of commendation are actually identical: the feudal law did not distinguish nobles from ordinary people, and ancient Roman commendation is not different from the medieval one. It is clear, when the creditor took control of the community and became their senior, he would demand from all the members of the community the oath of fidelity and personally acknowledge everyone’s right to work in that sector he/she was able to cope with.

COMMENDATION AS PSEUDO-SLAVERY
There are four basic examples: slaves-janizaries, slaves-Mamelukes, slaves-Circassians, slaves-Scythians. All these slaves were always at the top of the power, and all were in the territory of the Eastern Roman Empire. In the Western Roman Empire it was not typical to name similar military castes as slaves, though in all cases the mechanism of entering the service was the same - commendation.

Procedure is already embedded in the tribal system when boys passed through the ceremony of symbolical death and into a friendly phratry as the future members of its male part and husbands for women of a friendly family. It was not a slave trade, but already here the commendated person was not free in the destiny choice: there was an arrangement of phratries, and it was kept. So if the tribe got into debt and they all passed under creditor’s family control that was continuation of a usual and lawful tradition. There is also a mix described in the Bible: to receive his wife, the guy worked for her father for some years. Why not for her mother? That is because the lawful managing director was the father. In tribal relations, it was the same: it did not mean that boys would receive wives just immediately after their shift to the male order.

Only boys passed through the ceremony, therefore there are a lot of evidences about collective initiations of boys, but not girls. Thus, the marriageable boys could not stay in their family. This was a functional requirement: the man could not be tear apart for two houses, so he was released from anxiety for his mother’s family. If to accept that meaning of the terms attributed to the Ancient Rome period, all men without any exception were slaves, and now it is clear that this meaning is incorrect.

A male order could also accept a stranger: the symbolical death breaks the bounds the family without an exception, the person is pure from the past and after a dedication ceremony became the member of the order. Therefore, between the creditor (the so-called slaveholder) and a debtor-tribe (slaves) there were no barriers; they became a united ancient Roman family. Later the same occurred with the feudal lord and the subordinate peasants. The community was commendated to the feudal lord, but it recommendated as well - in the same way it could be shifted into other hands or even the community’s debt might be sold. Therefore, people-trading illusion appears.

THE VASSAL’S COMMENDATION
The right recommendation of a person is as natural, as well as the right of transfer of the debt to the third party. Therefore, a large creditor who had bought the debts of the region has the right to put his people to rule the communities. Surely, he put someone of his relatives. Therefore, Mamelukes-Circassians appeared in Egypt. Yes, they recommendated - the same as and "resold" ancient Roman "slaves", yes, they are equally not free in their destiny choice, but they are not slaves. The position of Mameluke in Egypt is similar to the position of the member of the Komsomol who arrived to master the Virgin lands under the permission of the city committee of the Leninist Communist Youth League. Depending on the local situation, he can be appoint either the director of new state farm, or a tractor driver, without asking his opinion, - the main adreement is already arranged in the city committee which had directed the member of the Komsomol.
 
Nov 2019
116
Maykop
ROOT OF ECONOMY OF THE PAST
There was no money in the modern sense of the word for a long period. There were tokens - coinlike counters granting the right to some consignment of goods, for example, of salt. But the most mass currency was work. In fairy tales, the obliged relations are often paid by work: walk to the other end of the world, bring a feather of the Firebird, get the Alenkiy Flower, sift three sacks of poppy seeds etc. The so-called slaveholding relations should look like that.

Such position remains up to 1848-1883, - until 85-95 % of economy (agricultural industry) was not monetized. The seigneur could say to his vassals: each of you send me 100 peasants with their food for two weeks. And the channel was dug out for one winter. Accordingly, usurious schemes in such society look unusually: I gave you 300 soldiers to solve problems with the neighbor, and you must give me 3000 peasants for construction of barns and a mooring. And it is bound with oaths on fidelity, kisses and other ceremonies in the Cosa Nostra style.

THE MAIN IDEA
At this stage the main means of payment was work, and the capital developed through work alienation, - not results of that work (it would be later), but work as it was. Thus, the property right to other people work was not identical to property right to the person’s life. Obviously, the property right to the person’s life lacked economic sense, - well … except for the need in the person’s bodies.

Nowadays some hundreds primitive communities have entered into capitalism, and in nowhere slaveholding has become an economy support; it could happen as an ethnocultural incident, but it is an absolutely empty idea in the economic sense. Even in Mauritania, where now there are about 700 thousand slaves which have got into this position because of old unpaid debts, a person is not another person's property. His/her work is the property, but he/she is not a thing. The reason is simple: first of all, the person is naturally a subject living in the contractual environment which he/she creates. To exclude the unique subject of the contractual environment from this constantly created environment is unsolvable task.
 
Nov 2019
116
Maykop
I don't like to discourage fairly new posters - but I have no idea what point you are making here.
I am trying to convince that a person is not a thing, and has never been a thing. At the heart of all relations between people are contracts. Therefore, a person cannot be sold, but a person’s obligation can be sold. Therefore, ancient slavery should not be seen in the way we are accustomed to. Sorry for google translation.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,889
The Greeks clearly considered it a case of natural slavery – some people by their nature being slaves, and defined as "living property". Unnatural slavery, enslaving any person not born as a natural slave, was of course a heinous affront to nature by definition then. But as long as the people enslaved were natural slaves, it was all fine and good.

Which means that the argument that a person has never been a thing is perfectly valid – except that some humans, the natural slaves, couldn't aspire to that kind of full personhood.
 
Aug 2019
571
North
The Greeks clearly considered it a case of natural slavery – some people by their nature being slaves, and defined as "living property". Unnatural slavery, enslaving any person not born as a natural slave, was of course a heinous affront to nature by definition then. But as long as the people enslaved were natural slaves, it was all fine and good.

Which means that the argument that a person has never been a thing is perfectly valid – except that some humans, the natural slaves, couldn't aspire to that kind of full personhood.
What's the case with demosthenes calling macedonia a place from where you couldn't even buy a slave?
 
Oct 2017
377
America ??
Hi all. I would consider myself a keen scholar & specialist of slavery. Judging by its ubiquitousness & variety of forms, it’s clearly very tied to concepts of human & natural rights overall. It’s only historically very recently, since the 19th century in the West & 20th century for many other places in the world, that slavery has been officially & universally viewed as a serious violation of natural rights. The 18th & 19th century Enlightenment as well as post WWII & Civil Rights which played the single biggest role in the widespread emphasis of universal inalienable natural rights. Like other issues with natural rights, slavery is very linked to issues of “us” or insiders was & “them” or “outsiders”. Many animal rights enthusiasts insists that animal captivity is a form of slavery.
It’s quite sad really to witness what our species is capable of, especially when it’s about issues which are considered universally wrong by common sense in modern times. I think it shows a lot about human nature & psychology.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,849
Cornwall
Hi all. I would consider myself a keen scholar & specialist of slavery. Judging by its ubiquitousness & variety of forms, it’s clearly very tied to concepts of human & natural rights overall. It’s only historically very recently, since the 19th century in the West & 20th century for many other places in the world, that slavery has been officially & universally viewed as a serious violation of natural rights. The 18th & 19th century Enlightenment as well as post WWII & Civil Rights which played the single biggest role in the widespread emphasis of universal inalienable natural rights. Like other issues with natural rights, slavery is very linked to issues of “us” or insiders was & “them” or “outsiders”. Many animal rights enthusiasts insists that animal captivity is a form of slavery.
It’s quite sad really to witness what our species is capable of, especially when it’s about issues which are considered universally wrong by common sense in modern times. I think it shows a lot about human nature & psychology.
Sensible post. Sadly not so many posters seem to realise it is an age-old institution, rather than a product of the creation of the USA

In regard to ancient and medieval times - obviously 'slave' was a class, a way of life, in Roman and other times. Everybody had slaves as servants and workers to work the fields and the economy and their household. Nowadays we have thie vision of Spartacus, chained up and whipped in the salt mines. But not every person of many was a cruel despot. The better you treat your workers the better reaction and better work you get.

IN A SOCIETY THAT KNEW NO OTHER WAY, the slaves did the work and received food and housing and made families in return in lieu of monetary reward. They may even get their freedom.

Don't get me wrong - it isn't ideal, but it's how it was seen and how it worked at the time.

One little anecdote - I have a little book relating truth about the Templars. No nonsense and daft speculation theories, it is constituted from documents in various archives and also artifacts. I recall there was the will of a Templar knight in either Aragon or Navarra (can't remember). He died and in his will was provision for his muslim 'manservant' - or slave. He wanted to make sure his man was looked after and willed him to a friend and fellow Templar who lived about 100 miles away. Twas the way of the world
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,349
Sydney
more important was the legal standing of "slaves" or "servants" or " bonded labor "
could they testifies in court , was killing one considered homicide ?