The Freedman in the Roman World

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9780511975639: The Freedman in the Roman World

Freedmen occupied a place in Roman society between slaves on the one hand and full citizens on the other. Playing an extremely important role in the economic life of the Roman world, they were also a key instrument for replenishing and even increasing the size of the citizen body; but their position between slave and citizen was of course not unproblematic. Henrik Mouritsen presents an original synthesis of Roman manumission, for the first time covering both Republic and Empire in a single volume. While providing up-to-date discussions of most significant aspects of the phenomenon, the book also offers a new understanding of the practice itself, its role in the organisation of slave labour and the Roman economy, as well as the deep-seated ideological concerns to which it gave rise. It locates the freedman in a broader social and economic context, explaining the remarkable popularity of manumission in the Roman world.

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Book Description:

The first comprehensive study of Roman freedmen and women in over a century, covering all major aspects of the subject. These include manumission practices, legal status, the patronus-libertus relationship, freedmen's place in public life and the self-representation of freedmen and women through epigraphic and literary sources.

About the Author:

Henrik Mouritsen is Professor of Roman History at King's College London. He has published widely on Roman history, including local politics, Pompeii and Ostia, freedmen, Latin epigraphy, Roman Italy, and Republican politics. His other books include Elections, Magistrates and Municipal Elite: Studies in Pompeian Epigraphy (1988), Italian Unification: A Study in Ancient and Modern Historiography (1998), and Plebs and Politics in the Late Roman Republic (2001).

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