Chapter 3b-5: Slavery

Slaves may be acquired five ways.

  1. By being captives in war.
    • If the conqueror does not kill them, he has a right to make them slaves.
  2. By being children of slaves.
  3. By being guilty of crimes.
    1. They becames slaves to the person injured or to the public.
  4. By being in debt in the ancient state of the Roman Republic.
    • If they could not pay their debt, it was thought reasonable they should work for it.
    • This still takes place in all countries where slavery is established.
  5. By selling oneself
    • This is a sort of voluntary slavery.
    • When a person sells himself for any sum, this very sum becomes the property of his buyer.
      • But when a person was in debt and obliged to become a slave for it, he would not choose to be his creditor’s slave for fear of abuse.
      • He would sell himself to another person, on condition that he would pay his debt.
      • Roman citizens were often in debt.
        • They became entirely dependent on their superiors.
        • The only means of subsistence of many of them was what they received from candidates for their votes.
          • This was not enough.
          • They often borrowed from the people to whom they gave their votes.
            • Those people were ready to lend so that they could secure them entirely to their interest.
            • Through this, they could not give their vote to any other person unless he paid what they owed to their creditors.
            • Few would be willing to do, since they usually owed more than the value of their votes.

In the middle age of the Republic, these two last methods of acquiring slaves were prohibited by express laws.

The slavery in the West Indies took place contrary to law.

The state of servants

Apprentices are the same way with servants except that the master:


Chapter 4: Guardian and Ward

The particular state of families

Chapter 5: Domestic Offences and their Punishments

Some offences in families with their peculiar punishmentsNext: Chapter 1