Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze


Exploring Ancient Slavery

Ariadne and Dionysos
Woman hands a rolled up mantle to her maid

Read Thomas Martin's overview of slavery in ancient Greece (7 webpages)

What were the sources of the slave trade? What makes it possible for one group of people to enslave another? Were there any occasions in which Greeks were enslaved by other Greeks?

How was the Greek economy and class structure dependent on slave labor? What kind of work did slaves do? Did their work differ from that done by freedpeople or freeborn people? How might their experiences been similar or different?

How were slaves treated? How did their quality of life differ depending on the environment they lived and worked in?

The focus of this chapter's reading is on male slaves. How might the status or experiences of female slaves be different?

How did Greek slavery differ from slavery in early America?

Finally, why is Xanthias described as argos? What does he do (or not do) to deserve this description? Why might slaves be described this way, especially in Attic comedy? How realistic do you think this portrayal is of Greek slavery?



Classical Studies
Cornell College

Last Update: October 24, 2009 4:15 pm
John Gruber-Miller