Shaper of Worlds
... I vehemently disagree.Your claim was that it was less cruel is reductionist, impossible to prove and in poor taste. That is precisely the element I take issue with.
Firstly that it is reductionist. I'm not trying to imply that forced servitude was somehow less cruel at any point of time. I'm referring specifically to the treatment of slaves as a group. Of which there were laws and protections, however meager, compared to more modern slavery which had no protections whatsoever.
Heck. Hammurabi's Code 119 involves a dude selling a female slave who bore him a child. If he tries, he has to give the money back to the person who bought the slave and then free her. Her child is also free because they're the child of a free person. That's a law in Babylonian times which -expressly- ends someone's slavery. There were -no- laws of that sort during the later slave trade. Meanwhile 117 expressly limits the amount of time someone can be sold into slavery to repay debts capping it at 4 years.
And while there's little information on how widespread physical and sexual abuse of slaves was in Rome we do know that it happened. We also know that Libertini (Freed Slaves) existed to a degree that they had explicit rights and restrictions applied to them by law. Hadrian, in fact, passed a series of laws to limit the positions of power a Freed Slave could attain because there were so many of them in public office.
We also know that at least some slaveowners at the time freed all Elderly or Sick slaves categorically. And that Antonius passed a law that made the unjustified killing of a slave into straight up Murder.
By -definition- that is less cruel than "You are a slave, you will always be a slave, and your children will be slaves, too, and we can kill you whenever we like." 'cause that lady and her kids? Free. The wife or son or daughter sold into slavery? Free after 4 years at the -most-. Chattel Slavery? No laws whatsoever, no contingencies, no property. Rome had laws relating to how slaves owned property while being property. Not toothbrushes but -land-. By the first century, AD a Slave of Rome anywhere within the Empire could petition the courts to free them from cruel masters. Not just Carthage's "Find a nicer owner" but outright freedom. With free children who would never know slavery unless they sold themselves into it as a Citizen could.
It's also not impossible to prove, because look: There's -laws- and stuff that protected Roman slaves, particularly toward the last 200 years of the empire.
As to Poor Taste... that's largely a matter of personal taste. But comparing the rightly ended historical practices (Well... sorta ended in America) of two separate empires and judging one to be even worse than the other should hardly be a question of taste.
Oh... that's easy.You’re talking about something that actually happened as if it is theoretical and abstract. The fact that some slaves were able to walk away, firstly is based on Steampunkettes unreferenced examples, secondly we have no idea how widespread those examples were, or to what extent they represented slavery across the Mediterranean. Or if they were a narrow time period or covered several thousand years of ancient history. We also don’t know whether a right in principle is also a right in practice.
At best we are fumbling in the dark. Therefore it’s sensible not to make assumptive statements that slavery in ancient mediterranean states was less cruel because we have a theoretical idea of what one right in one city state was like on one issue in isolation.
Hammurabi's code comes from about 1750BCE. Rome was founded with laws of Slavery in 783BCE. Claudius reigned from 51 to 54AD and declared that abandoned slaves were Free Men. Nero was Emperor from 54-68AD and allowed slaves to petition the courts. Hadrian was 117-138AD when he curtailed the political positions of Freed Slaves because too many of them held office. Antonius was right after him and made it illegal to kill a slave without the same justifications for killing anyone else and ruled 'til 161.
Cato the Elder was the one who was widely known for freeing sick or old slaves, skilled and educated slaves could hold down jobs of their own separate from their owner and eventually purchase their own freedom, and, of course, there were laws regarding patronage with a freed slave. Specifically their former owner became their landlord, essentially, until such time as the Freed Man left of his own accord.
As to Carthage it was a Phoenician Colony. The Phoenicians were mainly active from about 2500BC (Founding of Byblos) 'til around 150BC when Carthage was conquered.
These are all laws, facts, names, and dates you can research yourself. I hope that helps clear up the information disparity!
Oh. They put me on ignore. Nice. Well. Everyone else can enjoy all this information, at least!