Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology

Ancient Slavery and Modern IdeologyIn This Thought Provoking Study Of Slavery In Ancient Greece And Italy, Sir Moses Finley Discusses How Slave Societies Came Into Being And Considers The Moral, Social, And Economic Underpinnings That Allowed Them To Prosper His Comparison Of Ancient Slave Societies With Their Relatively Modern Counterparts In The New World Opens A New Perspective On The History Of Slavery Sir Moses Inquiry Sheds Light On The Complex Ways In Which Ideological Interests Affect Historical Interpretation Slaves Have Been Exploited In Most Societies Throughout Human History, But There Have Been Only Five Genuine Slave Societies, And Of These, Two Were In Antiquity Classical Greece And Classical Italy In This Major New Book, The Distinguished Historian Sir Moses Finley Examines Those Two Societies, Not In Isolation, But In Comparison With The Other, Relatively Modern Slave Societies Of The New World. This book is a classic introduction to the topic of slavery in the ancient world Finley was a minimalist historian who eschewed the antiquarian historian those historians content with merely assembling historical material without drawing conclusions I use minimalist in the best possible light one who assembles the data and draws valid conclusions, but thankfully refuses to make learned and usually invalid, not to say insipid guesses base
08 05 2006And the difference between Ancient and Modern Slavery isThis is an important topic given the embarrassing fact of the modern return of Slavery in the midst of the European Enlightenment Indeed, even the United States, the first nation produced by the Enlightenment, was a home to modern slavery What was this enlightened slavery, and how did it differ from the ancient variety Hmmm So, how do we go about distinguishing between ancient and modern slavery Ancient slaveholders originally were masters and knew they were masters because they excelled at violence They had won a war the slaves had lost When questioned deeply about their amazing string of victories, the Romans would generally point to their pietas, which is a religious notion Now, is this the difference between ancient and modern slave societies That in modern times we try to give a scientific explanation of events President Jefferson, a man renowned for his love of freedom, in the midst of a terrifyingly scientistic discussion of the real distinction that nature has made informs us that blacks are in reason much inferior to whites, and in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous Mercifully, the man we remember every Fourth of July had the grace to concede the possibility, even the necessity, that f
Ancient Slavery might well be the most enduring of Finley s books In a generation that has struggled to get beyond the New Orthodoxy that Finley established fifty years ago, this study remains a landmark text Rarely does a work so clearly display the inadequacy of every analytic model that preceded it The title essay surveys of the history of slavery scholarship in classical studies, from the eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth Previous schools of interpretation, Finley claims, have either misinterpreted the evidence and drawn false conclusions about the nature of slavery as did the 19th century abolitionists and 20th century Marxists or else ignored the subject almost entirely as did the 19th century philologists and the 20th century humanist revivalists The latter omission is especially troubling, considering that slaves by modern estimates accounted for twenty to thirty percent of the population of the classical world.Finley suggests three necessary conditions for the emergence o
Let s begin at the beginning this book starts off with an out of date survey of the state of research into ancient slavery That s not an insult the book was written in 1979, and a lot of work has been done since then It discusses a lot of other authors work, without really summarizing most of it If you aren t already up on the work of Eduard Meyer and Joseph Vogt, you might find this confusing I certainly did Stick with it, however After that long first chapter, Finley gets into what we were hoping this book was going to be.Finley s thesis is that a slave society as opposed to a society that includes slavery, which it seems the vast majority of past societies did requires three elements private property, a big market for commodities, and a lack of an internal labor supply He then outlines the emergence of the ancient slave societies of Greece and Rome, discusses debates over their relative humanity, and goes through their declines Along the way he talks about how
Off this review think I ve chosen these books because all of them made a big difference to me I wouldn t be the person I am today without them With Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology by Moses Finley it s all about politics.One of the things that people often imagine about studying something as remote as the ancient world is that it s not engaged with the big issues that we face Finley was a Marxist refugee from McCarthy who left the US before he was pushed and came to the UK I was actually one of his students But, before that, when I read his books it was the first time I realized that there could be, and ought to be, an explicit connection between a modern political stance and the ancient history that I was studying.Slavery is a classic case for thinking about those connections Greece and Rome were one of the few mass slave owning societies that there have ever been What Finley was interested in doing was looking hard at ancient slavery and thinking about how it was the same or different from modern slavery One key difference that comes out is that modern slavery is tinged by racism, whereas ancient slavery wasn t He was the first person I had read who looked ancient slavery in the eye and said it was something really terrible All the stuff that I had read before had been slightly embarrassed about ancient slavery and saw it as a blot on the landscape They
This man is a genius and there are a lot of extremely interesting viewpoints to be found in this book, but hidden within some bad writing I am not saying that it is too difficult to understand or even that it i

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  • Paperback
  • 334 pages
  • Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology
  • Moses I. Finley
  • English
  • 16 October 2017
  • 9781558761711