Some salient legal dimensions within the Roman 'slave mode of production'

McFarlane, Paul (2014) Some salient legal dimensions within the Roman 'slave mode of production'. LL.M(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information:


In the English speaking world Marxist analysis of Roman law has long been scarce. This is even so in relation to subjects which have been of historical interest to both traditions. In 1988 Zvi Yavetz aptly summed up this analytical reality in relation to the subject of slavery, writing that: ‘For years the judicial aspects of slavery which were the focus of much work done in the West were scorned by Marxist scholars who asserted that the legal status of slaves was in any case not more than a superstructure and its importance should therefore not be exaggerated.’ Whilst the Marxist tradition was correct in some ways to warn against the over exaggeration of the legal dimensions within the vast topic of Roman slavery, it was wrong to take an opposing approach and virtually neglect them altogether. In doing so, a nuanced understanding of the ‘workings’ of the Roman ‘slave mode of production’ became strained and almost impossible. Although this has been partly rectified, this thesis has attempted to go analytically further, by demonstrating, with the aid of Roman historical and legal sources, how the law played a greater and more varied role than the Marxist tradition has hitherto conceded in relation to the ‘slave mode of production’. Particular analysis is afforded to the salient legal institutions of peculium (Chapters Two and Three) and manumission (Chapters Four and Five).

Item Type: Thesis (LL.M(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: slavery, Ancient Rome , law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Metzger, Professor Ernest
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Paul B. McFarlane
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5214
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 May 2014 12:05
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2018 08:22

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