Re: Off Topic

From: Brian Sullivan (
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 09:33:36 EDT

Dear Robbie,

You asked how many slaves existed in Rome.

Upshur, Terry Kolka, Goff and Cassar (1999, p. 139) state that 'perhaps
one-fourth of the population throughout antiquity consisted of slaves
acquired through warefare, piracy, and trade.' It adds: 'the great majority
of runnaway slaves were consigned to hard labour in the fields and mines.
Runnaways turned to banditry in the Italian countryside and posed a
problemof national security: for example, 100,000 rebellious slaves led by
Spartucus were crushed by Roman legions in 73 BCE, but only after two years
at large, during which they inflicted several defeats on Roman
legions'(ibid p 142).

Stavrianos (1992, p. 52) claims that the world population at the time of
Christ was 133 miliion. There are higher estimates, but if it is any where
near accurate we could guess over 30 million slaves.

OK its only a wild guess but I hope it helps.

Brian Sullivan


Stavrianos, L. S. 'The Nature of Tributary Societies'. Life Lines From Our
Past: A New World History. New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1992, pp. 51-64

Upshur, J., Terry, J., Holoka, J., Goff, R. & Cassar G., World History: Vol
1 - Before 1600: The Development of Early Civilisations', Wadsworth,
Belmont, USA.

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