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Article contents

STAGING ROMAN SLAVERY IN THE SECOND CENTURY BCE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2020

Hannah Čulik-Baird*
Affiliation:
Boston Universityculik@bu.edu

Extract

In 167 BCE, L. Aemilius Paullus celebrated a triumph in Rome following the defeat of King Perseus of Macedon at the Battle of Pydna in the previous year. All of the accounts of the procession enumerate the incredible volume of booty that was paraded into Rome—wagons loaded with shields, weapons, statues of gods and men, golden bowls, livestock, luxury goods. Perseus himself, the defeated king, marched in this procession, as did his two sons and a daughter. Plutarch writes that ‘the children of Perseus were led along as slaves’: τὰ τέκνα τοῦ βασιλέως ἤγετο δοῦλα (Aem. 33.6), and that they were accompanied by their tutors who wept, taught the royal children to beg, and stretched out their hands to the Romans, who are here called ‘spectators’ (θεατάς, ib.). Perseus himself comes next, dressed in the black of mourning. Plutarch goes on to give a psychological picture of Perseus—he is dumbstruck and gaping, unable to process how his life had been turned upside down (34.1). Because Perseus could not face suicide, Plutarch says, ‘he converted himself into part of his own spoil’ (34.2).

Type
Research Article
Information
Ramus , Volume 48 , Issue 2 , December 2019 , pp. 174 - 197
Copyright
Copyright © Ramus 2020

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