The slaves constituted a free source of labor. One could become enslaved for debts or as war prisoner.
The life of the slaves was not bad in the beginning of the rise of Rome. They were few and had a value. That's why their masters made sure they were well taken care of.
Sometimes, a relationship of brotherhood was established between the master and the slave, especially when they worked side to side in the fields every day.
When Rome's power increased, things changed a lot. Due to the continuous wars, the number of the slaves and war prisoners increased substantially.
Each city had its own slave market and their cost was extremely low. This was the worst period for the slaves. Their life had no value, they were considered an object and their masters had power of life and death over them.
The situation was different for the prisoners coming from Greece. Due to their education, they were used as instructors and teachers.
The slaves, who could pay a considerable sum for their ransom, were called "liberti".

(Rita B.)

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