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David Richardson

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Slaves formed the backbone of Roman society, providing a cheap, often throwaway workforce, which maintained the commerce necessary to under pin an ever growing empire.

Slaves worked in the field, in the country villa, and in the cities. They could win favour and money from their masters and mistresses, ultimately seeking to earn their own freedom. These freed slaves, often clever and well connected, would become very successful business men and women, even in some cases entering Rome’s political power games...

House slaves care and feed their master

Slaves tend the Villa gardens

A house slave keeps track of business for

his mistress

Troublesome slave forced to wear a slave collar