This chapter analyses the use of slave labour in various sectors of the Roman economy, with specific attention to the provinces. Data are taken mainly from purchase contracts. The study will cover cases from different times, but also different places at the same time, underlining changes and continuity. Attention will be given to slaves who were not object of purchases, but acted as subjects, even when they did so in the interest of their “domini”. The study will show how the Marxian concept of “ancient mode of production” when applied to the Roman world must be extended to include all economic activities managed by slaves, acting with ample autonomy.
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