when was the slavery abolished in Rome?

I just want to know when, how, under what circumstances and by whom was slavery abolished in Rome. Did the Church do anything to abolish slavery after being proclaimed as official religion in Rome (313 A.D.)?

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Contrary to deliberate misinformation provided by Catholic apologists, pr agents and spin doctors, the Roman system of slavery officially ended in (537 CE) upon the new laws of Justinian (Codex Iustiniani).

    Prior to these christian laws, by Roman law a slave could technically emancipate themselves from their bonds through duty and service.

    Many hundreds of thousands of former slaves effectively legally won their right of freedom under Roman law. Even the parents of one of the Roman Emperors had once been slaves.

    But at the behest of the Christian church, Justinian decreed as law that emancipation was illegal- once a slave always a slave as a fundamental christian belief.

    Furthermore, the poor workers of the world were re-classed as serfs- that under christian belief and law must honor the laws of their lords. Millions of people across Europe lost their most basic rights and became the effective property of their lords, who in turn were beholden to the church, so therefore became slaves to the Christian church.

    So effectively, christianity didn't end slavery, as some falsely claim- but introduced a wholly evil new concept of slavery- perpetual slavery with no hope of redemption.

    +++The history of evil of the Vatican and slavery+++

    This sadly, is not the end of it. I apologise for the length of words, but here are some of the evil "highlights" of the complete involvement of christianity in slavery:

    (650 CE) That Pope Martin I, also known as St. Martin did issue a Papal Bull stating that anyone telling a slave to despise his master or withdraw from his service shall be excommunicated, therefore a heretic, therefore liable to death by burning and forfeit of all property;

    (1179 CE) That Pope Alexander III and the bishops representing the whole Catholic Church at the Third Lateran Council of 1179 to vote to imposed slavery on those helping the Saracens (***** Kingdom of Africa). That this action represents a historic milestone in the establishment of the international slave trade by the Roman Catholic Church

    (1265) That Pope Clement IV did sell millions of South Italians to Charles of Anjou as virtual slaves for a yearly tribute of 800 ounces of gold on the condition that failure to pay would mean excommunication to him, all his descendents and court, with all that this implied.

    (1391) Seville Jews Archbishop Martinez of Seville launches Holy War on Jews resulting in 4000 lives lost; 25,000 surviving Jews sold into slavery where archbishop forces those aged over 10 to wear identification badges. That instruction on these methods are later incorporated by the Vatican when instructing the Nazis on implementing the Vatican’s “Final Solution” Plan.

    (1430) That Pope Martin V did pioneer the legal framework for establishing one of the single most profitable enterprises of the Roman Catholic Church being the international slave trade by granting by Papal Bull (now “lost”) certain rights to trade slaves in exchange for fees to King John II of Castile.

    (1435) That Pope Eugenius IV with full authority as Supreme Pontiff of Christianity did knowingly and deliberately establish the enterprise of international sanctioned and “legal” slave trade beginning with Africa through the Papal Bulls of Sicut Dudum (1435) (non-christian slaves lawful) and Illius Qui (1442). Furthermore, that Pope Eugenius IV and the Roman Catholic Church in creating a “lawful” framework for the international trade of slaves beginning with Africa did establish a formal license system giving authority to both territories and numbers of slaves taken according to a schedule of fees paid to the Roman Catholic Church.

    (1442) That Pope Felix V. did issue the Papal Bull Illius Qui (1442), Endorsing Portugal slave trade for non-christians in the Canary Islands in exchange for fees paid to the Vatican per slave successful delivered alive. That slaver traders did not have to pay royalty fees to the Catholic Church for “damaged cargo”, when slaves died on the journey to their destination.

    (1493) That Pope Pope Alexander VI with full authority as Supreme Pontiff of Christianity did knowingly and deliberately expand its enterprise of international slave trade controlled through license by the Roman Catholic Church to legally control the slave trade of the Caribbean and ensure it maintained control over fees and quotas for the expanding international slave trade and unknown territories including Asia, the Americas, but not restricted to India and South East Asia. This this was accomplished through the Papal Bull Inter caetera issued by Pope Alexander VI on May 4, 1493, which granted to Spain all lands to the "west and south" of a meridian 100 leagues (418 km) west of the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands, at 36°8'W.

    This bull was silent regarding whether lands to the east of the line would belong to Portugal, which had only recently reached the southern tip of Africa (1488) and had not yet reached India (1498). These lands were "to be discovered" beyond those along the west coast of Africa as far as Guinea that were given to Portugal via the 1481 bull Aeterni regis, which had ratified the Treaty of Alcaçovas. Moreover, in the bull Dudum siquidem dated September 25, 1493 entitled Extension of the Apostolic Grant and Donation of the Indies, the Pope granted to Spain even those lands in eastern waters that "at one time or even yet belonged to India." This nullification of Portugal's aspirations led to the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal, which moved the line a little further west to 39°53'W.

    Initially, the division line did not explicitly extend around the globe. Spain and Portugal could pass each other toward the west or east, respectively, on the other side of the globe and still possess whatever they were first to discover. In response to Portugal's discovery of the Spice Islands in 1512, the Spanish put forward the idea, in 1518, that Pope Alexander had divided the world into two halves. The antipodal line in the eastern hemisphere was then established by the Treaty of Saragossa (1529) near 145°E.

    (1537) That the Papal Bull Sublimis Deus concerning the morality of enslavement of coloured people from West and South Indies was a deliberate forgery.The original bull indicated only that Indians were capable of being Catholic, not banning slavery to non converts.

    (1548 CE) 1548 CE: Pope Paul III confirmed that any individual may freely buy, sell and own slaves. Runaway slaves were to be returned to their owners for punishment.

    (1629 CE) That Pope Urban VIII and his family did personally purchase, sell and profit from the trade of Muslim slaves.

    (1645 CE) That Pope Innocent X and his family did personally purchase, sell and profit from the trade of Muslim slaves.

    (1661 CE) Pope Alexander VII in 1661 was personally involved in the purchase of Muslim slaves.

    (1866) That the Holy Office upon the orders of Pope Pius IX did declare on 20 June 1866: “Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons.... It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given”. That this position was officially published as part of a campaign to encourage European and Latin American Catholic nations to enter the war on the side of the South to ensure the most profitable slave market for the Vatican remained operational.

    (1227-1917) The Roman Catholic Church did maintain the legitimacy of slavery as law in the official Corpus Iuris Canonici (Canon Law), based on the Decretum Gratiani, and Nova Compilatio decretalium (New Compilation of Decretals) which became the official law of the Church since Pope Gregory IX in 1227. Furthermore, that this law enabled slave traders during this century to be free of any charge of heresy (therefore loss of property) as well as ensure their protected by church law. That this law promoting the international slave trade by the Catholic Church was only repealed in the 20th Century on, May 27, 1917.

    +++The blood of millions on their hands+++

    Any person who denies the complete and total support and involvement of the christian church, specifcially the Vatican in slavery for the past 1400 years is guilty of an even more evil crime than deny the holocaust.

    It is a history wholly evil in which millions of innocent people, espcially women and children were brutalized, tortured and effectively murdered for profit. The church has their blood on their hands.

    I leave it up to you and your readers to decide who to believe on this history of evil.

    • 6 years agoReport

      Nice hate rant. I totally feel super guilty now; you're right if we ignored this we would start up slavery again!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Slavery was never abolished in the Roman Empire. The Church did not condemn slavery as such though it didn't really like it very much, especially is the slaves were Christians. Slavery withered away for a combination of economic and social reasons in Europe during the Middle Ages, to be revived again in early modern times.

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  • 1 decade ago

    As the others pointed out, slavery was never abolished in the Roman Empire. What you may be thinking of, however, is that slaves could be freed. Many times they were freed in the wills of their owners when the owners died; other times they were freed as a reward for good work and long service. Unfortunately although they were now called "freedmen" that in itself carried a social taint, and even the son of a freedman was not considered a Roman citizen's "equal."

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, you mean other peole endured slavery besides the blacks? The way SOME of them speak, they were the only people throughout history that suffered.

    I believe the Romans had slaves up until the fall of the empire. The games they had in the coliseum was big business. I read a book on it once and it was very disturbing.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, slavery was never abolished in the Roman Empire.

    The Bible does not condemn slavery. Colossians 3:22 even states, "Slaves, obey your human masters in everything."

    This was much debated before and during the US Civil War.

    The Catholic Church was one of the first groups to condemn slavery.

    The condemnation of slavery is one of those nonbiblical doctrines that Catholics have developed through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit over the centuries.

    + In 1462, Pius II declared slavery to be "a great crime" (magnum scelus)

    + In 1537, Paul III forbade the enslavement of the Indians

    + Urban VIII forbade it in 1639

    + Benedict XIV forbade it in 1741

    + Pius VII demanded of the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, the suppression of the slave trade

    + Gregory XVI condemned it in 1839

    + In the Bull of Canonization of the Jesuit Peter Claver, one of the most illustrious adversaries of slavery, Pius IX branded the "supreme villainy" (summum nefas) of the slave traders.

    + Leo XIII, in 1888, addressed a letter to the Brazilian bishops, exhorting them to banish from their country the remnants of slavery -- a letter to which the bishops responded with their most energetic efforts, and some generous slave-owners by freeing their slaves in a body, as in the first ages of the Church.

    With love in Christ.

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  • 4 years ago

    nicely, it may be one those issues that are "eased into," because of the fact slavery wasn't that undesirable in Rome, so in step with risk considering the fact that slaves might desire to already purchase they are freedom, and that it wasn't terrible, in step with risk they could commence doing much less no longer difficulty-free labor, and making a slave's existence much less torchorous, letting the slave inhabitants cut back, and then commence paying each and every of the slaves, and then; not greater slavery

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  • 4 years ago

    It is interesting to note that Roman slavery was not based on race. during ancient Rome african and sub saharan africans freely did trade and black tradesmen made things in the ancient Rome as freemen.

    • Libo3 years agoReport

      It was never about race, its about free labour. White people can't simply go into Europe, Asia or Africa. African empires conquered lands and captured black people, who were then traded for weapons and horses for white traders. A country won't just go hey they are black lets capture em.............

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't believe it ever was.

    There may have been some social restraints on having Christian slaves after Christianity became the state religion, but as far as I know, there was never an official abolition of it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    ROFL HELL NO, romans had slaves all the way until the fall of the Empire.

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