From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_quicksilver.net.nz>
Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 23:44:35 +1200

Mark Stanhope:

> I have always thought that the Lunar empire (like many empires) would have
>required a steady stream of slaves from the Barbarian lands into the
>heartlands. Does anybody have any views on this?

For starters, "require" is far too strong (and most empires AFAIK did not need slaves). The Lunar Empire *currently* has a steady stream of slaves from barbarian lands because there is trouble there. Other sources of slaves are convicted criminals and bankrupts. If one includes other forms of servitude (such as serfdom, indentured labour etc), then the unfree people of the empire are largely born to their status rather than taken as captives in the wars. As a proportion of population, the Empire has far fewer slaves than the Roman Empire or the Athenians.

>Additionally would any of the borderlands do anything about freeing these

What could they do? They are in the borderlands and the slaves are in the heartlands.

>If anybody freed them what would they do, run back home (could be a
>long journey) or seek the nearest safe haven?

 From the mention of safe-haven, you make it sound like you are thinking of slaves being freed through covert and illicit actions rather through owner manumission. The latter was historically far more common and in Rome, the freedmen were often set up by the owner in some small business with the understanding that they pay a portion of the proceeds to the owner.

--Peter Metcalfe

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Received on Sat 10 Jul 2004 - 06:57:00 EEST

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