At 08:33 98-12-03 +0100, Mag.phil. Raimund Karl wrote:
>Patrick Dundee wrote:
>> At 10:26 pm -0800 1/12/98, John P. Mullen wrote:
>> >Of course, in many cases, a slave could buy his or her own freedom, so
>> >not so cut-and-dried.
>> And be what? What class can he join? He has lost his honour and everything.
>> A hereditary serf might be different and semi-unfree but slaves were just
>Depends on what he had been before becoming a slave and what he could
>afford after having bought back his freedom. If he had enough surplus
>money to aqquire enough land and cattle this would allow him to start
>anew as a farmer of a rank appropriate to his ownings - even though,
>most probably, the local farmer, if they knew he had been a slave, would
>not very much appreciate his presence.
What about the land-owing structure, where the family as a whole could
possess land, but not individuals? Could a single, family-independent
person be recognized as a farm owner? I've read St. Patrick had problems
with being recognized as equal to the Irish, to whom he brought
Christianity, because he didn't belong to any family, he was just a single
stranger. For example, could a child or a grandchild of an enslaved war
prisoner become a free farmer, if he hadn't any family around?
Was one, who got enslaved because he couldn't pay his debts (and his
descendants) still a member of his family at all after he had got enslaved?
If not, did his family accept them back after they had bought their
freedom? If yes, did it influence his situation in any way?
>However, more likely would be a slow upward social mobility, for
>instance the slave buying back his freedom to become a semi-free tenant
>(or tenant at will), his children moving up to servant rank, and only
>their children then moving up to the lowest rank of farmer.
>Also, I think it is too easy to assume that slaves were just that - one
>can even deduct from the lawtracts that slaves or former slaves could
>become of relative great importance - for instance is recommended in the
>lawtexts for a king to take as one man of his personal bodyguard a man
>he freed from slavery or capital punishment.