On Human Bondage
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On Human Bondage : After Slavery and Social Death

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On Human Bondage a critical reexamination of Orlando Patterson s groundbreaking Slavery and Social Death assesses how his theories have stood the test of time and applies them to new case studies. * Discusses the novel ideas of social death and natal alienation, as Patterson first presented them 35 years ago and as they are understood today * Brings together exciting new work by a group of esteemed historians of slavery, as well as a final chapter by Patterson himself that responds to and expands upon the other contributions * Provides insights into slave societies around the world and across time, from classical Greece and Rome to modern Brazil and the Caribbean, and from Han China and pre-colonial South Asia to early modern Europe and the New World * Delves into a wide range of topics, including the reformation of social identity after slavery, the new historicist approach to slavery, rituals of enslavement and servitude, questions of honor and dishonor, and symbolic imagery of slavery
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Product details

  • Hardback | 328 pages
  • 172 x 251 x 21mm | 674g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1119162483
  • 9781119162483

Back cover copy

A critical reexamination of Orlando Patterson's groundbreaking Slavery and Social Death, On Human Bondage assesses how his theories have stood the test of time and applies them to new case studies. More than 35 years after the publication of Patterson's landmark work, these essays discuss his ideas of social death and natal alienation, as he first presented them and as they have come to be understood today.



The essays bring together exciting new work by a group of esteemed historians of slavery, based on two conferences devoted to understanding the impact of Patterson's cross-cultural work. They provide insights into slave societies around the world and across time, from classical Greece and Rome to modern Brazil and the Caribbean, and from Han China and pre-colonial South Asia to early modern Europe and the New World. The essays delve into a wide range of topics, including the reformation of social identity after slavery, the new historicist approach to slavery, rituals of enslavement and servitude, questions of honor and dishonor, and symbolic imagery of slavery. In addition, a final chapter by Patterson himself responds to the other contributions and advances his own thinking on concepts of property as they relate to slavery; the special connections between women and slavery; and the metaphors of social death and rebirth as dynamic conceptions of slavery and manumission. This collection not only celebrates but also critiques and extends Orlando Patterson's work, a landmark study of slavery that continues to inspire and provoke debate.
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Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables vii Notes on Contributors viii Preface xii Introduction 1 John Bodel and Walter Scheidel 1 Slavery and Personhood in the Neo -Assyrian Empire 15 Heather D. Baker 2 Orlando Patterson, Property, and Ancient Slavery: The Definitional Problem Revisited 31 David M. Lewis 3 Slaves or Serfs?: Patterson on the Thetes and Helots of Ancient Greece 55 Peter Hunt 4 Death and Social Death in Ancient Rome 81 John Bodel 5 Freedom, Slavery, and Female Sexual Honor in Antiquity 109 Kyle Harper 6 Becoming Almost Somebody: Manumission and its Complications in the Early Han Empire 122 Anthony Barbieri -Low 7 Ottoman Elite Enslavement and Social Death 136 Ehud R. Toledano 8 The Locked Box in Slavery and Social Death 151 Indrani Chatterjee 9 Honor and Dishonor in the Slavery of Colonial Brazil 167 Junia Ferreira Furtado 10 (Child) Slavery in Africa as Social Death?: Reponses Past and Present 193 Sandra E. Greene 11 Slavery and Freedom in Small -Scale Societies 210 Catherine M. Cameron 12 Rituals of Enslavement and Markers of Servitude: Orlando Patterson in the American Tropics 226 Fernando Santos -Granero 13 Slavery from Rome to Medieval Europe and Beyond: Words, Things, and Genomes 249 Michael McCormick 14 Revisiting Slavery, Property, and Social Death 265 Orlando Patterson Index 297
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About John Bodel

John Bodel is W. Duncan MacMillan II Professor of Classics and Professor of History at Brown University, USA. He studies ancient Roman history and Latin literature and has special interests in epigraphy, slavery in antiquity, Roman religion, funerals and burial customs, writing systems, and the ancient novel. His books include two other co edited volumes in Wiley s Comparative History series: Household and Family Religion in Antiquity (with S. Olyan, 2008) and Highways, Byways, and Road Systems in the Pre Modern World (with S. E. Alcock and R. J. Talbert, 2012). Since 1995, he has directed the US Epigraphy Project, which gathers and shares information about ancient Greek and Latin inscriptions in the United States (http://usepigraphy.brown.edu). Walter Scheidel is the Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and History, and a Kennedy Grossman Fellow in Human Biology at Stanford University, USA. He has published widely on ancient social and economic history, premodern demography, and the comparative history of labor and state formation.
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