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ROME-MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.

a laboring race. The warrior-race must be supplied by the birth of sons and the

laboring race by a stream of captives, taken adult. To enslave prisoners seemed

natural, and the damnable atrocity of the abstract principle seems never to have

shocked the leathern conscience of antiquity.

The Roman familia meant the whole group of persons associated with a given

household. This included the family proper, the slaves, dependents, and

incidental attaches of the master. Sometimes in the case of a grandee of high

rank ten thousand persons were thus grouped in a single familia. Such was the

house of Orgetorix, mentioned in the first book of Caesar's Commentaries. Over

this large aggregation of human beings the authority of the pater familias was

absolute. Especially was this true of the slaves. As to them he had and exercised

potestas vitae necisque, the power of life and death. The Roman character was

such as to make this power one of fearful import. The servile race knew no

favors, received no mercy. The master might destroy his slaves with impunity. A

runaway was treated as a wild beast. He was pursued, caught, branded, beaten,

crucified, any thing according to the caprice and passion of his owner. If he

turned upon and killed his master all his fellow slaves, as well as himself, were

put to death. He was merely a piece of living property, not indeed so well

esteemed as horses and cattle, for the latter were not dangerous to the state.

In the case of masters naturally benevolent- especially if the slaves showed

themselves to be capable of fidelity and truth-kindlier relations sometimes

existed. It is of record that in certain instances the slave was taken into the

confidence of the household and was treated with consideration. Not, however,

until the time of Hadrian did the state institute any measures to soften the

merciless rigor of the slave-code. Christianity, while not opposing herself to

the institution of slavery, did much to relax the jaws of the fierce beast of

Roman cruelty. In the communion service of the early church the slave and his

master must meet on terms of equality; and there no doubt the poor wretches of

the servile class became more respected than in any other situation in which they

were placed.

In the old hardy Rome of the early Republic the slaves were not numerous. The

ancient Roman, even of the highest rank, was himself a laborer. War, however,

brought in his captives, and servile labor was substituted for free. Then the

number increased. Under the later Republic many grandees could count their slaves

by thousands. City after city and state after state were conquered, and new

trains of prisoners were driven into Rome. The slave market was a glut. He who

would work a farm or a mine bought as many captives as he would, and paid but a

trifle for them. Each master of large property appointed over his slaves a

silentiarius, or overseer, to whom was delegated the owner's authority. The

serviles were divided into groups according to their employment, which ranged all

the way from the hard toil of the mine and the quarry to the care of the library

and the instruction of the master's children. The physician of the familia was

frequently a learned slave, and the Roman noble's secretary was usually chosen

from the servile rank-some educated Greek, who knew more than the pater familias

and all his household together.

The Roman client was not, strictly speaking, included in the familia. He was

originally a dependent of the patrician, to whom he owed certain legal services

and from whom he was entitled to protection. At a later period the clients were

merged into the plebeian class, and constituted one of the chief elements in that

turbulent body of society. The legal relation disappeared, and a personal tie

took its place. The clients continued in dependent attachment to the nobles of

their choice, and the social code required a careful service.

Every morning the clients came in a swarm to their patron's house to pay their

respects and to know his wishes for the day. Perhaps he would go abroad, in which

case Roman vanity required that he should be attended by the whole train of his

dependents. If he were going into the Forum to deliver an oration, then his

clients must be present to support him with applause. They were his backers in

all social and political relations, and for service