Work, Identity, And Legal Status At Rome

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In Work, Identity, and Legal Status at Rome, Sandra R. Joshel examines Roman commemorative inscriptions from the first and second centuries A.D. to determine ways in which slaves, freed slaves, and unprivileged freeborn citizens used work to frame their identities. The inscriptions indicate the significance of work-as a source of community, a way to reframe the conditions of legal status, an assertion of activity against upper-class passivity, and a standard of assessment based on economic achievement rather than birth.

Drawing on sociology, anthropology, ethnography, and women’s history, this thoroughly documented volume illuminates the dynamics of work and slavery at Rome.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806124445
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/1992
  • Series: Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra R. Joshel, who holds a doctoral degree in history from Rutgers University, teaches at the New England conservatory of Music.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
Ch. 1 Listening to Silence: Problems in the Epistemology of Muted Groups 3
The Problem of Exclusion: Literature and Inscription 3
Strategies of Listening: Women's History and Ethnography 9
The Occupational Inscriptions: Sampling and Analysis 16
The Occupational Inscriptions and Roman Social History 20
Work, Identity, and Legal Status at Rome 23
Ch. 2 Slavery, Freedom, and the Construction of Identity 25
Legal Status: The Components of What Was Given 27
Formal Nomenclature and Status Indication: What's in a Name? 35
Assessing Legal Status: What They Did and What We Can Know 37
The Legal Status of Men and Women with Occupational Title 46
Toward an Understanding of the Significance of Occupational Title 49
Ch. 3 The Meanings of Work 62
Naming and Claiming: Attitudes Toward Work in Latin Literature 63
Occupational Structure: The Work Named in Roman Inscriptions 69
Occupational Titles and the Needs of Rome's Elite 71
Naming and Claiming: Commercial Success and Professional Prestige 76
Ch. 4 Work in Its Social Context: The Question of Community 92
Two Occupational Structures and the Movement Between Two Worlds 94
Work, Status, and Community: Household, Shop, and Collegium 98
Ch. 5 The Re-formation of What Was Given 123
The Question of Predominance 124
The Freed Artisan: Framing a Free Present 128
The Domestic Servant: Reframing the Terms of Power and Dependence 145
Conclusions 162
Appendix 1: Some Useful Terms 171
Appendix 2: Occupational Categories and Glossary 173
Appendix 3: The Roman Population with Occupational Titles 183
Notes 187
Bibliography 217
Index 227
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