Lecture 9.pdf-Emancipation - manumission...
Lecture_9.pdf-Emancipation - manumission is a word
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Lecture 9.pdf-Emancipation - manumission is a word
Lecture_9.pdf-Emancipation - manumission is a word
Lecture 9.pdf-Emancipation - manumi...
Lecture_9.pdf-Emancipation - manumission is a word
Page 1
Emancipation - manumission is a word that comes from the Latin because the Romans
practiced the custom of “freeing” their slaves - that is letting them go from their control
mission=letting go, manu=hand
Manumitted slaves were called freedmen/women
Gladiators and prostitutes were the least likely to be manumitted
Some slaves bought their freedom by paying their master from their savings (peculium)
Reasons to free a slave
Compassionate master
Show off wealth
Offer incentive to other slaves to work hard
Master could free slave by:
Appearing before the magistrate (praetor or consul) who would touch the slave and thus
set him/her free
Stating in a will that he/she wishes to free X slaves upon death
Roman Theater
Theatrical performances in Rome
First begin in 4th century
Some improv plays by Etruscan actors
After 240 BCE, Roman drama (tragedies and comedies) is staged
Actors are low class citizens, slaves, or freedmen
Bad reputation
Women do not act
Indicated specific characters
Covered the actor’s entire head
Made out of cheap material
First permanent Roman theater in the city is not built until 55 BCE - Theater of Pompey and the
Theater of Marcellus
In Platus’ time, theater structure was temporary, made out of wood and torn down after
festivals ended - problem with fires
Did not allow permanent stone structures
Plautus Casina
Plautus lived during 2nd punic war and wrote famous Roman comedies
Casina was one of his last plays
Casina - slave girl from the word CINNAMON
Performances are accompanied by music which is now lost
Instrument - tibia (pair of pipes)

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Roman Comedy Characters
The themes of the plays have to do with every day life issues: falling in and out of love,
marriage, money and property, master-slave relations
Roman comedy employes stock characters in every play
Old man is usually paterfamilias - could be strict or soft - could be in love with a
much younger girl or disagree with son’s plan to marry a girl
Young man madly in love
Clever slave is the one who moves the plot by trying to help out the masters
(benefit himself)
Girl - object of affection
Wife - tries to obstruct her husband’s amorous plans

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