Constructing Harmony: Manumission Narratives in Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus

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This thesis applies a constructive model in its examination of four of the most important manumission narratives in the histories of Livy and of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, namely (1) Romulus and the first Roman manumission, (2) Servius Tullius’ institution of manumission by census (manumissio censu), (3) the slave Vindicius, who gave his name to manumission by rod (manumissio vindicta), and (4) the volones, slave soldiers purchased and armed by the Roman state following the Cannae disaster. I argue that manumission narratives allowed the historians to construct a past that aligned with the present and future, and in so doing they helped mediate the contradiction between the Romans’ respect for the institution of manumission and their anxiety over its consequence, that is, the integration of former slaves into the citizen body.

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49 pages
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2022-08
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Dionysius of Halicarnassus; freedom; Livy; manumission; Rome; slavery
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Giannella, Nicole Julia
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Anderson, Benjamin William
Degree Discipline
Classics
Degree Name
M.A., Classics
Degree Level
Master of Arts
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Government Document
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dissertation or thesis
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