previous next

The Hebrews, when they burst the bands of their

Chap. V.}
own thraldom, carried with them beyond the desert the institution of slavery. The light that broke from Sinai scattered the corrupting illusions of polytheism; but slavery planted itself even in the promised land, on the banks of Siloa, near the oracles of God. The Hebrew father might doom his daughter to bondage; the wife, and children, and posterity of the emancipated slave, remained the property of the master and his heirs; and if a slave, though mortally wounded by his master, did but languish of his wounds for a day, the owner escaped with impunity; for the slave was his master's money. It is even probable, that, at a later period, a man's family might be sold for the payment of debts.1

The countries that bordered on Palestine were equally familiar with domestic servitude; and, like Babylon, Tyre also, the oldest and most famous commercial city of Phenicia, was a market ‘for the persons of men.’2 The Scythians of the desert had already established slavery throughout the plains and forests of the unknown north.

Old as are the traditions of Greece, the existence of slavery is older. The wrath of Achilles grew out of a quarrel for a slave; the Grecian dames had crowds of servile attendants; the heroes before Troy made excursions into the neighboring villages and towns to enslave the inhabitants. Greek pirates, roving, like the corsairs of Barbary, in quest of men, laid the foundations of Greek commerce; each commercial town was a slave-mart; and every cottage near the sea-side was in danger from the

1 Exodus, XXI. 4, 5, 6, 7. 21. Matthew, XVIII. 25

2 Ezekiel, XXVII. 13. Revelation, XVIII. 13.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Sinai (Egypt) (1)
Phoenicia (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Ezekiel (1)
Barbary (1)
Achilles (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: