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[161] kidnapper.1 Greeks enslaved each other. The
Chap. V.}
language of Homer was the mother-tongue of the Helots; the Grecian city that made war on its neighbor city, exulted in its captives as a source of profit;2 the hero of Macedon sold men of his own kindred and language into hopeless slavery. The idea of universal free labor had not been generated. Aristotle had written that all mankind are brothers; yet the thought of equal enfranchisement never presented itself to his sagacious understanding. In every Grecian republic, slavery was an indispensable element.

The wide diffusion of bondage throughout the do minions of Rome, and the extreme severities of the Roman law towards the slave, contributed to hasten the fall of the Roman commonwealth. The power of the father to sell his children, of the creditor to sell his insolvent debtor, of the warrior to sell his captive, carried the influence of the institution into the bosom of every Roman family; into the conditions of every contract; into the heart of every unhappy land that was invaded by the Roman eagle. The slave-markets of Rome were filled with men of every complexion and every clime.3

When the freedom of savage life succeeded in establishing its power on the ruins of the Roman empire, the great swarms of Roman slaves began to disappear; but the middle age witnessed rather a change in the channels of the slave-trade, than a diminution of its evils. The pirate, and the kidnapper, and the conqueror, still continued their pursuits. The Saxon race

1 Thucydides, l. i. c. v.

2 Arist. Pol., l. i. c. 2, censures the practice, which was yet the common law.

3 Senecae Epist. XCV. Agmina exoletorum, per nationes coloresque descripta, &c. De Brevit. Vit. c. XII.

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