RGGA talk "Comparative history of slavery: issues and methods" by Paulin Ismard

Thursday, April 21, 2022 12:30to14:00
Online though Zoom
Event poster

This talk is the last one in the "Slavery in the ancient worlds" series

Talk by Paulin Ismard on "Comparative history of slavery: issues and methods"

Paulin Ismard will question the benefit that specialists of Greco-Roman slavery can gain from dialogue with the historians of slavery from other periods. Considering the question of the relationship between debt, servitude and slavery in archaic Greece (7th-6th centuries B.C.), ee will first show how recent approaches in the field of the global history of labour and slavery are successful in renewing our understanding of the alleged birth of chattel-slavery in Greece. The history of archaic Greece can no longer be separated from all the developments of the eastern Mediterranean world. But such a research perspective cannot grasp in all its complexity the functioning of societies of classical antiquity, which placed the institution of slavery at the center of their functioning and collective imaginary. A "morphological" comparative approach, redefined both in its scales of observation and in its methods and goals, is then necessary and this will be shown by focusing on a recent collective publication I have edited, Les mondes de l’esclavage. Une histoire comparée (Paris, Seuil, 2021).

Paulin Ismard is Professor in Ancient History at the Aix Marseille University. His work focuses mainly on the history of slavery in ancient Greece of classical and Hellenistic periods, in its political dimension (Democracy’s slaves. A Political history of ancient Greece, Harvard, 2017, on public slavery) and its legal aspects (La cité et ses esclaves. Institution, fictions, experiences, Paris, Seuil, 2019). He has recently edited a collective publication on the comparative history of slavery : Les mondes de l’esclavage. Une histoire comparée (Paris, Seuil, 2021). He also works on politics in ancient Greece (La cité des réseaux. Athènes et ses associations, VIe-Ier s. avt. J.-C, Paris, Publ. de la Sorbonne, 2010 ; L’événement Socrate, Paris, Flammarion, 2013). He has been member of the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton (2015-2016) and the Center for Hellenic Studies of Washington.

To register please email lincentre [at] mcgill.ca

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