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“Slavery was a recognized institution of Sumerian society. The temples, palaces, and rich estates owned slaves and exploited them for their own benefit. Many slaves were prisoners of war; these were not necessarily foreigners, but could be Sumerians, from a defeated neighboring city. Slaves were also recruited in other ways: freemen might be reduced to slavery as punishment for certain offenses; parents could sell their children as slaves in time of need; or a man might turn over his entire family to creditors in payment of a debt, but for no longer than three years. The slave was the property of his master. He could be branded and flogged, and was severely punished if he attempted to escape. He did have certain legal rights, however: he could engage in business, borrow money, and buy his freedom. If a slave, male or female, married a free person, the children were free. The sale price of slaves varied with the market and the quality of the individual for sale. The average price for a grown man was ten shekels, which at times was less than the price of an ass.” – Samuel Noah Kramer, “Sumerian History, Culture, and Literature”

Published inPolitics & Law

3 Comments

  1. Averil Averil

    Whew! I haven’t seen you at Betsy’s over the past few days and I was worried. If I hadn’t seen this post today I would’ve had to call out the troops.

    XO

    • Averil, I stopped going to Betsy’s. My WordPress login there got screwed up. I don’t know what happened. It works fine over here. But over at Betsy’s, sometimes I could post, but usually not — WordPress would ask me to log in, then tell me I was already logged in, and wouldn’t let me comment. So I gave up.

      • Averil Averil

        I have the same problem. I don’t try to log in anymore and just write my name in the field at the bottom.

        I miss seeing you there.

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