ABSTRACT

Beginning with Henri Wallon in 1847, modern scholars have generally taken up the question of slavery and its relationship to ancient Greek political and cultural achievements in a partisan manner (Garlan 1988, 1-14; Vogt 1975, 172; cf. Wood 1988, chapter 1). In the nineteenth century, there was significant resistance to seeing Greek culture as a “slave society”: the abolitionist movement left nineteenth-century Europeans troubled about the inconsistency between the Greeks, revered “Fathers of democracy,” and the Greeks as slaveholders. There is considerably more agreement about and emphasis on slavery now; scholars face the old “contradiction,” but they handle it in different ways. While Moses Finley argues that the enslavement of some was the prerequisite for Greek democracy (1968, 72; cf. Garlan 1988, 39; Austin and Vidal-Naquet 1977, 19), Joseph Vogt rationalizes the contradiction in this way: “Slavery and its attendant loss of humanity were part of the sacrifice which had to be paid for this achievement” (1975, 25).