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Book Review of Slavery in Ancient Greece By Yvon Garlan 1988It is obvious from the beginning that Slavery in Ancient Greece was written to the authors colleagues Garlan The language content and style are noticeably academic and complex The body of the text is devoted to a historical study of the different types of slavery existing within the Greek society of antiquity The chapters are constructed to identify and define the different types of slavery and the practices associated with them It is not until the conclusion of the book that the reader becomes aware of the authors intention to address several questions which have apparently been hotly debated in the historic academic community The questions being Can Greek Antiquity be described as a slave society and Did Greek slaves constitute a social class Garlan 201 By asking these questions Garlan attempts to refute the notion that ancient Greek society was either a model for Marxism or conversely a justification of the slavery practices of the American south Garlan presents the argument that slavery in antiquity was neither it was just what it was a social condition which existed within a historical time period as part of the progression of a developing society It was a society in which aspects of a slave dependent economy and a form of class order existed but not as defined in modern terms which is pointed out is in the following quote Precapitalist societies where exploitation generally proceeds through the direct application of extra-economic constraints to economic life by various institutional means are characterized precisely by the diversity that results from the modes for appropriating the surplus to the profit of minority groups 202 When historians ascribe the same definitions that modern western thought would give to the condition of slavery as it was in antiquity then they have corrupted the truth of the evidence Which is not to say that the debate should not take place but that
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