Presenter: Associate Professor Frederik Vervaet (University of Melbourne)

The resounding defeat of Antigonid Macedonia at Pydna in 168 BCE turned Rome into the Mediterranean’s sole hegemonic power. This geopolitical watershed had tremendous ramifications for the Roman-controlled slave trade. This trade now took the form of a veritable public-private partnership that saw the involuntary migration of countless men, women and children who had been enslaved in the new territories that Rome had conquered. The most notorious unintended consequence of this mass deportation is the series of four major slave wars that rocked Sicily and Italy from c. 136 to 36. After scrutinizing the socio-institutional and economical aspects of this connection between conquest and slave wars, this seminar explores the poorly understood question why the establishment of the Augustan monarchy marked the end of such wars. This issue is all the more deserving of attention, because mass enslavement and collective deportations continued unabated under Augustus’s reign until at least c. 10. The seminar seeks to identify the political, socio-institutional and socio-economic causes for the disappearance of slave wars under Augustus and his immediate successors.

The podcast of the seminar is available from UQ eSpace.