Classical Greek ethnography and the slave trade

Tom Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper draws upon analogy with better documented slave societies (the medieval Islamic world, and the eighteenth-century Caribbean) to argue, first, that the institution of slavery was a major factor in fostering a discourse on the differences among foreign peoples; and secondly that Greek ethnographic writing was informed by the experience of slavery, containing implicit justifications of slavery as an institution. It then considers the implications of these conclusions for our understanding of Greek representations of the barbarian world, and for Greek contact with non-Greeks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-57
JournalClassical Antiquity
Issue number1
Early online date18 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Greek slavery
  • Caribbean slavery
  • Medieval Islamic slavery
  • Slave trade
  • Ethnic stereotyping
  • Thrace
  • Barbaroi
  • Slave origins
  • Contact
  • Ethnography
  • Herodotus


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