How can a people simultaneously hold freedom as the highest good and enslave millions? I examine this ideological dimension behind ancient Greek slavery in my DPhil project using both explicit evidence (outright justifications) and implicit evidence (evidence which does not attempt to justify, but allows us to reconstruct what justifications the author may have believed in). In addition to significantly increasing the amount of available data, focussing on implicit justifications allows us to reconstruct something closer to immediate, instinctual opinions. What do ancient Greeks think about the justice of slavery when they are not actively justifying the practice, when they think no one is watching?
This project is partially based on my previous work, especially my MPhil dissertation What’s in a number? How the Greeks and Romans sold people. My other interests include the history of Sexuality and Gender and Greek Epigraphy