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Classics Presents... Dr. Roberta Stewart - Cicero Slave-Holder: Cicero, Tiro, and the Relationships of Roman Slavery.

Monday, March 28, 2022
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Roberta Stewart, Professor, Department of Classics, Dartmouth College

Cicero Slave-Holder: Cicero, Tiro, and the Relationships of Roman Slavery.​

Cicero's correspondence with the enslaved person Tiro  gives us an archive we otherwise do not possess from classical antiquity: a sustained carefully fashioned dialogue between a slave owner and the enslaved person whose labor he claims. The letters allow us to track the contest for labor and the personal relationships of slavery, as well as the effects of Roman manumission on the relationship of slave-holder and the enslaved person manumitted into citizenship. The letters present a discourse of shared confidences and concerned care articulated by Cicero for Tiro, and they suggest the parameters of action for an enslaved person. Most important they reveal the role of the family in the manumission and freedom of Tiro. Manumission was for the familia Cicero a family affair and everyone laid claim to the patronage of Tiro and the obligations owed to them by him. The freed slave emerges as embedded in enduring relationships of obligation, especially obligatory affect.

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