Saturday, July 29, 2006

upscale servitude

In former times, when there was a vast gap between rich and poor, and middle class career paths were few,

knights laid their loads... no,

the very wealthy would buy people to do their work, alleviating resource scarcity and poverty:
As the Roman Empire expanded into Greece, many Greek doctors came to Italy and Rome. Some of these were prisoners of war and could be bought by wealthy Romans to work in a household. Many of these doctors became valuable additions to a household. It is known that a number of these men bought their freedom and set up their own practices in Rome itself. link
Doubtless these purchased doctors (having something to barter) would in turn buy assistants as well as people to cook, clean, etc. Desirable immigrants came in, then, at the top, where personalized cultural exchanges occured within a horizon of eventual economic autonomy.

image via There you go! via


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