Slavery is a system under which certain persons are
totally deprived of personal freedom and compelled to
perform labor or services. Although outlawed in nearly
all countries, slavery is still practiced in some parts of the
world. The evidence for slavery predates written records.
It can be found in almost all cultures and continents.
Historically, most slaves were captured in wars but some
persons were sold into slavery by their parents, or by
themselves, as a means of surviving extreme conditions.
Ancient Warfare often resulted in slavery for prisoners
and their families. Captives were often considered the
property of those who captured them and were looked
upon as a prize of war. Those captured sometimes
differed in ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race from
their enslavers, but often were the same as the captors.
The dominant group in an area might take captives and
turn them into slaves. The possibility always existed of
reversals of fortune at the height of the Roman Empire,
when powerful nations fought among themselves,
anyone could find himself enslaved.
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