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Author Topic: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr  (Read 1124 times)

LifeNTimes

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Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone knew of resources, or had any thoughts about some of the day to day routine for slaves in a mid-level Holder household, say something like a continental or planetary Holder?  I'm trying to understand my character's Clan background and I'm thinking that her first free ancestor came from one of these type of holdings.

I've read up on the HEP and Kameiras and have found numerous posts detailing the most harsh and sadistic treatment of Matari slaves by arrogant, bored, and imperious masters.  But given a stable slavery society over several millennia, it seems that those type of blatant abuses would be more the exception than the rule throughout the Empire.  I'm interested in what life would be like on a fairly mundane and stable holding where slave families might have been owned for generations and trusted slaves would fill a wider variety of occupations.

I've heard stories where Matari slaves were entrusted with administration and management responsibilities, even piloting ships for their masters at times and it put min in the mind of established slave/master relationships that I've heard of in history and thought about going that way with it.  Am I off track with that?
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Elmund Egivand

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #1 on: 23 Aug 2016, 01:49 »

The Chronicle Chained to the Sky (https://community.eveonline.com/backstory/chronicles/chained-to-the-sky/) describes a slave who is also a University professor. Have a look-see.
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LifeNTimes

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #2 on: 24 Aug 2016, 13:22 »

Thanks!

Man, I've really got to sit down over a long weekend with those chronicles.  I've only been able to skim them, but I keep missing the ones that I really want to see :)

That's pretty much along the line that I was thinking about.  I get the idea that Felise's ancestors were definitely the 'houseborn' type of slave (if I have the distinction right). In fact, given the bureaucratic nature of Vherokiors in general, it seems like many would fill that caste of slave. 

With her family's backstory, I'm interested in exploring the facet of slavery that exist when visible threats of rebellion are gone and you have this level of trust and personal relationship between slave/master.  I think it definitely makes slavery more complicated and in many ways, much more insidious and dehumanizing than the gross physical torture.  Yet for any stable, long-term slave society, it's an absolute cultural and social must.

Then there's the question of transitioning to that 'gilded cage' to true freedom...
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Elmund Egivand

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #3 on: 24 Aug 2016, 22:13 »

Slavery in the Amarr is a little more similar to slavery in the Ottoman Empire than slavery in pre-Civil War America or Athens. Not to mention all the religious undertones as well. The official stance on slavery in the Amarr Empire is less 'labour exploitation' and more 'educate the wayward children'. Unofficially, however, it varies between Holders. Actual sugar plantation-type slavery is not unheard of.

Just remember that the idea of slavery is less about physical torture and more along the idea of treating a human being as property. That's what's insidious about slavery. It promotes the idea that some people are less human and need not be treated as such (no human rights or etc).
« Last Edit: 24 Aug 2016, 22:17 by Elmund Egivand »
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Morwen Lagann

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #4 on: 25 Aug 2016, 02:30 »

Well, slaves in the Empire do have some rights.

Just fewer/less than other people, and not so much in the way of exercising free will.
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Elmund Egivand

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #5 on: 25 Aug 2016, 04:26 »

Well, slaves in the Empire do have some rights.

Just fewer/less than other people, and not so much in the way of exercising free will.

One example of such a thing happening would be in the Ottoman Empire, hence my recommendation of using that as a topic of study.

Still the idea remains. You are a lesser being. Ergo, it's okay to treat you as property/housepet/lifestock. 
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Lunarisse Aspenstar

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #6 on: 25 Aug 2016, 10:34 »

Agreed on Egimund's view. This is also one reason I've essentially viewed Kameiras as akin to the old ottomon jannisaries.
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Syagrius

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #7 on: 25 Aug 2016, 20:28 »

Perhaps Byzantine more than Ottoman, same geography similar structure, significantly different’ perspective?
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LifeNTimes

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #8 on: 25 Aug 2016, 21:53 »

I think they're both really good comparison in terms of reliance on a bureaucratic slave class to manage a sprawling empire.  The 'improving the wayward' also smacks of British India in some respect and the experiences of slaves that were artisans and officials Rome in spots as well.

I think it definitely makes for some interesting interactions between citizens and slaves when the status is reversed, say a bureaucratic slave representing a large holder and a non-holding or lower holding Ammarian, especially given what I've read about Amarrian ideas of racial superiority.  Definitely seems to be a stage for negotiation various sources of political and social power.

Thanks for the insights  :)
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Elmund Egivand

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #9 on: 26 Aug 2016, 02:00 »

I think they're both really good comparison in terms of reliance on a bureaucratic slave class to manage a sprawling empire.  The 'improving the wayward' also smacks of British India in some respect and the experiences of slaves that were artisans and officials Rome in spots as well.

I think it definitely makes for some interesting interactions between citizens and slaves when the status is reversed, say a bureaucratic slave representing a large holder and a non-holding or lower holding Ammarian, especially given what I've read about Amarrian ideas of racial superiority.  Definitely seems to be a stage for negotiation various sources of political and social power.

Thanks for the insights  :)

Haha, yeah. Imagine that. A higher ranking bureaucratic slave who answers to a Royal Heir directly vs a low ranked Amarr Holder on issues of red tape.
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Arnulf Ogunkoya

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #10 on: 26 Aug 2016, 13:57 »

I guess the Roman style has some similarities in that you have trusted, skilled slaves and people that are worked to death on farms/in mines.

Arnulf's dad is a liberated mine slave which is why he was happy to sign up for the military.
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LifeNTimes

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #11 on: 26 Aug 2016, 21:36 »

Haha, yeah. Imagine that. A higher ranking bureaucratic slave who answers to a Royal Heir directly vs a low ranked Amarr Holder on issues of red tape.

That's what makes it interesting to me.  It seems that any caste-type society like that has these weird spots where the very rules that are meant to keep order create confusion.  It's also a situation where it is difficult to deny the humanity and intrinsic value of slaves independent of their usefulness.  It seems like the kind of situation that Felise's ancestors would exploit.

Going on to Arnulf's point,  I think trust--either of the slave by the master or of system by the slave would definitely play a big part in the autonomy of the slave, how well they were able to be 'brought in line' so to speak.  But so would skill set and job.  Given the Empire's penchant for selective breeding through programs such as HEP, I'm sure they could ensure a certain level of compliance among most slaves...of course until they couldn't.

I see Felise's ancestors as hyper-component civil service slaves for a fairly powerful lord who might have aided the Rebellion during its build up secretly before escaping to Gallente before the hammer dropped as I can't imagine they would have believed in a free Minmatar society surviving for more than a couple of years, at least at first.
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Arnulf Ogunkoya

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #12 on: 27 Aug 2016, 05:29 »

There used to be an Amarr player, I think the character was called Veron Daerth, who presented as one of the "good" holders. Supposedly benevolent enough that his slaves had defended him from Matari raiders looking to free them. Don't know if he's still active through. Might be worth a trawl through the IGS for old posts by him.

I do recall the character had a major grudge against the Blooders for killing some of his family & kidnapping others.
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Nicoletta Mithra

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #13 on: 27 Aug 2016, 18:09 »

The Amarr Epire is vast and there's space for all kind of forms of slavery there. The PF isn't consistent in how it treats the issue of slavery and those inconsistencies can in part be resolved by this. Some inconsistencies might be something that is a real inconsistency in the Amarr cultural sphere.

And example there might be the view of slaves as subhuman (which isn't by the way not something held by all Amarr. In fact, it was first brough up by players and CCP latched onto that and now with Source has been made into the majority view) and the justification for slavery which is education and spiritual enlightenment. The idea of subhumans, if taken literally of course, is quite directly opposed to the idea that people can be educated and through education (and penal labour) be raised up to a higher status of full citizenship becoming pretty much 'Amarr'.

A lot of the fiction on slavery seems to me - from my European perspective - to be drawing on the idea of slavery in the US, plantations and the like. Even in the case of bureaucratic slaves and such it always does stress that the slaves do in some way suffer from that state consciously. There are societies where certainslaves - like in the bureaucracy - had openly a higher status than some freeman and whose positions were seen as desirable, who were also better off then most commoners, at least materially, and arguably even had more freedom, depending on the definition one gives for that.

I think the valuable thing about Amarr slavery is as something by which we can look critically at our own societys, where they grant freedom and what kind of freedom (formal versus actual comes to mind there, primarily) rather than using it as something that we can 'enjoy' from a perspective of feeling like it's something we've risen above and being in the past.

But that's just how I prefer to treat it, so whatever floats the boat, I guess.
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LifeNTimes

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Re: A question about 'everyday' slavery life in Amarr
« Reply #14 on: 28 Aug 2016, 21:21 »

The Amarr Epire is vast and there's space for all kind of forms of slavery there. The PF isn't consistent in how it treats the issue of slavery and those inconsistencies can in part be resolved by this. Some inconsistencies might be something that is a real inconsistency in the Amarr cultural sphere.

I agree wholeheartedly.  I think the vastness and the decentralization of the Amarr Empire really allows for a lot of different takes on slavery to exist simultaneously without it being ridiculous.

The way I see it, the tendency to think of slaves as irredeemably 'subhuman' tends to coincide with the economic need for perpetual slavery (a la the US plantation model) or in a situation where there isn't the expectation of a fresh replenishment of new slave labor from newly conquered enemies.

The Amarr seem to be in a completely different situation that when combined with the 'educate to elevate' model, would seem to tend away from the US model.  However, like you said, that's become part of the lore anyhow, so I think it's valid.  Plus, the sense of economic and imperial satisfaction that might help tend away from the 'subhuman' model can easily be discounted when conditions change.  After conquering the Matari, the Amarr didn't really conquer anyone else for awhile and Matari slaves-particularly unskilled labor, were difficult to control.  So I could see how that could lead some people to adopt a 'subhuman' model.  Ultimately, I think there's an element present in either model, just presented differently.
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I'll have to look up some of Daerth's posts.  That could be telling
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