Same Slave Different Land

  1. Citation for article:

Sara Forsdyke. (2015). SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece. Common Knowledge, 21(1), 19-43.

2. This article is apart of a scholarly journal, Duke University Press. It’s intended audience is college students or professors interested in the history Slavery in ancient Greece and its resolution.

3. This article “Spoke to me” because of its title and that I had trouble finding whether the author ever mentions Sicily. I read it twice! Thankfully, adobe reader has a useful tool called “find” (control + “F”).The author explains in greater depths how ancient people thought of slavery as “natural and inevitable”  (Forsdyke,2015). She writes: “One of the most colorful and explicit of the didactic stories on this theme is told about a Sicilian slave owner named Damophilos whose abuse of his many slaves was viewed as a
contributing cause of the First Sicilian Slave War of 135 to 132 BCE.” (Forsdyke,2015). As the story goes, a slave owner, Damophilos, and his wife, Megallis competed in horrific ways to torture their slaves. The slaves were tortured so much they grew hate toward their sadistic masters and rebelled, killing them both in the sadistic ways they had been punished. The story was written to explain that if slaves were treated as human they would behave and arrogant owners are the reason the “slaves were reduced to
the level of wild beasts” (Forsdyke, 2015). The tale of this slave rebellion highly relates to the slave rebellion of the united states by implying that if slaves were treated as human, not abused and given care then they would have no reason to rebel or feel less than. The author offers a reason the term “slavery” is considered bad because of the treatment of the slaves and not the labor they had to do.


An Unoriginal Experiment

In the scholarly article “Polybius and the American Constitution”, Gilbert Chinard tells of how America’s Founding Fathers used the writing of the Greeks and Romans in framing the Constitution. This is a story he tells to other experts in classical histories, evident in his use of uncommon Latin phrases. He connects my search terms “Polybius” and “United States Constitution” by commenting directly on the Founders’ (Madison and Adams) use and knowledge of Polybius’s writings. Chinard even goes so far as to include a direct quote from Polybius:  “such being the power of each order to hurt and assist each other, their union is adapted to all contingencies, and it is not possible to invent a more perfect system.” He continues to explain how they agreed and disagreed with Polybius’s ideas about the optimal constitution. Polybius says: “For it is evident that we must regard as the best constitution a combination of all these three varieties.” It is this reverence for the Roman constitution, the balance of the different types of constitution, that is the main focus of Chinard’s article. In short, Madison and other founders used Polybius’s writing and the writing of other ancient historians to make arguments in favor of ratifying the Constitution in 1787.


Chinard, Gilbert. “Polybius and the American Constitution.” Journal of the History of Ideas Vol. 1, No. 1 (1940) Pages 38-58.

Land Reform But To What End?

Appropriate Citation:

McInnis, Edward. “The Antebellum American Textbook Authors’ Populist History of Roman Land Reform and the Gracchi Brothers.” Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society; Oxford, Vol. 7, Iss. 1,  2015, 6 November 2017.

The main audience for this essay is anyone who is a student that needs to accurately learn about the Grachi land reform policy and its connection to the modern day American political system. We see the author merge the two topics after he briefly gives a backstory to the history of the Grachus brothers and then brings to the attention of the reader behind the reason the topics are connected “2,000 years later, American political leaders and commentators would resurrect parts of the history of the Gracchan reform effort to promote their own causes and agendas.”(26)

“What Gracchus had in his mind in proposing the measure was not money, but men. Inspired greatly by the usefulness of the work, and believing that nothing more advantageous or admirable could ever happen to Italy, he took no account of the difficulties surrounding it.”(Pg 25, Readings) An example showing that Grachus the originator of the theory that land reform would be beneficial to all was just like all the current power seeking American politicians who are ironically just seeking power and glory like Grachus

Bedirhan Gonul, Team Aphrodite

Slavery in Chios

You’ve probably never heard of a place named Chios. You probably have no clue about it’s history and stories. Sara Forsdyke can help give you an idea. In Forsdyke’s article “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece”, she writes of a runaway slave, Drimakos. Drimakos had left behind his life as a slave and led other slaves to do the same. With some military experience, Drimakos fought against the Chian slave masters and was often victorious. Seeing the weak opponent, Drimakos developed a treaty with the Chian masters. Drimakos could take what he wanted from the Chians and in return, he would send back any runaway slaves without reasonable cause to leave. Drimakos, through time, had grown into a cruel authoritarian. So much so that runaway slaves would prefer to stay with their Chian masters rather than stay under Drimakos’ rule. Eventually, the city of Chios placed a bounty on Drimakos’ head. Drimakos was now old and allowed his young boyfriend to kill him and collect the bounty. The Chians eventually placed a shrine for Drimakos in the countryside, where runaway slaves would sacrifice things that they stole. Many Chians can sometimes see Drimakos in their sleep, where he warns them of their slaves’ plots. Forsdyke follows this story up with great analysis of other myths and historical events including slave rebellions.

The proper MLA citation of this article is as follows:

Forsdyke, Sara. “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS: Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece.” Common Knowledge, vol. 21, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 19–43., doi:10.1215/0961754x-2818001.

Forsdyke’s audience for this article would be anybody interested in the history and themes of slave rebellions. Many myths and stories, including the story of Drimakos, have come about from communities of either slaves or their masters. These stories help us connect with previous history and understand how life was for slaves or their masters.

Diodorus writes in “The Library, fragments from books 34/35″ of the first Sicilian slave revolt. “The rich men of Sicily rivalled the Italians in pride, greed, and wickedness; for many of the Italians who had great numbers of slaves had driven their shepherds to such a degree of villainy, that they allowed them to rob and steal, rather than provide them with any necessary subsistence.” (27). The evil behind the slave masters of Sicily can be compared to that of the Chians. Both slave masters allowed their slaves to steal in order to survive, rather than to properly feed them. The cruelty behind their actions helps us to understand the life and community of a slave master, similar to Forsdyke’s article.

-Ahmad B. Khan, Team Mars

Demagogues and the United States.


– The primary audience of “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.,” are people interested in politics and economic status of the United States in the 90’s.

– The Author does not use the search term “Gracchi” at all, however Gracchi brothers wanted to bring some serious change back in Rome, and this article is about change that happened in the 1990’s. Additionally, he does not specifically mention the United States in relations to the word “demagogues,” however it is clear that he can relate them. The author says that the leaders and important figures want to return US economy to the state at which it was during the 1970’s. The bottom line on all this is that a directionless White House has encouraged the demagogues to propose the failed remedies of the 1960’s and 1970’s – ‘soak the rich,’ castigate business ‘greed,’ pile regulation upon regulation, tax and spend – as if they had slept through the stunning revival of jobs and industry in the 1980’s.” and “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.”

 In the “The early Republic and the ‘Struggle of the orders,” I found a quote that relates to the article above.  “During the early republic an aristocratic clique known as the patricians retained power. During military and economic difficulties, the poorer citizens suffered most, esp. without the protection of the kings who had relied on their support.” This quote relates to the article “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.” This quote can relate because here it says that poor citizens suffered the most as they had no support from the kings and higher authority. Similarly, poor people in the US had very little to no aid, which then resulted in some reforms where the higher authorities chose to increase taxes for rich people and use those money to provide help to the less fortunate.  


Rukeyser, Louis. “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.” Caribbean Business, 5 Dec. 1991, p. 48. General OneFile, Accessed 6 Nov. 2017.



Diana, Team Mercury

The Fall of Democracy


“Democratization and development”

What is the appropriate MLA citation of your search return?

Barsh, Russel Lawrence. “Democratization and Development.” Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 1, 1992, pp. 120–134.

Who is the primary intended audience of the publication?

The primary intended audience seems to be politicians.

How (if at all) does the author connect the search terms one to another?  Use one to two short quotes to illustrate your point.

This article whole article speaks of specifically the democracy and constitution in the United States, examples being

“New democracies have succeeded in imposing macroeconomic measures on their constituents.(54) Remmer interprets this as proof of the vitality and resilience of democracy as a political system.(55) She ignores another possibility, however: that transitional regimes are still largely authoritarian in practice, and that this very fact illustrates their macroeconomic dilemma.(56)

A microcosm of this problem can be found within the United States, where indigenous peoples have enjoyed a degree of autonomy since 1934. ” The Greek historian, Polybius, who witnessed the erosion of the Republic, concluded that democracy is born as a response to oligarchy but eventually tends to collapse back into oligarchy due to increasing wealth, inequality, and social conflict.”

Now this isn’t the only connection as the author uses Polybius in their argument, in the section labeled “De-Democratization” where they write,

“The Greek historian, Polybius, who witnessed the erosion of the Republic, concluded that democracy is born as a response to oligarchy but eventually tends to collapse back into oligarchy due to increasing wealth, inequality, and social conflict.”


Select a quote from the ancient texts assigned as home work that seems relevant to your selected publication.  Insert the quotation and explain its relevance.

As mentioned above, there is a section in the article that mentions the fall of democracy, mentioned topics similar to what Polybuis had brought up, even using his words in the text.  This is very similar to what we were going over in class when we discussed just this kind of topic, oligarchy (or mob-rule). An exact quote in full representing this would be “But when a new generation arises and the democracy falls into the hands of the grandchidren of its founders, they have become so accustomed to freedom and equality that they no longer value them, and begin to aim at pre-eminence; and it is chiefly those of ample fortune who fall into this error. So when they begin to lust for power and cannot attain it through themselves or their own good qualities, they ruin their estates, tempting and corrupting the people in every possible way.”

  • Yekaterina Ignatyeva , Team Cronos

Slavery in Greece

I searched up Sicily Rome “Slave rebellion” “United States” on the Brooklyn Library website and came across an article called “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS: Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece” by Sara Forsdyke. This article talks about slavery and a slave rebellion on the island of Chios. Forsdyke explains the two sides of this event. On one hand, the slave rebellion can be seen as a “heroic [attempt by a] slave over his masters”. But the event also raises the argument of how such rebellions can be controlled by masters if they “treat their slaves humanely”.

Although the author doesn’t connect the search terms together, this article can relate back to the text, Diodorus, where it states, “Those whom fate has placed in a lowly position will gladly yield to their superiors in honor and glory, but if they are denied the kindness which they deserve, they revolt against the men who act like cruel despots.” The Romans governed the slaves using fear. But fear can motivate the slaves to revolt. Similarly, the slaves in ancient Greece rebelled because they weren’t treated “humanely”. Perhaps if both ancient Greece and the Romans had treated their slaves better, there wouldn’t have been a rebellion.

Aisha · Team Ares

MLA Citation

Sara Forsdyke. “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece.” Common Knowledge, vol. 21, no. 1, 2015, pp. 19–43.


The Fall Of Rome

Rome’s chaotic conclusion has multiple causes, which makes it extremely intriguing to learn about. We, as scholars, get to investigate and compare the issues surrounding Rome’s demise, to current events. The primary intended audience for the article, “Rise of the welfare/warfare state: the death throes of the once-great Roman Republic began when its leadership embarked on militarism and exploited class envy to consolidate power” would include history enthusiasts, particularly those well intrigued by the Roman Empire, and young scholars seeking information.

Image result for fall of rome

The search term “Gracchi Demagogues United States” is heavily associated with the article selected, which gives a brief overview of one of the major causes of the gradual demise of Rome, civil conflict. The word “Gracchi” appears constantly in the text, whereas “demagogues” does not, while “United States” only appears once. Although the term, “demagogues,” does not show up, it is surely portrayed, as the “Gracchi” were depicted as actual demagogues: political leaders who sought support by adhering to the interests of the majority. In Bonta’s article, the Gracchi are demagogues as they adopt the interests of the common people, who are most likely the majority. This is confirmed when the author first mentions the Gracchi, who play an essential role in the eyes of the poor class, “For these ills, the Gracchi offered an equally unpalatable solution: confiscating land from Rome’s wealthy classes and forcibly redistributing it among the poor.” The Gracchi attempted to obtain the support of the lower class by tackling a major issue: the issuance of land unfairly and inadequately amongst Roman Patricians and the lower class, comprising of plebians and slaves, which consequently led to multiple civil unrest situations, resulting in bloodshed. Bonta then furthers the article by claiming that the chaos caused by the Gracchi resulted in setting a “perilous precedent: that political differences could be resolved by using the power of mob violence to override the law.” This is important because it connects the term “Gracchi” to the article, and it also highlights a consequence of the civil unrest in Rome.


The selected article is heavily connected to the homework reading. We can compare Bonta’s version of the Gracchi’s interest in public affairs to the homework reading’s, and see that they are completely alike. According to the reading assigned for homework, “In 133 a tribune, Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, proposed to enforce the long-neglected limit of 500 iugera on holdings of ager publicus (= public land), and to redistribute the surplus to the poor in plots of 30 iugera which would become private land.” This quote, which appears at the beginning of the section labeled “The Roman Evolution,” signifies a predominant period in history, and is important because it shows how political leaders used public interest to obtain backing (demagogues, which Bonta indirectly implies too of them), and displays what was truly a starting point in Rome’s unfortunate demise, as pandemonium increased exponentially, “Furious opposition led to his (Gracchus) murder. Ten years later his brother, C. Sempronius Gracchus suffered the same fate, when he attempted to bring in a wide-ranging series of reforms, embracing provincial administration, the corn supply, judicial reform, and the status of the Italian allies. The use of violence in civil disputes became a destructive trend in republican politics.” This second quote alludes to the civil unrest caused by the death of the tribunes, as it became a “destructive trend,” and summarizes one of the main points of Bonta’s article – that internal chaos led to the fall of Rome.


MLA Citation:
Bonta, Steve. “Rise of the welfare/warfare state: the death throes of the once-great Roman Republic began when its leadership embarked on militarism and exploited class envy to consolidate power.” The New American, 15 Nov. 2004, p. 36+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 5 Nov. 2017.


Daniel, Team Diana.

Meaning of “Slave Rebellion”

For this blog, the term I  searched was Sicily Rome “Slave Rebellion” “the United States”. There were many articles came up on the screens.The article that I got was Representing the Body of the Slave by Gardner, Jane, and Wiedemann. The name of the article was eye-catching so I decided to use this.The primary intended audience of this article is to the people to know about the slavery. It compares the period of Roman and Greek slavery. It also explains between the modern and ancient slavery. The MLA citation for this article is Gardner, Jane, and Wiedemann, Thomas. Representing the Body of the Slave. Florence, Taylor and Francis, 2013. The author somewhat connects the search term with one another because since the search term was slave rebellion. It somewhat connects with the term because the article talks about the meaning of enslavement. Also, talks about the American experience with the slavery being unavoidable with race and slavery. For example, in the article, it states, “The American experience of slavery makes unavoidable the question of the relationship between slavery and race, and Aristotle’s responsibility for linking the two. Again, simple comparisons may mislead: some ancient world scholars have produced studies of blacks, and color prejudice, that minimize their importance for Greco-Roman antiquity (where ‘blacks’ were in fact little known).” This is an example that explains about how search term connected with one another because since it talks about the United States slavery and color prejudice. Another example states, “This difference in the status given ex-slaves in the ancient world corresponds to some extent to modern sociological models of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ systems of slavery…” This example explains about the ancient world slavery system. An example of ancient text stated, “ The overseas conquests not only supplied the capital to purchase large estates, but also the slave labor needed to introduce new methods of farming, designed to provide absentee landlords with an income from cash crops.” (page 6) This example talks about the slave labor shown to the new method of farming and also to show the income from the cash crop.


Gardner, Jane, and Wiedemann, Thomas. Representing the Body of the Slave. Florence, Taylor and Francis, 2013, pp.2-40.

Mantaha Mannan- Team Vulcan


Slaves, Stories and Cults

The term I have searched for this blog post was Sicily Rome “Slave Rebellion” “United States” and got the article Slaves, Stories and Cults Conflict Resolution Between Masters And Slaves In Ancient Greece by Sara Forsdyke. The primary audience that this article is catering to are academic people who are interested in the similar themes in various myths and legends throughout the world and history as that was the topic of the article. The MLA citation for this article is Forsdyke , Sara. “Slaves, Stories, and Cults Conflict Resolution Between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece” Common Knowledge. 2014 Web. 4 Nov. 2017 because it is an online article. Slaves, Stories and Cults uses the Sicilian slave revolt as one of many examples of stories in which people rebel against injustice done against the and where the seemingly less powerful people overtake the powerful individuals. Other examples include an Aesop fable, the story of Puss in Boots and Robin Hood. Forsdyke explains that the poorer population, particularly the slaves, found this empowering. “As the story was told amongst slaves or as the slaves read out loud as entertainment for their Masters, the lesson might have been different. For slaves the message might have been: slaves can be ‘on top’ and have equal or superior intelligence to their masters. For slaves, the story served to acknowledge the humanity, dignity, and ultimately the power of the slaves to determine their own destiny…”
The Stories, according to the author, also serve as a warning to the slave owners to treat their slaves right because otherwise they will betray them, similarly, if they treat their slaves properly and put trust in them they will be loyal to their master and be able to serve them better. Sara Forsdyke uses actual quotes from the ancient text in her article such as “But, their Masters were very strict and severe with them, and took no care to provide either necessary food or clothing for them, so that most of them were forced to rob and steal to get these necessities: so that all places were full of slaughters and murders.” The search terms aren’t connected to each other except for occasionally “Sicily” and “Slave rebellion” when quoting the text.
Forsdyke used this quote as part of an example of stories of slaves that were treated poorly, rebelling against their masters.


Forsdyke , Sara. “Slaves, Stories, and Cults Conflict Resolution Between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece” Common Knowledge. 2014 Web. 4 Nov. 2017

Hinda, Team Mars







What is the Best Government?

When we think of the best or perfect government, many will say something along the lines of, “A democracy, what else is there?”, because of the fact that we live in the United States of America. But in reality, there are a lot of different types of government that have been established. For example an aristocracy is a system of government that is based on hereditary status and connections through royal blood , that allow for that small, wealthy group of nobles, the Aristocrats to have all the power. Similarly, an Oligarchy a system where the rule of the few, small group of people is established, but not necessarily through “royal blood.” In addition there is such a thing as a Monarchy, which is a system that places supreme power of the state in the hands of a single person or family, the Monarch. Albeit there are myriad of deviations that have been established in the past, such as a constitutional monarchy, unitary state, a parliament. But that list is an endless one.

“The constitution should remain for long in a state of equilibrium like a well-trimmed boat, kingship being guarded from arrogance by the fear of the commons, who were given a sufficient share in the government, and the commons on the other hand not venturing to treat the kings with contempt from fear of the elders, who being selected from the best citizens would be sure all of them to be always on the side of justice; so that that part of the state which was weakest owing to its subservience to traditional custom, acquired power and weight by the support and influence of the elders.” 

This quote from the extracts of Polybius illustrate how Polybius believed that there should be a form of checks and balances in government, a separation of powers should be put in place. The piece of writing that I chose to analyze is an essay, The Rise and Fall of the Separation of Powers, by Steven G. Calabresi, Mark E. Berghausen & Skylar Albertson that expands on that belief and praises Polybius and other philosophers who thought alike. This essay talks about the origins of the concept of the separation of powers and, as you can tell by the title, the fall of such a concept. It talks of how modern governments implement the separation of powers, a prime example is the United States of America. In addition, the essay talks of how the concept of the separation of powers originated from the ideal of a “mixed regime”. A mixed regime is the form of government that combines elements of democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy. It states how many philosophers and scholars, such as Polybius, conceived of such an ideal so that the not-so-desired offspring of a mixed regime (anarchy, oligarchy and tyranny) could not be formed. This way, Polybius’ Anacyclosis cannot take its full effect and therefore, the undesirable forms of government found in that cycle could not develop and be bypassed.

My search, from which I got this search return from, was “Polybius ‘United States’ constitution.” The authors of this essay connect these two terms quite a lot, as I might have hinted at above. They talk of Polybius’ mixed regime and they connect him and it to the constitution of the United States. They talk of how our government and our constitution aren’t exactly a fully realized or exact definition of a mixed regime.  which is why, as I said before, they believe that our constitution and government lack the full definition of a separation of powers. “our Constitution has actually
operated in practice over the last 220 years as a democratized version of the Mixed Regime rather than as a functional separation of powers. The idea of
the Mixed Regime is a whole lot older than the idea of the separation of
powers, and it may well be more enduring. The writings of Aristotle,
Polybius, Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Machiavelli all illustrate this
point. The way a regime works, in practice, may show the the nature of the
regime. It may be the case that the U.S. Constitution inadvertently gave rise
to a democratized version of the Mixed Regime. If so, then that is an error
which our generation of Americans needs to correct.” 
They call the U.S. constitution and government a democratized version of a mixed regime and thereby believe that it is a dysfunctional separation of powers. In addition, they later call the U.S. government more of an oligarchy (which I don’t fully disagree with) and that “[Americans] need to revive the functional separation of powers.” Based on this viewpoint and the fact that it prompts whoever may read it(most likely students) and the citizens of the U.S.  to establish a true mixed regime and “revive the functional separation of powers,” I believe that this essay’s primary intended audience is the wide public who are possibly interested in the affairs of law, politics, government, and scholars or philosophers .

All in all, I found this essay to be extremely enlightening and extremely connected to Polybius and his ideals and values.

Appropriate MLA citation:

Calabresi, Steven G., et al. “The Rise and Fall of the Separation of Powers.” Northwestern University Law Review, vol. 106, no. 2, Apr. 2012, pp. 527-549. EBSCOhost,

Sean, Team Ares

Unfair Gracchi

gracchi brothers

The search return I got from using OneSearch was an article called “Rise of the welfare/warfare state: the death throes of the once-great Roman Republic began when its leadership embarked on militarism and exploited class envy to consolidate power.” The article was written by Steve Bonta who seemed to be about the beginning of Rome from when it was found to the Outbreak of the Social War and in between; there were so many events/ battles that happened. I feel like the primary intended audience of this publication would be people who may need to find out more information of what happened when Rome was found so people who may be studying about Rome. I used three search terms which were Gracchi, demagogues, and “United States” and two of three of the search terms go together in this article which is Gracchi and demagogues as seen in this article by Steve Bonta “But with the tumult under the Gracchi, the waning Roman Republic entered a new, more perilous stage of decline, in which demagogues incited civil unrest with welfare-state programs, and a new generation of ambitious politician-generals began to covet absolute power.” Gracchi are Roman tribunes which tribunes are Roman leaders that are very popular. Demagogues are leaders who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. Both the terms Gracchi and demagogues are used together by the author to show how a popular leader in Rome can try to gain power by lying and not doing as they say, pretty much messing with the peoples emotions just to gain their support. From the ancient texts assigned to read for homework, a quote under Fragments on the Gracchi, it states “Gracchus in his speeches to the people urged them to overthrow the aristocracy and establish a democratic government; and after winning the favor of all classes, he had them not only as supporters, but even as instigators of his bold objectives.” This is related  to the article since it also shows that Gracchus had the ability to get the people on his side and not only that, but to help with the goals that he has in mind for Rome.

MLA citation: Bonta, Steve. “Rise of the Welfare/Warfare State: the Death Throes of the Once-Great Roman Republic Began When Its Leadership Embarked on Militarism and Exploited Class Envy to Consolidate Power.(History-Rome).” The New American, vol. 20, no. 23, 2004, pp. 36–39.

-Raine, Team Jupiter