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Chapter Summary

The purpose of this chapter is to survey the principal ancient textual sources used in the study of servile laborer. These will be broken down into the following three groups: rosters of workers, purchases of personnel, and miscellaneous administrative documents. The chapter describes the criteria used to identify those personnel texts which deal primarily with the servile population. It focuses on the principal data source, the worker roster. The chapter presents basic terminology for understanding the roster corpus, a text type which has not been systematically studied. It discusses the format and function of the two types of rosters (simple rosters and ration rosters). The chapter also presents brief analyses of the purchase documents and of the miscellaneous texts, all of which have been discussed to some degree by earlier writers. Finally, a concise resume of source categories are also discussed.

Keywords: ancient textual sources; ration rosters; servile laborer; simple rosters



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