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The Roman Guide to Slave Management: A Treatise by Nobleman Marcus Sidonius Falx
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The Roman Guide to Slave Management: A Treatise by Nobleman Marcus Sidonius Falx

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Marcus Sidonius Falx is an average Roman citizen. Born of a relatively well-off noble family, he lives on a palatial estate in Campania, dines with senators and generals, and, like all of his ancestors before him, owns countless slaves. Having spent most of his life managing his servants—many of them prisoners from Rome’s military conquests—he decided to write a kind of ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 4th 2014 by The Overlook Press (first published June 5th 2014)
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Fred Kohn
Sep 17, 2015 Fred Kohn rated it liked it
While the idea of telling the history of Roman slavery through a fictional Roman slave owner was clever, the author didn't pull it off very well. Setting that aside, I learned a lot about slavery and many sources were listed for further study.
Ibrahim Niftiyev

"Qulları necə idarə etməli" antik dövrün "insan resursları meneceri"nin dilindən yazılmış möhtəşəm kitabdır. Roma aristokratı Mark Sinodiy Falks adı altında Kembridc Universitetinin qədim Roma üzrə alimi, elmlər doktoru Cerri Toner gizlənib. Bu səbəbdən kitab olduqca əsaslı mənbələrə söykənir və qədim Romada mövcud olmuş quldarlıq haqqında ətraflı məlumat təqdim edir: qulların əldə edilməsi, onların təhsili və tədrisi, fiziki cəzalar və onların qidalanma reji
Timons Esaias
Feb 21, 2016 Timons Esaias rated it it was ok
Initial response: I've only just begun reading this book, but I have to say it's a bit of a fraud. The cover purports that it's non-fiction, based on an actual Roman text. But there is no Marcus Sidonius Falx text; it's an "instructive satire" I guess. Which isn't what I intended to buy.

Upon finishing: I deserve to be fooled by this book, I guess, having written quite a number of "faux news" satires in my day. The only hint that this isn't actually an ancient Roman text on slavery is that no tra
Simon Binning
Nov 24, 2015 Simon Binning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-history
This is a great little book. Written by Marcus Sidonius Falx (with the help of Jerry Toner!), it takes us one step at a a time through the process of buying, training, managing, punishing and freeing slaves.
Although we all think we know about slavery in the Roman Empire, the amount of authentic, first-hand evidence is surprisingly small, and much of what we do have was originally written because it was in some way unusual, so seeking the truth about slavery is more difficult than you would think
Nov 13, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I love reading about all things ancient Roman, though this sad perspective sure does take some of the sheen off the "romance" of ancient times, rightfully so.
Douglas Wilson
Oct 23, 2016 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Well researched, and cleverly written. A wealth of information here about the customs surrounding ancient Roman slavery.
Dec 06, 2016 Nai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy útil para saber cómo se trata A LOS EXPATS.
Kilian Metcalf
Oct 31, 2014 Kilian Metcalf rated it really liked it
When I saw the title of this book, I wasn't sure whether it was serious or satirical. I have a writer friend whose book is set in a world where slavery is accepted, so I took a look. It is a serious look at Roman slaver, written by a classics scholar. The style of the book is accessible, reads just like a modern management handbook, only about managing slaves. The Romans looked on slavery as an unquestioned part of life, and addressed the problems and benefits of well-managed slaves. At the end ...more
Mark Major
Apr 07, 2016 Mark Major rated it really liked it
Interesting, well-researched pseudo-historical handbook though the author is oddly self-conscious in his writing that people might misconstrue him (through his fictional narrator, Marcus Sidonius Falx) as an advocate of slavery. I'm not aware of any large, pro-slavery constituency out there these days. What's really interesting about the Roman approach to slavery (as opposed to the Ancient Greeks or US Southern Confederacy) is how they used the institution as a tool of (admittedly slow) social ...more
Aug 21, 2016 I_ty_toje rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Книга, написанная Джерри Тонером от имени вымышленного римского патриция Марка Сидония Фалкса, не поражает воображение глубиной и силой мысли.
Это скорее забавный набор некоторых сценок и эпизодов, которые можно в той или иной степени применить к современной работе с персоналом. Причем в гораздо больше психологическом аспекте, чем в физическом.
Самое раздражающее в книге это отсылка к некоторым известным эпизодам с [читаем между строк] распространением на общую практику, что далеко не всегда правд
Oct 08, 2016 Cat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Education cunningly disguised as entertainment. This book is an excellent and amusing history book describing slavery in ancient Rome. I've dabbled in ancient history non-fiction books before but none have ever made me laugh before! The voice of Marcus Sidonius Falx is believable and eminently readable - giving good insight into the practise of slavery in Roman times. It's well supported with extra commentary and references at the end of each chapter but never becomes dry or heavy-going. If ...more
Lance McMurchy
Dec 04, 2015 Lance McMurchy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
For me this book didn't work. It a novel concept of writing a historical book in modern times, of what a book written about managing could, possibly, have look like. I found it generally quite tedious. But, on the positive side, The commentaries at the end of each chapter far more interesting in the historical sources and description of the context of times. In fact I could have been happier by just read the commentary rather than reading the 'book' part. If the book was the same length as the ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being such a heavy subject, it is lighthearted and fun. The gimmick employed by the author makes it possible to look at slavery from a Roman perspective, which is invaluable when learning about the real every day life of the past as certain situations cannot be fully comprehended from a modern mindset. That, of course, is beside the point of "agreeing" with how things were done. Extra points for the modern commentary written after each chapter, giving us bibliographic details and helping ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very unique and interesting way to approach the subject of slavery in Roman society. This book is presented as a treatise written by a fictional but representative Roman nobleman, who discusses various aspects of slavery by providing examples from his own experience. Each chapter is then followed by a response from the real author providing some historical context. If you're at all interested in Roman society or systems of slavery, then this is definitely worth your time.
Mark Bloor
Jul 05, 2016 Mark Bloor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you can get past the subject matter, the book is an fascinating look into domestic life in the Roman Empire. The views of Falx may be distasteful to most, but he does give plenty of context for his opinions, often based on Roman law, which I found to be most interesting. It wasn't just a free-for-all, there were laws in place to ensure 'fair' treatment, albeit mainly to protect the interests of slave owners. A historical household guide well worth reading.
James Taylor
Mar 21, 2015 James Taylor rated it really liked it
An introduction to one of the fundamental parts of Roman society. The author has dealt with a number of aspects of owing a slave, and providing 'guidance' to owners on how best to use their slaves. The guidance is non-judgemental. The author also provides references to primary sources so it is easy to research the subject further. A fun book.
Verity W
This is a great concept - much more fun to read about how slaves were treated in Rome in the voice of a slave owner rather than in a more tradition academic style book. I don't know a lot about Roman history (beyond having studied it at primary school and having visited the Roman villa dig near my parents) but I enjoyed this and learned a lot.
Oct 24, 2014 Jennie rated it it was amazing
Excellent way to get into the mind of the Romans. We often look at history through the eyes of our own culture. Although this will make you feel uncomfortable, it offers a glimpse of how ancient people thought & constructed their world(s). The book has a commentary written at the end of each chapter with suggestions for further reading. Will be reading other works by this author!
Feb 03, 2016 Kara rated it liked it
Shelves: history-ancient

The framework of the real author and fake author is shaky at best as Toner both defends and castigates the fake author for his attitude towards slavery.

The book's best parts are when it simply lets the historical record speak for itself and paraphrases ancient primary sources about slavery in ancient Rome.
Jul 26, 2015 Stijn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leuk boekje met een origineel uitgangspunt, namelijk een overzicht van de slavernij in het oude Rome beschreven door een slaveneigenaar. Het was vooral een trip down memory lane, met vele afslagen naar mijn middelbare schooltijd. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat mijn oud-leraren Latijn en Grieks tevreden zullen zijn dat mijn interesse na meer dan 20 jaar nog eens aangewakkerd kan worden.
Charles Ames
Mar 28, 2015 Charles Ames rated it liked it
Reads like satire, which makes it all the more chilling when you realize it isn't satire at all. The translation is something like modern English, which makes you realize this guy was not all that different from people today, except for his attitude about slaves.
Aug 21, 2016 Celine rated it liked it
It's a fun idea to write a non-fiction cultural history in the shape of a "how to" book. Presents interesting anekdotes based on historical sources, but I wished for more depth in the author's commentary.
Vicki Cline
Jun 20, 2016 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-history
This presents itself as a book written by an ancient Roman who has had long experience with slaves. He tells you how to buy them, how to feed them, how to discipline them, etc. After each chapter by Falx is a commentary containing the sources, both ancient and modern. It was quite entertaining.
Alice Paterra
Oct 10, 2014 Alice Paterra rated it it was amazing
Impressively researched, tells of the plight of slaves in Roman times. Fascinating. I also appreciated the note at the end discussing slavery today.
A thoughtful and well-written work. I might also recommend "Trafficked" by Sophie Hayes.
Dec 29, 2015 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not just good advice for managing children and husbands, it's a wonderful read for those who are curious about what it was really like to live in Roman times. There are even fantastic references for those who would like to learn more about the institution of slavery in classical Rome.
Feb 26, 2015 Theresamvitolo rated it it was ok
Odd premise/topic.

Author took ancient documents and perceived what a manual would be like (I think).
Vladimir Tarasov
Dec 30, 2014 Vladimir Tarasov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A book full of examples which can be easily found in the modern life. It was very interesting to find those parallels.
Paul Downs
Apr 07, 2015 Paul Downs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

An impressive and readable account that brings history to life. Much more interesting and fun than an academic approach. I highly recommend it.
Liz Allchin
Jan 27, 2015 Liz Allchin rated it liked it
Compelling ,but probably only to those interested in the history of ancient Rome. I was fascinated with the forthright manner of the "management style" written with no apology of slave ownership.
Nov 30, 2014 Cerys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lighthearted and highly factual look on slavery in Ancient Rome, which would make an excellent resource for anybody researching the topic.
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