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Still Waters

[Merged]Temple slavery volunteers in Ancient Egypt

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These documents are legal contracts that place the supplicant under the authority of the named god, and prevent any power, human or otherwise, from commanding them. In legal terms the supplicants volunteer themselves as slaves to the temple.

The documents were found during illicit excavations during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and have since been collected in the Papyrus Carlsberg Collection, established in the 1930’s. Professor Kim Ryholt of the University of Copenhagen has been studying these contracts and puts forth an argument that these contracts represent acts of self-slavery.

http://www.heritaged...-ancient-egypt/

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When we go to work for minimum wage that is a form of self slavery.

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Probably wasn't considered a bad deal back then... steady supply of food, shelter and no one (outside of the temple) allowed to mess with you...

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Better than having the King work you to death just because you are poor.

In his paper, Professor Ryholt points out that in around 90% of the documents, the supplicant could not name their fathers. He suggests that this is because these are the offspring of prostitutes. This would mean that these children belonged to the poorest class, and as a result were at the mercy of the king. The king had the power to levy the poorest classes to aid in public works ranging from constructing temples to digging canals. These public works were arduous, potentially dangerous tasks that could even result in death. As a way around this, these fatherless offspring sold themselves to the only power higher than the king: the gods, legally exempting them from royal levy.

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http://blogs.nature....le-slaves.html/

“I am your servant from this day onwards, and I shall pay 2½ copper-pieces every month as my slave-fee before Soknebtunis, the great god.”

Two things should be immediately pointed out here, before things get blown out of proportion:

1) These were Temple slaves who, as the article says "were mainly engaged in agriculture and were exempt from forced labour".

2) This was only during a 60 year period from 190 to 130 BC.

cormac

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When we go to work for minimum wage that is a form of self slavery.

If you don't own your own business, you are a slave. I am starting to think just that.

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