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Author: Daphne Penna


In Byzantine law, as in Roman law, slaves were used to expand the economic activities of their owners. Slaves had no legal capacity, which is why legal constructions were used to allow them to take part in economic activities. The aim of this chapter is to highlight some of the legal aspects regarding the role of slaves in economic activity in Byzantium, particularly in 10th-century Constantinople. The starting point is the Book of the Eparch, a celebrated legal source providing information on the use of artisan slaves. References are also made to other legal works from the Macedonian period, the Prochiron, the Eisagoge, and the Basilica, as well as other later and lesser-known works. Finally, a relevant Novel of Leo VI the Wise is examined in relation to Christian influences.

In: Slavery in the Black Sea Region, c.900–1900
Illustrating Byzantine Law through the Sources
This is the first book in English providing a wide range of Byzantine legal sources. In six chapters, this book explains and illustrates Byzantine law through a selection of fundamental Byzantine legal sources, beginning with the sources before the time of Justinian, and extending up to AD 1453.
For all sources English translations are provided next to the original Greek (and Latin) text. In some cases, tables or other features are included that help further elucidate the source and illustrate its nature. The volume offers a clear yet detailed primer to Byzantine law, its sources, and its significance.