- 公益財団法人 史学会
- 史学雑誌 (ISSN:00182478)
- vol.91, no.3, pp.285-320,421-42, 1982-03-20 (Released:2017-11-29)
To what extent did Christianity contribute the decline of ancient slavery? To answer this question, we have to consider the role of "manumissio in ecclesia (m.i.e.)" the ecclesiastical manumission, which was established by the emperor Constantin in the early 4th century. Generally the origin of m.i.e. was thought to be back to the Greek sacral manumission acted in sanctuaries from 5th century B.C. to 3/4th century A.D. But an Italian historian Fabrizio Fabbrini insisted that m.i.e. had no relation to the Greek sacral manumission and by m.i.e. Christian church played a big role in the decline of ancient slavery. Many historians have thought that the Greek sacral manumission was originally a religious act. According to them, the form of consecration was the oldest form and as the age advanced, secular elements gradually increased. Meanwhile, Fabbrini said that it was not God but church and its members -churchmen and believers- who played important roles in m.i.e., but in the Greek sacral manumission, priests of sanctuary had little concern with it. Therefore, Fabbrini insisted that the different roles of God and priests indicate the individuality of m.i.e.. But was it right that -as Fabbrini and other historians thought- the Greek sacral manumission was originally a religious act? In fact, when we examined various inscriptions relating to sacral manumission, we found the fact was on the contrary. That is, the most of the early inscriptions of Greek sacral manumission of 5/3rd century B.C. took the least sacralized form and Gods played no important role there. But in the later inscriptions, sacral elements increased. For example, most of the inscriptions of Macedonia of 3/4th century A.D. took the form of consecration, and in certain cases, the motive of manumission was declared and God concerned with it. On the other hand, in the manumission of the Jewish community in Panticapaion of the late 1st century A.D., Jewish synagogue and its members had important roles. Thus, as the age advanced, Greek sacral manumission, contrary to the view of Fabbrini and other historians, was inclined to be sacralized, and when we examined the records of m.i.e. to which Fabbrini had paid little attention, we found similar tendency. In these records, the motives of manumission which had religious contents were mentioned and the role of church and its members became more important. However, we had already similar cases in later sacral manumission. In conclusion, m.i.e. was never independent of other sacral manumission, but it succeeded the later tendency of Greek sacral manumission, increasing its sacral elements.