What Did Slaves Do in Ancient Times?

Slavery is a dark chapter in human history, and it has existed since ancient times. Slaves were forced to work for their masters without pay, often enduring unimaginable cruelty and hardship. In this article, we will explore what slaves did in ancient times.

Ancient Slavery

Slavery was prevalent in ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. These societies relied heavily on slave labor for their economic growth.

Types of Slavery

There were different types of slavery in ancient times. Some slaves were prisoners of war or captives from raids, while others were bought and sold in markets. Some slaves were treated better than others based on their skills and abilities.

Slave Labor

Slaves performed a wide range of tasks depending on their owner’s needs. Many worked as farmers or laborers, tending to crops or building structures like roads and buildings. Others worked as domestic servants, cooking meals, cleaning homes, and caring for the children.

Artisans and Skilled Workers

Some slaves were skilled workers like blacksmiths, carpenters, and craftsmen. They produced goods that were sold in markets or used by their owners. These slaves often had more freedom than others since they had valuable skills.


Slaves also provided entertainment for their owners’ families and guests. They performed music, dance routines or acted as gladiators in ancient Rome’s famous Colosseum.

The Dark Side of Slavery

Despite the range of tasks that slaves performed, life was brutal for most of them. They worked long hours without breaks or rest days and lived under harsh conditions with little food or medical care.

Many slave owners treated their human property cruelly—beating them regularly or subjecting them to sexual abuse. Slaves had no legal rights, and their owners could kill them at will.

The End of Ancient Slavery

Slavery continued in various forms throughout history, but eventually, it was abolished. In the United States, slavery was abolished in 1865 after the Civil War. However, slavery still exists in some parts of the world today.


In conclusion, slaves performed a range of tasks in ancient times. They were used as laborers, artisans, and entertainers.

However, their lives were harsh and brutal with little freedom or rights. While slavery is no longer legal in most countries worldwide, it remains a painful reminder of humanity’s darkest chapters.