Could Rome have risen to power without slavery? What did the slaves do for the empire? Slaves were considered to be property of their owners. Slaves had no rights. They were forced to work, and held against their will. They could not marry, and were stripped of all rights and privileges that a typical Roman citizen had. Over time, slaves began to gain a quantity of rights such as being able to file grievances against their masters. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_ancient_Rome)What if there were no slaves at all? Would that mean Ancient Rome as we know wouldn’t have been the most powerful empire in the world? Rome did have slavery and without it, the empire would have met its demise.
Slaves were mainly acquired through warfare. Bringing back defeated soldiers to become your slaves bought in a plethora of money income. Slave owners treated them the way they wanted to. If they wanted to be cruel, so be it. From the Roman play, Pseudolus, it describes what kind of treatment slaves were likely to get. Ballio, an ancient slave owner, would give harsh, direct orders such as “get out, come, out with you, you rascals; kept at a loss, and bought at a loss.” (Plautus) He would then whip them at whipping posts. Cato the elder has been noted to expel the useless slaves out of his house. (Treatment and Experience-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_ancient_Rome) If owners treated a slave well, the slave would perform a more superior job. So to keep the slaves performing at a better-quality work rate, the Roman slave owners had to be civil. Rome needed to keep their slaves around.