Drusa’s Manumission Ceremony

Slavery in Rome (while obviously still horrible and unethical – I do not condone it in the real world) was not necessarily for life. Slaves could be released as a reward for good service, as a way to show off wealth, or in a Master’s will.

When Drusa earned her AOA at An Tir /West War, I knew I could no longer keep a Lady as my slave! I did a little research and we held a ceremony at Sport of Kings. Utter geek that I am, I provided a documentation handout for our guests. It’s been added to my handout for a class on slavery and manumission, which I’ll be teaching at Collegium next month. Manumission 1.jpg

Fiach was our herald and read the legal document (I strongly recommend hiring him for all your announcing and singing needs).

Baron Finn Grim was the magistrate and touched her with the rod.

I gave her a pair of nalbinding udones (socks -not part of Roman custom, but it set Dobby free and was worth a giggle). 

Manumission 6.jpg

Drusa was also gifted a pilius – a white wool cap worn by freedmen. We decided to forgo shaving her head, as it was only mentioned in connection to freedmen, not women. She was much relieved. 🙂

I took her by the hand, gave her the traditional spin, and pushed her forward into the world.

As was common, she took my name and is now Drusa Saturnina. Also in keeping with history, she will remain working for my family. I’m sure whoever dies first will have an epitaph put up by the other. *grin*Manumission 5.jpg

Photos: Daniel Antal. Udones: Beth Joslyn. Pilius: Fjorlief inHaga

About Sharon Rose, LAc, MSAOM

Acupuncturist, medical massage therapist, historian, scientist, road-tripper, geek, LARP & board gamer, food fan, Roman fanatic, belly-laugher.
This entry was posted in Recreating history, Roman history, SCA specific, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Drusa’s Manumission Ceremony

  1. Pingback: Slavery | ROMANA SUM

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