Upper class societies throughout history have always tried to oppress the populace under them.In Pliny's and Jacobs' time this oppression took the form of slavery. By comparing and contrasting the relationships between the upper and lower classes in the books of Pliny and Jacob ,I will show that attitudes towards oppression of the lower classes – mainly slaves – were exactly the same, with the main difference being the degree of brutality in the treatment of slaves by the upper class.
In Pliny's and Jacob's time religion was used to oppress the lower classes; free will to worship as you wish was not tolerated.The Romans only allowed slaves to worship government sanctioned religions.They believed Christians caused disorder and disruption to their political control.For instance, in Pliny to the Emperor Trajan (294), Pliny describes the Christian faith as a degenerate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths.Further, he shows his frustration over the interrogation of Christians, who are mostly slaves, and his recommendation of sending the accused off to execution (293).In the Southern U.S. slave era, Jacobs describes similar situations where religion was used as a tool to oppress.Jacobs emphasizes that religion was only introduced to slaves to keep them from killing their masters (69).The sermons to slaves were used to remind them to serve their masters obediently and to not shirk their work (70).Slave owners were eventually dissatisfied with slaves attending religious sermons because it was the only time slaves would be addressed as human beings which in the slaveholders mind was counterproductive to their efforts (73).
Along with religious oppression there was also political oppression as well.
Political oppression took the form of legislation against the lower classes.In Pliny's Rome as well as in Jacobs' U.S. South, slaves were non-persons who could not own an…