Visiting the Old South on a lecture tour about Spartacus, it’s hard not to recall the historical reality of American slavery. I realize that I am walking on ground where people once suffered in slavery. Alas, this is Yankee hypocrisy, because I walk on that ground at home too. Fifty years after the Declaration of Independence said that “all men are created equal,” New York was still a slave state. New York abolished slavery only gradually between 1799 and 1827. Travel helps to bring out that inconvenient truth.
No doubt there were Romans too who thought that the brutality of the slave trader or the gladiatorial entrepreneur had nothing to do with them.