In Greek and Latin textbooks, verbal and visual discourses function together to construe Greco-Roman systems of enslavement. This article is a survey of the words and images of enslavement in five popular Greek and Latin textbooks and includes sample lessons for educators to apply in their own classroom. Based on the theories and methodologies of multicultural education and systemic functional linguistics, the findings illustrate how the linguistic resources of appraisal (feelings and character) and transitivity (agency and action) function to sanitize and normalize enslavement. The accompanying comparative analysis to 19th-century American discourses on enslavement to demonstrate how the use of these linguistic resources are consistent across time and context. Therefore, although systems of enslavement in the Greco-Roman world were not race-based, the presentation of enslavement in Greek and Latin textbooks today engages in racist discourses that permeate the American education system.
Dugan, Kelly P.
"The “Happy Slave” Narrative and Classics Pedagogy: A Verbal and Visual Analysis of Beginning Greek and Latin Textbooks,"
New England Classical Journal: Vol. 46
Available at: https://crossworks.holycross.edu/necj/vol46/iss1/5