As would be expected, slaves have been abused and mistreated all throughout history. In Ancient Rome, they were even given demeaning names, such as Laughter, Silly, Sexy, Pleasure and Desire. As is apparent from these names, slaves of both sexes, were more often than not, abused sexually. It is worth mentioning that in Roman society a man only committed adultery if he had sexual relations with another Roman citizen’s wife – sex with a slave did not count. Of course, not all such relationships were abusive – think of the Emperor Vespasian’s long-standing affair with Antonia-Caenis, who became a freedwoman.
As a rule though, slaves were seen as property and therefore their owner had no second thoughts with regards to his ill treatment of them.
Slavery in Rome