ManumissionManumission is he act and result of manumitir: grant you freedom to a person who was subjected to slavery. The term comes from Latin manumissio.

A slave is an individual who is dominated by another (his love): that is, it does not have Liberty. The slave, therefore, is property of the master, who takes advantage of the work force of the subject.

Manumission, in this framework, is the process that makes possible the slave liberation. Thus, thanks to manumission, the slave can be transformed into a freedman.

Various reasons allowed manumission in Ancient Rome. At times, the slave reached for his independence for extraordinary merit or for some service rendered. In other cases, the master granted the manumission by his own decision and conscience.

After the manumission, a former slave could rise in Roman society. Anyway, the usual thing was that he only managed to integrate into the plebs and that he even continued working for whoever was its owner, reconverted into his employer.

With the so-called civil manumission, the brand new freedman acquired the status of citizen of Rome. With the pretoria manumissionOn the other hand, the ex-slave did not reach that condition and was also obliged to bequeath all of his goods to his former master when he died.

This responds to the two forms that existed in the ancient Roman Empire of exercising manumission: the solemn and the non-solemn, which are also known as the civil Y praetorship, respectively. Although in both cases the former slave regained his freedom, only in the first did he receive the proper respect of a Roman citizen, while the second was considered latin citizen.

If we delve into these two ways, we can find a subclassification. Inside the manumission civil we have the following possibilities:

* by census (per censum): any slave who was registered in a census carried out by a magistrate by his owner automatically obtained freedom from the moment said census entered into force;

* by judgment (per vindicta): at first it was a real act that entailed the pronunciation of an affirmation of solemn force in the presence of the magistrate, which was known as vindicatio in iure. This act was reaffirmed by the official named lictor, who was in charge of the escort of the curule magistrates and the guarantee of public order similar to the functions of the current police. In short, the owner expressed to the magistrate his wish that the slave should become free;

* in the church (in sacrosanta ecclesia): it took place if the bishop offered himself as a witness to the act by the owner of the slave to grant him the manumission;

Manumission* by will (per testamentum): the owner transcribed his belongings in his will and the slave obtained his freedom when the first died.

Regarding the pretoria manumission, it was subdivided into:

* between friends (inter amicos): five witnesses to the owner’s statement were necessary;

* by letter (per epistolam): the owner sent a letter to his slave to restore his freedom;

* in the table (per mensam): the owner invited his slave to eat with him.

The manumission, in short, was a way of extinction of slavery. Thanks to her, whoever was a slave ceased to be a slave and began to enjoy an individual freedom that had not existed until then for him, because before he was no more than a slave. property of its owner.

Regarding the etymology of the word manumission, we can say that its origin is Latin, and that it is made up of the following two lexical components: the noun manus (which we can translate as “hand”) and the verb miter (“Throw, send”). The original Latin verb that is also defined as “to give a slave his freedom” was manumittere.