Saturday, September 01, 2007

Homines Sacri

In ancient Rome, how many of the homines sacri were actually killed? In what senses did they form a class? Did they live together? Were they forced into ghettos? What portion of the Roman state apparatus was given over to the annihilation of the homines sacri? Apparently the courts meted out this judgement. Was anything done by the state to ensure that violence would be visited upon the homines sacri? What institutions in civil society contributed to the killing of the homines sacri?

Agamben discusses the vitae necisque potestas, the authority of the father over the "bare life" of the son (Homo Sacer, pp. 87-90). In ancient Rome, how many fathers actually killed their sons? Did the killing of sons ever rise to the level of being a "social problem" or was it relatively rare? Was there ever any systematic attempt by Roman fathers to kill all their sons, to solve the problem of disobedient sons once and for all?

I'll have more to say about Agamben's thinking about "bare life," which is kind of interesting and perhaps useful to me. I just wanted to get these questions off my chest.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 12:22 PM.


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