Logo TwoI teach a course in Roman law for final-year students, and I always set aside a few seminars to discuss the legal aspects of selling slaves: documents recording slave sales, the sale of free persons as if they were slaves, and of course slaves with “defects” or special qualities. Roman slave law is emotionally tough. We bring disciplined minds to the texts, but we can’t close our intellect to the human beings we’re discussing. We struggle most when we talk about the buyer’s protections against “faulty” slaves. The quotation marks defend our humanity; the Romans weren’t so queasy, probably because status-types were embedded in their thinking, and the legal incidents of status had to be meticulously explored. One inevitable incident was the fact that humans, as items of commerce, could have shortcomings. This led the Roman jurists enthusiastically to discuss limbs, senses, and dispositions. The discussion shocks us, but what shocks us further, as Prof. Carrasco reveals, is how deeply the specific rules on slave sales had penetrated the popular mind.