They used the law of collective responsibility: if a slave killed his master, the authorities put all of the slaves in that household to death.
Slaves who misbehaved have been known to be beaten, burned with an iron or sometimes even killed, regardless of their age or sex although most slaves were usually males.
The experiences of slaves generally varied with the place and the person who owned them.
There were many reports of abuse and harsh treatment given to slaves though it is not possible to indicate how widespread this was at the time.
Cicero’s son, Marcus, often wrote to Tiro whenever he needed any advice and the two had a relationship more of an uncle and nephew rather than that of a young lord and family slave. On that day Cicero’s brother Quinto’s wrote him a letter of congratulations that read,: “I am truly grateful for what you have done about Tiro, in judging his former condition to be below his deserts and preferring us to have him as a friend rather than a slave. This relationship raises many questions about slavery, why did it take Cicero so many years too free Tiro if he had noted for all those years how loyal and true Tiro was?
Believe me, I jumped for joy when I read your letter and his. Most compelling of all, if you grew up in a world where the social institution of slavery was normal, even normative, how could one recognize the human dignity of any slave?
Seneca who was a Roman writer held the view that a well treated slave performed better than a mistreated slave.
An example of different experience by slaves would be that of Cicero who had a slave called Tiro.
Cato the Elder was recorded as saying that he expelled any old and sick slaves within his household.
Some defeated soldiers usually chose to commit suicide rather than be taken into slavery by the Romans’.