Slavery in Middle Ages

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,899
Western Eurasia
Slavery was flurishing in Medieval Hungary (both during the pagan and post-Christianization era) too until the 14th century, by that time most of them apparently merged into the serf class (though actually I suspect we would find them in the 14-15th centuries too sporadically, but I've only encountered works about Árpádian era slavery). Also then later with the Ottoman wars ransom slavery became a big business on both sides, and there were a few domestic slaves too from the prisoners. I'm not sure when they fully disappeared, probably in the first half of the 18th century.

Also it hasn't been mentioned but the slave market in Prague was also a notable hub of the medieval slave trade as I can recall.
 
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johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,872
Cornwall
Slavery in the Romanian lands was abolished before the establishment of the Romanian state (so there was no slavery "in Romania"), and at least during the last centuries of its existence it was exclusively limited to ethnic Gypsies.
Although ironically the word 'Romanian' seems to feature quite heavily in reports of slavery in 21st century Britain.
 
Sep 2015
1,811
England
I know that slavery continued in Europe even after the fall of Western Roman Empire - including in the eastern Roman Empire. Among other things, I found this. It also appears that 10% of people in Domesday Book were slaves. However, my understanding is that while institution itself was not abolished, slavery became quite rare in Roman Empire by 7th century. In Poland, slavery was forbidden in 1529. at the latest, and was extremely rare even before that time. In Ottoman Empire, it continued until 20th century, and in Romania until 19th century.
The 10% is really only 2% unless you assume every slave had a nuclear family, and the term slave is problematic as it may have been what we understand as a serf, as has been said. Population was counted however, by head of household only, at this time, contrary to the source! Population numbers for the period are never exact, and always involve a certain amount of guesswork. The webpage is wrong on this point unless anyone has further evidence.

And regardless this demographic continued to fall under the Normans in the first years of the 1100s. See documentary evidence such as in Norfolk wills of the period, all the usual stuff to children/family, except the slaves which are to be emancipated. Whole manors, royal and ecclesiastical, particularly in the west country saw perhaps 100 slaves emancipated at a time some time after the Conquest, and who became ex-ploughmen!

As i understand things the Byzantines had slavery but on a limited basis - perhaps centred on certain POWs only. The British persuaded the Ottomans to give up slavery in the 1830s. It was extensive in West Africa until about 1900 when 1.5mn slaves were freed. And it was extensve on the east African coast, again until the British began the attempt in the late c.19th to formally, and then informally, bring it to a final end. It persisted in Saudi Arabia until 1965, Oman until 1970, and apparently persists to this day in Mauritania!

The Koreans and Chinese also had slaves. In fact is it indeed the case that everyone everywhere has had slaves, or been involved in slavery in some form or other?
 
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Apr 2019
116
Ireland
Viking Dublin rose to prominence as a centre of the Slave trade. Slaves from here could be sent all over the trade routes of the known world.
 

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
Viking Dublin rose to prominence as a centre of the Slave trade. Slaves from here could be sent all over the trade routes of the known world.
True and from what I remember on that, Angles, Britons and Picts were the main source of victims.
 
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johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,872
Cornwall
Maybe I ain't, but at least I don't make pointless comments.
When people are arrested for people-trafficking/prostitution etc in the UK - the victims are very often Romanian. So you will see there is a point to the comment. So when you say there is no slavery in Romania, someone is doing it.
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
7,035
Romania
When people are arrested for people-trafficking/prostitution etc in the UK - the victims are very often Romanian. So you will see there is a point to the comment. So when you say there is no slavery in Romania, someone is doing it.
Please provide an official statistic with the percent of Romanian citizens condemned for human-trafficking etc. in the UK in relation to the whole. Almost everywhere in the world there are people who unlawfully treat other people like slaves, such behaviour doesn't make its victims real slaves and after such a logic you can say that slavery still exists everywhere in the world. Besides, I am not sure that there are more people unlawfully treated as slaves in Romania than in the UK, so the UK should be more careful in enforcing its law.
 
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