Slavery in medieval Europe  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Slavery became increasingly uncommon through the Middle Ages replaced by serfdom by the 10th century, but began to revive again towards the end of the Middle Ages and in the Early Modern Era. The Byzantine–Ottoman wars (1265–1479) and the Ottoman wars in Europe (14th to 20th centuries) resulted in the capture of large numbers of Christian slaves. The Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, British and a number of West African kingdoms played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade, especially after 1600.

In the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, slaves became quite rare by the first half of the 7th century. A shift in the view of slavery is noticed, which by the 10th century transformed gradually a slave-object into a slave-subject. From 11th century, semi-feudal relations largely replaced slavery, seen as "an evil contrary to nature, created by man's selfishness", although slavery was permitted by the law.

The majority of Western European languages, including English, use variations of the word "slave" which is an eponym of Slavs who were held in bondage in the Byzantine Empire.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Slavery in medieval Europe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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