Chapter

Slavery

BERNARD LEWIS

in Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780195053265
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854561 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195053265.003.0001
Slavery

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The chapter describes the history of slavery and how governments worldwide worked to bring its abolition or at the very least curtail it. The institution of slavery had been practiced from time immemorial. It existed in all the ancient civilizations of Asia, Africa, Europe, and pre-Columbian America. The earliest slaves were captives taken in warfare. In pre-classical antiquity, most slaves appear to have been the property of kings, priests, and temples. They were employed to till the fields and tend the flocks of the royal and priestly masters. The slave population was also recruited by the sale, abandonment, or kidnapping of small children. Free persons could sell themselves or their offspring into slavery. The Old, the New Testament, and the Qu-ran recognize and accept the institution of slavery. The developing pattern of racial specialization in the use of slaves has contributed greatly to the growth of its prejudice.

Keywords: slaves; slavery; slave population; racial specialization

Chapter.  6802 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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