SLAVES IN MIDDLE AGES : 6TH -15TH CENTURY ,SANCTUARY AND CRIME.THE SULTAN'S FAVOURITES: FEMALES ATTENDANT IN ARABIAN/TURKISH SERAGLIO.
The Slave Market Of Babylon,the allies of the Moslems were the Jews. they both hated and preyed on Christians.Jews ran the slave camps where young Christian celt boys and girls were tortured, beaten, starved, and raped into submission.
They were women and children destined for domestic service a fate that not infrequently included sexual service.In a slave market that lay at the intersection not only of Europe and Asia, but also of Christianity and Islam produced remarkable consequences. More women than men were put up for sale , and they consistently fetched higher prices.In the period after the collapse of the Roman empire in the west, slavery continues in the countries around the Mediterranean. But the slaves are employed almost exclusively in households, offices and armies. The gang slavery characteristic of large Roman estates does not reappear until the tobacco and cotton plantations of colonial America (one notable exception is the salt mines of the Sahara). Nevertheless the slave trade thrives, and the Mediterranean is a natural focal point. More than anywhere else, the Mediterranean provides the geographical and economic environment to encourage a slave trade. Civilized regions surround the central sea. To the north and south stretch vast areas populated by relatively unsophisticated tribes. Border warfare results in tribal captives being enslaved. In addition to this, market forces encourage the tribes to seize prisoners of their own to service a developing slave trade.During the eastward expansion of the Germans in the 10th century so many Slavs are captured that their racial name becomes the generic term for a 'slave'. At the same period the delivery of slaves to the Black Sea region is an important part of the early economy of Russia.
The Arabic word Harem derives its original spelling and meaning from the Egyptian word harim, meaning ‘women’. In Egypt, A harem was simply the place where women lived. Any middle class home would have a harem, or women's room, where unmarried female relatives and servants would sleep. One would expect the Sultan/ King's palace to have similar facilities. There was, of course, a difference. The king had several palaces and so he needed several harems. It took a very large number of people to keep each palace functioning smoothly and so we would expect appropriately large harems.
South of the Mediterranean, the dynasties of Arabs along the coast stimulate an African slave trade. Slavery in Muslim history lasted much longer than the Atlantic slave trade - although slavery had existed in many cultures long before Islam.The Muslim slave trade from Africa seems to have enslaved roughly similar numbers (estimates vary between 11 and 14 million Africans) to the Atlantic slave trade, and the transportation conditions endured by victims of the Eastern trade were probably just as horrible in their own way as those of the Atlantic slave trade.One poignant fact is that when the Atlantic slave trade was abolished the Eastern trade expanded, suggesting that for some Africans the abolition of the Atlantic trade didn't lead to freedom, but merely changed their slave destination.Slavery played a significant part in the history of Muslim civilisation, but it was a form of slavery that was inherently different from the 'slave trade' in that the Muslim concept of slavery regarded those enslaved as people who had some, albeit fewer, human rights that must be respectedThe town of Zawila develops in the Sahara in about700 specifically as a trading station for slaves. Captured in the region around Lake Chad, they are sold to Arab households in a Muslim world which by the 8th century stretches from Spain to Persia.Slavery is an accepted part of life in Arabia during the time of Muhammad, in the 7th century, and the Qur'an offers no arguments against the practice. It merely states, particularly in relation to female slaves, that they must be well treated. In general that has been the case, compared with the barbaric treatment of slaves in some Christian communities. The Christian Gospels make no specific mention of slavery, though slaves may be expected to benefit from the general bias in favour of the poor and the oppressed.
They were young women and children destined for domestic service , a fate that not infrequently included sexual service.Female slaves were twice as expensive as males in Crete in 1301 .As a result, as many as 80 percent of all Black Sea slaves whose sexes and ages are known were females aged between 8 and 24.The Sultan's favorites, and the rest of his concubines main function was to entertain the Sultan in the bedchamber.
During the early Middle Ages the missionaries and bishops of the Roman Catholic church argue against the ownership of slaves in the emerging dynasties of northern Europe. At first they make little headway. But gradually slavery disappears in western European countries - largely replaced by the serfdom of the feudal manor. However, Spain/Morocco was not the only base where Jews/Moslems preyed on European Christian boys and girls. Beginning approximately 1100 AD the Moslems of Turkey preyed on the Eastern and Central European Christian boys and girls as well. The same tribe of Sephardic Jews ran the Turkish slave pens and the slave markets where the European Christian boys and girls were broken into slaves and sold.But a new and disastrous chapter in the story of slavery begins with the arrival of the Portuguese in west Africa in the 15th century. Meanwhile the Muslim habit of using slaves in the army has led to one unusual result - in itself an indication of the trust accorded to slaves in Middle Eastern communities. In 1250 the slave leaders of the Egyptian army, known as Mamelukes, depose the sultan and seize power. A succession of rulers from their own ranks control much of the Middle East, as the Mameluke dynasty, for nearly three centuries.In the back of the book you will find a bibliography of many more documentary and non-fiction books on the enslavement of European boys and girls, by the Moslem/Jew slave trade.
Young female slaves commanded a premium in the Crimean slave trade, a lucrative business that became the subject of many Orientalist fantasies.