Contrary to conventional thought, Slavery was NOT only endured by Blacks, all peoples have at one time or another been enslaved.
The irony is that it is Blacks who appear to have created the institution of Slavery. As the creators of civilization, and the builders of the worlds first cities, Blacks logically were the first to have a need for slaves, as a source of free labor. Slavery in ancient cultures was known to occur in civilizations as old as Sumer, and it was found in every civilization, including Ancient Egypt, the Akkadian Empire, Assyria, Ancient Greece, Rome and parts of its empire.
Such institutions were a mixture of debt-slavery, punishment for crime, the enslavement of prisoners of war, child abandonment, and the birth of slave children to slaves. In the Roman Empire, probably over 25% of the empire’s population, and 30 to 40% of the population of Italy was enslaved. Records of slavery in Ancient Greece go as far back as Mycenaean Greece. It is often said that the Greeks as well as philosophers such as Aristotle accepted the theory of natural slavery i.e. that some men are slaves by nature. At the time of Plato and Socrates, slavery was so accepted by the Greeks (including philosophers) that few people indeed protested it as an institution.
In the Viking era starting c. 793, the Norse raiders often captured and enslaved militarily weaker peoples they encountered. In the Nordic countries the slaves were called thralls. The thralls were mostly from Western Europe, among them many Franks, Anglo-Saxons, and Celts. Many Irish slaves participated in the colonization of Iceland. There is evidence of German, Baltic, Slavic and Latin slaves as well. The slave trade was one of the pillars of Norse commerce during the 6th through 11th centuries. The Persian traveler Ibn Rustah described how Swedish Vikings, the Varangians or Rus, terrorized and enslaved the Slavs, (thus the word Slave).
The Vikings raided across Europe, though their slave raids were the most destructive in the British Isles and Eastern Europe. While the Vikings kept some slaves for themselves as servants, known as thralls, most people captured by the Vikings would be sold on the Byzantine or Islamic markets. In the West the targets of Viking slavery were primarily English, Irish, and Scottish, while in the East they were mainly Slavs. The Viking slave trade slowly ended in the 1000s, as the Vikings settled in the European territories they once raided.
The Mongol invasions and conquests in the 13th century made the situation worse. The Mongols enslaved skilled individuals, women and children and marched them to Karakorum or Sarai, whence they were sold throughout Eurasia. Many of these slaves were shipped to the slave market in Novgorod, (near Moscow in Russia).
Slave commerce during the Late Middle Ages was mainly in the hands of Venetian and Genoese merchants and cartels, who were involved in the slave trade with the Golden Horde. In 1382 the Golden Horde under Khan Tokhtamysh sacked Moscow, burning the city and carrying off thousands of inhabitants as slaves. Between 1414 and 1423, some 10,000 eastern European slaves were sold in Venice. Genoese merchants organized the slave trade from the Crimea to Mamluk Egypt. For years the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan routinely made raids on Russian principalities for slaves and to plunder towns. Russian chronicles record about 40 raids of Kazan Khans on the Russian territories in the first half of the 16th century. In 1521, the combined forces of Crimean Khan Mehmed Giray and his Kazan allies attacked Moscow and captured thousands of slaves.
In 1441, Haci I Giray declared independence from the Golden Horde and established the Crimean Khanate. For a long time, until the early 18th century, the khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. In a process called the “harvesting of the steppe”, they enslaved many Slavic peasants. About 30 major Tatar raids were recorded into Muscovite territories between 1558-1596. In 1571, the Crimean Tatars attacked and sacked Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin and taking thousands of captives as slaves. In Crimea, about 75% of the population consisted of slaves.
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