Debra Blumenthal (2001)
Implements of Labor, Instruments of Honor: Muslim, Eastern and Black African Slaves in Fifteenth-Century Valencia
National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada Ottawa. (ISBN: 0612537560).
In six chapters, this dissertation traces the varied experiences of Muslim, eastern and Black African slaves from capture to freedom. In addition to describing how they arrived on the Valencian marketplace, this dissertation examines the substance of slaves' daily lives: how they were sold and who bought them, what sorts of labors they performed, and the degree to which they participated in the social, religious, and cultural life of the city. More fundamentally, however, this dissertation is concerned with analyzing the master-slave relationship and the degree to which both slaves and masters utilized the kingdom's court system to promote their agendas. While in recent years scholars have portrayed slavery in the late medieval Mediterranean as an institution working more towards the socialization than the subjugation of distinct peoples, this study reveals that in the city of Valencia, the religious, cultural, and increasingly racial boundaries separating slaves from their masters were not so easily erased, the path towards assimilation, manumission and integration not so smooth.
This Dissertation was subsequently reworked and published as Enemies and Familiars: Slavery and Mastery in Fifteenth-Century Valencia by Cornell University Press (Ithaca and London, 2009)