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Geroghe I Brătianu (1969)

La mer Noire. Des origines à la conquête ottomane

Societea Academica Romana (Acta Historica, vol. 9) München.

Ever since antiquity, the slave trade had constituted a major feature of the commercial activities in the Black Sea. Even if in the Middle Ages traders might have preferred lighter and more valuable goods, such as spices, that were easier and safer to transport on the long journeys towards western Europe, slaves kept being traded in high quantities. The Black Sea shores not only offered a reservoir of potential slaves but also, after “the Mamluk attacks on the last crusader bastions” (p.232), a way of dodging the new obstacles faced in reaching Asian goods via the ports of Syria and Egypt.

Much of the Black Sea trade might have been local, but the slave trade was international and, according to Bratianu, “showed the same analogies from one era to another” (p.76): Strabo’s commentary on slave trade in the Caucasus region in antiquity could apply as well to slave trade in the medieval Black Sea basin.

Black Sea antiquity 10th century 11th century 12th century 13th century 14th century 15th century
by Annika Stello last modified 2008-05-06 09:22

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