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Thraldom

A History of Slavery in the Viking Age

Stefan Brink

Thraldom

Thraldom

A History of Slavery in the Viking Age

Thraldom

 

This book provides a history of slavery in Viking Age Scandinavia by examining a multitude of sources, including archaeology, runic inscriptions, Icelandic sagas, early law, DNA analysis, and place names.


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Beschrijving Thraldom

Nordic slavery is an elusive phenomenon, with few similarities to the systematic exploitation of slaves in households, mines, and amphitheaters in the ancient Mediterranean or the widespread slavery at American plantations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Scandinavians in the early Middle Ages lived in a society foreign to us, characterized by different and shifting social statuses. A person could be at once socially respected and unfree. It was
possible to hand oneself over as a slave to someone else in exchange for protection and food. One could be sentenced temporarily to enslavement for some offense but later purchase his manumission. Young men could enter into a kind of "contract" with a king or chieftain to join his retinue, accepting his
authority, patronage, and jurisdiction, while at the same time making a quick social elevation.

Slavery was widespread all over Europe during the early Middle Ages and Scandinavians, as Stefan Brink illustrates in this book, became a major player in the northern slave trade. However, the Vikings were not particularly interested in taking slaves to Scandinavia; instead, their "business model" seems to have been to raid, abduct, and then sell captured people at major slave markets. Their goal was not people but silver. Using a wide variety of source materials, including archaeology, runes,
Icelandic sagas, early law, place names, personal names, and not least etymological and semantic analyses of the terminology of slaves, Thraldom provides the most thorough survey of slavery in the Viking Age.


ISBN
9780197532355
Pagina's
384
Verschenen
NUR
680
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP USA

Geschiedenis