Abstract Dr. Marek Jankowiak
Marek Jankowiak (University of Birmingham)
Abstract: Slave trade and slavery in the Islamic world in the 9th and 10th centuries
Taking departure from the hoards of 9th- and 10th-century Islamic dirhams from northern Europe, I would like to reflect on the mechanisms of slave trade in the early Islamic world. After presenting the dynamics of the Scandinavian-Muslim slave trade as far as they can be reconstructed on the basis of the numismatic material, I will look for traces of Saqaliba slaves in the Islamic world. Their scarcity raises the question of the nature of the Islamic demand for slaves. In an attempt to answer this question I will broaden up my discussion to look at the importation of slaves from other directions. I will argue for a mostly palatial demand for slaves, which may explain why slaves appear as a source of labour only in very specific contexts.