Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Slavery in the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Empire

        In the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Empire, slavery was prevalent, as in many other empires before, during, and after these empires fell from their once great heights. In the Codex Justinianus, the collection of Byzantine laws organized by Emperor Justinian, the legality of runaway slaves and what to do with them is outlined. In 2:177-178 and 24:32-33 of the Qu'ran are laying out how slaves are to live in relation to their masters.

Codex Justinianus was the codification of Roman laws. Before the Codex Justinianus was created, Roman laws were often contradictory or out of date. In the Return of Fugitive Slaves & Coloni, [Xl.48.xii.] clause, it states that slaves may not leave their master. A runaway slave may not be hired by anyone to do any jobs. The person must know that they are hiring a free man. If the employer hires a runaway, then the wrath of the law will be set upon said employer, as well as the slave. 

In verse 2:177 of the Qu'ran it is noted that one of the ways to become more righteous in the eyes of Allah is to free one's slaves. In 2:178 it is said that there should be justice for the murder of slaves. Also, the Qu'ran gives permission for men to use their slave girls as a concubine.

1.      Byzantine Empire
a.       Christianity
                                                  i.      Many references in the bible supporting slavery
                                                 ii.      Treatment of slaves, etc.
b.      Laws
                                                 i.      Fugitive slave   
                                   1.      Primary Source
                                                ii.      How the Slave Trade goes
c.       Traditions
                                                  i.      Saw themselves as Roman    
                                   1.      Romans relied heavily on slavery
d.      Geography
                                                   i.      Most cultures (past and present) in that area had slavery
                                                   ii.      Slavs, Africans, and prisoners of war
The Byzantines, like the Romans and other cultures before them, participated in and expanded slavery.

2.      Islamic Empire
a.       Islam
                                                 i.      Refers to slavery a lot
                                   1.      Concubines
                                   2.      Releasing your slaves leads to righteousness

                                                ii.      Muhammad had his own slaves
                                   1.      Four slave girls
b.      Geography
                                                     i.       West-Africa
                               ii.    Western Europeans
                                                  iii.      Prisoners of war
                                                   iv.      People in serious debt
                                      1.      Still occurs today (somewhat)
In the Islamic empire, Muslims practiced slavery and they were backed up by the Qu'ran.

   1. Compare
a.       Religion
                                                    i.      Holy book/teachings justifies slavery
                                                    ii.      Patriarchs both had slaves
1.      Abraham had slaves
a.       Fun fact: his slaves were also circumcised when he made the covenant with G-d
2.      Muhammad had slaves
a.       Four slave girls/concubines
b.      Laws
                                                   i.      Codex Justinianus
1.      Prohibits fugitive slaves
                                                   ii.      Muhammad: No running
1.      “God has forbidden the Paradise to the runaway slave”
c.       Traditions
                                                   i.      There was rampant slavery in Rome
                                                   ii.      Slavery all over the Middle East
d.      Who is enslaved
                                                    i.      Prisoners of war
                                                    ii.      West Africa/Africans

These cultures, in regards to slavery are very similar.

Rotman, Youval. Byzantine Slavery and the Mediterranean World. N.p.: n.p., 2009. Print.
"The Qur'an And Slavery." The Qur'an And Slavery. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. <http://www.nicheoftruth.org/pages/the_quran_and_slavery.htm>
Novo, Marta Garcia. "Join Academia.edu & Share Your Research with the World."Islamic Law and Slavery in Premodern West Africa. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <http://www.academia.edu/1127853/Islamic_law_and_slavery_in_premodern_West_Africa>.
"Islam and Slavery." Islam and Slavery. Barnabus Fund, 2007, Web. 14 Dec. 2013. <http://answering-islam.org/Green/slavery.htm>.

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