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Approaching Byzantine slavery

King's Building, Strand Campus, London

26 Feb
Sappho statue
Part of CHS Late Antique & Byzantine Studies Seminar Series

What were slaves needed for in Byzantium between the ninth and the eleventh centuries? Were they numerous? How were they recruited? Did they live good lives? In this paper I will review legal, historiographical and hagiographical texts in an attempt to situate slavery within the broader social and economic context of the Macedonian period. Given that the dichotomy between slavery and freedom, often taken as a defining feature of slavery, often appears blurred in the sources, I will speculate on how to define Byzantine slavery and what were its prominent features.

Marek Jankowiak is University Lecturer in Byzantine History at the University of Oxford. He studied economics and history in Paris and Warsaw, and wrote his dissertation on the monothelete controversy at the University of Warsaw and the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris). He was Newton Fellow in Oxford in 2011-13, co-investigator of the AHRC Oxford project “Dirhams for slaves” in 2013-17, and Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham in 2017-18. His main research interests are monotheletism, slavery and slave trade.

Part of the Late Antique and Byzantine Studies seminar series.

This event is open to all and free to attend. No booking is required.

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