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Chapter 17 - Slavery in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire

from Part IV - The Islamic World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 September 2021

Craig Perry
Emory University, Atlanta
David Eltis
Emory University, Atlanta
Stanley L. Engerman
University of Rochester, New York
David Richardson
University of Hull
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This chapter examines the social history of slavery in the early Ottoman Empire. Arguing that the range of forms of enslavement and forced labour practiced in the Ottoman Empire cannot be described by the current ‘universal’ definitions of slavery, this chapter looks at the role of slavery in Ottoman dynastic politics, the social history of military and administrative slavery, and the slavery of skilled workers as central to the economic production of the early modern urban centres of the Ottoman Empire. The chapter concludes with an examination of the legal categories that were applied to different forms of slavery and manumission, and presents to the reader to a range of primary and secondary sources for the research of slavery in the Ottoman Empire.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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