However for over 900 years, Africans were enslaved by Arabic slave traders. The Arab slave trade originated before Islam and historians estimate that between 650 and the 1960s, 10 to 18 million people were enslaved by Arab slave traders. Slaves were taken from Europe, Asia and Africa across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara desert.
Did You Know?
Slavery in the holy city of Mecca would remain until 1966 and in all other Arabic countries until 1990.
Zanj RebellionA series of slave uprisings known as the Zanj Rebellion took place between 869 and 883 AD near the city of Basra situated in present-day Iraq. The rebellion grew to involve over 500,000 slaves and free men who were imported from across the Muslim empire and claimed over "tens of thousands of lives in lower Iraq. The Zanj who were taken as slaves to the Middle East were often used in strenuous agricultural work.
Barbary Slave TradeArabs also enslaved Europeans. Between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured between the 16th and 19th centuries by Barbary corsairs, who were vassals of the Ottoman Empire, and sold as slaves. These slaves were captured mainly from seaside villages from Italy, Spain, Portugal and also from more distant places like France or England, the Netherlands, Ireland and even Iceland.
Often referred to as the Barbary slave trade, Barbary pirates raided ships and and coastal towns and men, women, and children were captured to such a devastating extent that vast numbers of sea coast towns were abandoned. Professor Robert Davis estimates that--from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th--1 million to 1.25 million white Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa.
Sources and Further Info
- Arab slave trade Wikipedia
- Zanj Rebellion