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Title:The Mediterranean Islamic slave trade out of Africa: a tentative census
Author:Austen, Ralph A.ISNI
Book title:The human commodity: perspectives on the trans-Saharan slave trade
Geographic terms:Middle East
slave trade
Abstract:This essay represents a stage in bringing together data for a comprehensive account of the Islamic slave trade. It presents all significant observations of both slave trading and the presence of African slaves and/or ex-slaves in receiving Mediterranean areas - Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sahara - in tabular form. The evidence used falls into two broad categories: literary accounts and serial data. The former consists of statements by observers at greater or lesser distance from the trade and its aftermath. The serial data consists mainly of customs records from Cairo and Tripoli (Libya). The figures for partial periods are the significant portion of the findings and will have to be combined with indirect evidence to provide an estimate for longer time periods. This indirect evidence concerns the various conditions and occupations of black slaves and their descendants in Islamic Mediterranean countries. Specific attention is given to data on servile employment in agriculture and on the use of black slaves in Islamic military forces. Bibliogr., notes, ref.