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Enslavement, Slave Labour And Treatment Of Captives In The Crimean Khanate

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Chapter Summary

The Crimean Tatars founded a state in a region that had been an area for the acquisition and marketing of slaves since Antiquity. Imposing taxation on the slave trade and on the commerce of Italian colonial towns along the Black Sea littoral was the means of generating the reliable income the Tatars needed for the foundation of an independent state in the first half of the fifteenth century and for its subsequent maintenance for approximately three hundred years. Due to the frequent droughts and epidemics, most of the nomadic Nogai Tatars living under the suzerainty of the Crimean khan were compelled to pursue slave acquisition as their only sure means of subsistence. The Tatar clans of the military élite settled in the Crimea constantly needed slaves to work their estates. Thus, slave labour and revenues from the slave trade were indispensable to the Crimean Khanate for centuries.

Keywords: Crimean Khanate; Crimean Tatars; Italian colonial towns; slave labour; slave trade

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