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Slavery And Cultural Antipathy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights how slavery was an ancient institution of some cultural significance for the societies of medieval Britain. The Irish adoption of coinage in the native kingdoms near to Dublin, reveals the significant economic impact of the Hiberno-Norse settlements upon the native economy. The chapter examines the increasingly condemnatory attitudes of English writers towards the 'Celtic' populations in this period, particularly in relation to slave raiding activities. It analyses the various methods by which the post-Conquest English elite attempted to remould the behavioural norms of their 'Celtic' counterparts. The chapter highlights the cultural tensions that this 'imperial' acculturation created within the 'Celtic' communities. It also examines insular responses towards the increasing English cultural influence being exerted upon 'Celtic' society. Due to geographical proximity and longstanding political and social associations the invasive tendrils of English cultural influence were perhaps, felt most immediately and keenly within the communities of medieval Wales.

Keywords: 'Celtic' society; cultural antipathy; medieval Britain; slavery



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