Slavery, Slave Trade, The Triangular Trade

(3783 words)
  • Christine Pagnoulle (Université de Liège )

Historical Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

From Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century

Human slavery has been a feature of many different civilisations, from ancient times to the present day, providing one of the abhorrent mechanisms by which the unequal distribution of wealth and the demand for labour is resolved across the earth’s surface. Early Athenian society was notably reliant upon the labour of slaves and whilst slavery for Athenians was abolished by Solon in 594 BCE the practice of enslaving the people of other races continued throughout antiquity. Slaves comprised about one third of the population in the fifth to third centuries BCE and their lack of freedom and poor remuneration enabled the leisured Athenian elite to philosophise about the arts, …

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Pagnoulle, Christine. "Slavery, Slave Trade, The Triangular Trade". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 March 2005; last revised 29 April 2005.
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]