The slave trade is almost as old as civilisation itself.
Between the 6th and 10th centuries, the primary source of slaves for Europe and the Middle East was central and eastern Europe, especially Slavic people. This is the reason why the word for slave in many European languages is derived from Slav (for example English, German and French).
After the conquest of north Africa and Spain by Muslims, the Islamic world became a huge importer of slaves from central Europe. The trade routes were established between slave trade centres in the Slavonic countries (for example, Prague and Wolin) and Arab metropolises in Spain. The majority of slaves were prisoners captured in wars between Slavonic tribes and states.
This trade came to the end the 10th century after the Christianisation of central Europe.
For specific articles on the slave trade, see:
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13