History of slavery

Revelations won wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:35 am
Can anyone show me when and by whom slavery was first instituted?

I don’t think anyone can state when it was first instituted, but it has existed since the earliest known records.

In the earliest known records, slavery is treated as an established institution.

In the course of human history, slavery was a typical feature of civilization, and was legal in most societies, but it is now outlawed in most countries of the world, except as a punishment for a crime.


The history of slavery spans many cultures, nationalities, and religions from ancient times to the present day. Likewise, its victims have come from many different ethnicities and religious groups. The social, economic, and legal positions of enslaved people have differed vastly in different systems of slavery in different times and places.

Slavery occurred in civilizations including ancient Egypt, ancient China, the Akkadian Empire, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, ancient Israel, ancient Greece, ancient India, the Roman Empire, the Arab Islamic Caliphate and Sultanate, Nubia and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas. Ancient slavery consists of a mixture of debt-slavery, punishment for crime, prisoners of war, child abandonment, and children born to slaves.


Slavery has existed for millennia in varying forms in all parts of the world. Affecting all races, gender and age groups. It is only in recent times that it has been globally outlawed with the United Nations General Assembly adopting the declaration of human rights in 1948 that specified that freedom from slavery is a universal human right and it is to be prohibited in all forms.

The oldest known slave society was the Mesopotamian and Sumerian civilisations located in the Iran/Iraq region between 6000-2000BCE.

Ancient Greece could be argued to be the world’s first true ‘slave society’ whereby the majority of the economy was dependent on slave labour. Slaves made up a third of the total population with the wealthier classes viewing manual labour with distain.

At the height of the Roman empire up to 30% of the total population were enslaved with the majority being made up of conquered peoples. We also see the emergence of slavery used for ‘sport’ rather than labour such as gladiatorial fights and large-scale brothels.

Slavery in Africa had been around for thousands of years and many rulers in Africa were keen to trade with Europeans for goods and materials not locally available such as tin and other metals.

It is estimated that there are currently 40 million victims of slavery today.

https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/artic … n-history/

We don’t know when it first started, but we do know when it legally ended. Of course, even though it’s illegal today, it’s still practiced.

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania was the last country in the world to officially ban slavery, in 1981, with legal prosecution of slaveholders established in 2007. However, in 2019, approximately 40 million people, of whom 26% were children, were still enslaved throughout the world despite slavery being illegal.