1)))Briefly discuss five of the following topics: a) slave occupations; b. master-slave
relation; c) plantation slave family life; d) Slave Business Enterprises e) day-to-day
resistance; f) Slave Codes; g) slave religion.
Throughout history the range of occupations held by slaves has been nearly as
broad as that held by free persons, but it varied greatly from society to society.
The actual range did not depend upon whether the slave lived in a slave-owning
or a slave society, although the greatest restrictions appeared in the latter.
To start at the top, the highest position slaves ever attained was that of slave
minister, or ministerialis. Ministeriales existed in the Byzantine Empire,
Merovingian France, 11th-century Germany during the Salian dynasty, medieval
Muscovy, and throughout the Ottoman Empire. A few slaves even rose to be
monarchs, such as the slaves who became sultans and founded dynasties in
At a level lower than that of slave ministers were other slaves, such as those in
the Roman Empire, the Central Asian Samanid domains, Ch'ing China, and
elsewhere, who worked in government offices and administered provinces. Some
of those slaves were government property, whereas others belonged to private
individuals who employed them for government work.
On a level similar to that of slaves working in government were the so-called
temple slaves. They were employed by religious institutions in Babylonia, Rome,
and elsewhere. Unless they were ultimately destined for sacrifice to the gods,
temple slaves usually enjoyed a much easier life than other slaves. They served
in occupations ranging from priestess to janitor.
Slaves fought as soldiers and usually were considered of high status. In some
societies military slaves belonged to private individuals, in others to the
government. In 16th-century Muscovy, for example, cavalrymen purchased
slaves who fought alongside them on horseback; in the later 17th century
Muscovite slaves were relegated to guarding the baggage train. A special type of
slave soldier was the Ottoman janissary. The Islamic Ottoman Turks confiscated
Christian children (called “the tribute children”), took them to Istanbul, and raised
them to be professional soldiers, or janissaries. Some janissaries served as
members of the palace guard and became involved in the succession struggles
of the Ottoman Empire. The Egyptian Mamluks were also professional soldiers of
slave origin who rose to run the entire country. The African Hausa of Zaria and
most Sudanic regimes included slaves in all ranks of the soldiery and command.
The canoe crews of the West African coast were usually slaves. The British even
had detachments of slave soldiers in the Caribbean.
Societies that explicitly refused to employ slaves in combat, such as Athens in its