Slavery: The History Behind The Word “Slavery”


The word ‘slavery’ originated from the word Slav. Slav is a name given to a group of people who inhabited a large part of Eastern Europe. The Slavs were captured by the Muslims in Spain and were enslaved during the ninth century.

Slavery is a condition where a person is forbidden to quit their service for another person. The slave is made to work according to his or her dictator. Slavery has been an ancient practice. It has been acknowledged in both the Bible and the Koran.

“As for those of your slaves which wish to buy their liberty, free them if you find in them any promise and bestow on them a part of the riches which God has given you.” Koran, Chapter 24, Verse 32. 

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” Old Testament, Ephesians 6, Chapter 6, Verse 8.

The religious books identifies slaves as a different class of people in the world.

Back in time, the Mayans and Aztecs kept slaves in the Americas. The Egyptians also had many slaves from Ethiopia, Europe and even Jews. The Greeks and Romans captured slaves from France, Britain and Germany and employed slaves in their armies, laborers and some even being employed as civil servants. Slaves who were employed in the army were kept by the Ottomans and Egyptians. 

A picture of slaves working on a plantation in the 19th century

In the 19th century, one third of the population of Imperial Russia were Serfs. The Serfs were chattels who could be bought and sold just as slaves in America. Four years after the slaves have been freed in 1861 by Emperor Alexander II, a civil war broke out and slavery was abolished after the Southerners were defeated.

In Africa, the Ashantis kept slaves and sold them out to the Europeans on commercial basis. Slavery indeed has been there for long.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here