Slavery in Russia

In almost all ancient societies practiced slavery. Eastern Slavs were no exception, although in many ways depression was much lower than in other slave-holding countries. For example, a slave could eventually become a full member of society, and even to marry a local girl. But with the same success it was possible to cater to the sacrificial altar, his death for extracting owners good luck in battle and abundant crops in the fields.

Slavery in Russia

The captive slave - a potential victim of the pagan

Slavery in Russia

The Scarecrow of Carnival. / Photo:

Straw man that is torn to pieces or burnt during the "Spring Wire" - is nothing more than an echo of the custom of ritual sacrifice. In modern conditions the rite does not require killing. But in the bygone era of the place stuffed he held a living person. His death, according to the ancient Slavs helped appease the gods.

Material for ritual sacrifices often become prisoners captured by the Slavs in the successful military campaigns. Many accidents were sent on a sacrificial altar immediately after the battle. So, at the end of the battle of Prince Sviatoslav with the Greeks at Dorostol (971 years) to conduct a funeral ceremony of their own fallen soldiers have killed many prisoners. Leo the Deacon, who wrote about these events, contended that the rite used for women, men and children.

During the burial of the bodies of fallen soldiers were gathered in one place and burned. According to the Slavic tradition at the same time they killed a lot of adult prisoners, then it was a few choking infants and roosters.

Human sacrifices took place not only at the funeral. Thietmar of Merseburg says that the Pomeranian Slavs on the return of the successful campaigns surely thank their gods for the success with the help of a bloody ritual.

Slavery was not life

Slavery in Russia

The surviving polonyane could hope to return to their native lands. The Slavs there was a tradition to release slaves, to get a ransom. This outcome was considered most advantageous as it was effective and acceptable form of enrichment. Roman and Byzantine elite enjoyed this opportunity, offering the Slavs for relatives sometimes considerable sums.

The use of slave labor in the conduct of its own economy and practiced. But such an outcome was less attractive. The main goal of the Slavs remained a reward for the slaves did not get the lot on the sacrificial altar.

Slaves were more likely to stay to work at the new lord after the formation of the large princely courts. But even to stay and work in a foreign land, with no rights and property, slaves had a real prospect of freedom. According to a Soviet historian V. Mavrodin, prisoners do not remain slaves for life. At maturity, these people become full members among the Antes and sklaviny could start a family, to participate in public life. And also it had the opportunity to return home, but if the ransom was not made by relatives, it was necessary to pay the most. Then open the way home.

It should be noted that the slaves could become not only the prisoners, but also criminals, impoverished peasants, fugitive Zákupy (peasants who have taken a loan).

Vladimir the Red Sun was the son of the slave

Slavery in Russia

The housekeeper Princess Olga gave birth to Vladimir the Great, Grand Duke and Baptizer of Rus. / Photo:

Slavery did not mean hopeless misery and humiliation for posterity, this ancient Russian society different from other nations, which were dictated by the more stringent social regulations for children of slaves. A striking example of this was the Vladimir the Great, the Baptizer of Rus. Mother iconic historical figure - Malusha - was a slave-girl. She served as a housekeeper Princess Olga.

Sometimes the sheep valued higher than polonyanka

Slavery in Russia

Trafficking in human beings to be profitable, so the Slavs continued to carry out military campaigns, capturing including live goods. According to the provisions of the statute size Raffelshtettenskogo customs duty for the slave was roughly equal to the duty of the horse.

Manages to get an idea of ​​the cost of the individual slaves. The average price of the Kiev man was an amount identical 45-90 grams of gold, the women were sold significantly cheaper - the cost was lower by 50-70% for the old man or the child was given no more than 10 grams of gold. At Constantinople slave market price of live goods increased twice, as the situation was in the Mediterranean metropolitan areas specializing in the slave trade.

The farther away from large cities, the cheaper you could buy a slave. Also on the fall in prices impacted luck in the campaign and the number of new captives. So, in the middle of the XII century, when Novgorod enslaved especially a lot of people from the neighboring principality, the slave girl can be purchased for 2 Nogat. It is 3 times cheaper than a pig or a sheep.

In Russia, the market was not slaves

Slavery in Russia

One of the biggest was the slave market in Rome. In the Old Russian state such markets have not acted. / Photo:

While the slave trade and was a matter of lucrative, she became one of the important areas of the economy in the Old Russian state. Merchants exported mainly traditional commodities: sables, tin, wax and "a number of slaves." Such evidence Traveler Muhammad Ibn Haukal confirms that the slave trade in Russia has not received a great development.

Slavery in Russia

Slave Market in Constantinople. / Photo:

This is also evidenced by the lack of specialized markets. Living Goods transported to Constantinople, Bulgaria and the Crimea, where human trafficking was carried out much more lively.

Gentle exploitation of slave labor

The working conditions of slaves in the Old Russian state can not be compared with those that have been in Greece or the Roman Empire. Lean disgusting food, exhausting labor, forced whip, premature death from starvation - such slaves in Russia is not threatened.

According to historians, the Slavs exploited slave labor, without harming human health powerless. Slave could instruct the hard work or the one that was considered undignified for a full-fledged member of the community. But the exhaustion or injury to say in this case is impossible. As a rule, the slave worked together with its owner.