Publication details

Slave Trade in Great Moravia: Reality or Fiction?

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Authors

MACHÁČEK Jiří

Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
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Description In the ninth century, Great Moravia, which can be described as an early state or rather as a ‘cyclical chiefdom’, was the dominant power in the eastern part of central Europe not only in terms of politics, but also of culture. Some of the Great Moravian centres certainly played the role of nodal points in the networks of long-distance trade or interregional exchange. This is supported, for example, by the distribution of Byzantine coins, which trace a corridor between Venice and the Moravian sites that follows the ancient Amber Trail. From the east and the south came brocade, silk, and glass lamps. The presence of foreign merchants in early medieval Moravia, especially of the Jewish Radhanites and the Bavarians, is confirmed by written sources. The Raffelstetten Customs Regulations, dating to 904, and some Islamic sources mention ‘the main Moravian market’, but thus far it has not been possible to locate it. This paper will discuss the hypothesis that one of the most demanded goods leaving Moravia in the ninth century for Spain across the Alps and for the Near East via Venice were slaves. Unfortunately, this ‘commodity’ is archaeologically badly visible
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