c. 3500 B.C.E. Mesopotamians settle into permanent communities with successful agricultural techniques. Constantly at war with neighbors, the Mesopotamians begin to capture and enslave prisoners, forcing them into labor instead of killing them.
1780 B.C.E. King Hammurabi becomes the sixth ruler of Babylon, a city in northern Mesopotamia. With Babylon as his capital, Hammurabi unites all of the competing kingdoms of Mesopotamia under one government. He establishes the Code of Hammurabi, a list of about 300 laws that regulate all aspects of Babylonian life, including slavery.
1570 B.C.E. The Egyptians drive the ruling Hyksos from Egypt and enslave all foreigners who remain, including thousands of Hebrews, who are forced to work in the fields making bricks for the construction of new cities and temples.
597 B.C.E. Nebuchadrezzar II captures the city of Jerusalem and sends most of the city's population, about 3,000 Hebrews, into slavery in Babylonia. The Hebrews, who are eventually freed in 539 B.C.E., call this period "The Great Captivity."
594 B.C.E. Debt slavery for Greek citizens is outlawed in Athens, creating a demand for foreign slaves to do the work of the freed Greek debt slaves. At the same time, the introduction of coinage makes the slave trade easier, and slavery increases...
(The entire section is 3892 words.)
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Words to Know
- The head or ruler of a monastery for men.
- The act of getting rid of slavery. An abolitionist is someone who fights against the institution of slavery.
- Agricultural slaves:
- People owned as property by owners of farms and forced to labor in the fields.
- An official act of pardon for a large group of people.
- Before the war; particularly before the Civil War (1861-65).
- Someone who learns an art or trade by serving for a set period of time under someone who is skilled at the trade.
- A sale of property in which the buyers bid on the price, and the property goes to the highest bidder.
- A Christian ceremony marking an individual's acceptance into the Christian community.
- Benevolent societies:...
(The entire section is 3001 words.)