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Slavery in East Asia, Paperback / softback Book

Slavery in East Asia Paperback / softback

Part of the Elements in the Global Middle Ages series

Paperback / softback


In premodern China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, just as in the far less culturally cohesive countries composing the West of the Middle Ages, enslavement was an assumed condition of servitude warranting little examination, as the power and profits it afforded to the slaver made it a convention pursued unreflectively.

Slavery in medieval East Asia shared with the West the commonplace assumption that nearly all humans were potential chattel, that once they had become owned beings, they could then be either sold or inherited.

Yet, despite being representative of perhaps the most universalizable human practice of that age, slavery in medieval East Asia was also endowed with its own distinctive traits and traditions.

Our awareness of these features of distinction contributes immeasurably to a more nuanced understanding of slavery as the ubiquitous and openly practiced institution that it once was and the now illicit and surreptitious one that it intractably remains.


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