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The Slaves of the Churches – A History - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Slaves of the Churches: A History

Mary E. Sommar


This is the story of how the church sought to establish norms for slave ownership on the part of ecclesiastical institutions and personnel and for others’ behavior toward such slaves. The story begins in the New Testament era, when the earliest Christian norms were established, and continues through the late Roman Empire, the Germanic kingdoms, and the Carolingian Empire, to the thirteenth-century establishment of a body of ecclesiastical regulations (canon law) that would persist into the twentieth century. Chronicles, letters, and other documents from each of the various historical periods, ... More

Keywords: canon law, church law, church property, manumission, medieval law, monastic estates, slavery ecclesiastical, slavery European, slavery global, slavery medieval

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190073268
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190073268.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mary E. Sommar, author
Assistant Professor of History, Millersville University