Slaves and Warriors in Medieval Britain and Ireland, 800 -1200
Modern sensibilities have clouded historical views of slavery, perhaps more so than any other medieval social institution. Anachronistic economic rationales and notions about the progression of European civilisation have immeasurably distorted our view of slavery in the medieval context. As a result historians have focussed their efforts upon explaining the disappearance of this medieval institution rather than seeking to understand it. This book highlights the extreme cultural/social significance of slavery for the societies of medieval Britain and Ireland c. 800-1200. Concentrating upon the lifestyle, attitudes and motivations of the slave-holders and slave-raiders, it explores the violent activities and behavioural codes of Britain and Ireland’s warrior-centred societies, illustrating the extreme significance of the institution of slavery for constructions of power, ethnic identity and gender.