This website provides pedagogical resources for teachers who want to address the global history of slavery and captivity during the medieval period, broadly defined.

First and foremost, this website provides historical sources (texts, images, and audio files) that can be assigned as readings or used for in-class activities. Each source is accompanied by a brief introduction giving cultural context and historical background, a set of discussion questions, and a short list of thematic keywords to assist comparison across geographical, temporal, and cultural boundaries. The copyright status of each image is stated in its caption; all translated texts are shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. Click on a region of the map or a century on the timeline below to begin browsing.

In addition, each region and century page offers a selected bibliography of scholarly works to help teachers present slavery and captivity in an appropriate, historically and culturally specific context. These suggestions for further reading are based on the recommendations of scholars in history, religion, anthropology, archaeology, area studies, art history, languages, and classics. A selection of general works which introduce, define, and theorize the concepts of slavery and captivity are posted here. Click on a region of the map or a century on the timeline below to begin browsing.

Finally, the Notes from the Field section presents pedagogical ideas, suggestions, and reflections by experienced teachers. The page for high school teachers also offers a selection of sources in DBQ format suitable for AP World History classes. Scroll down to Notes from the Field to browse within the teaching context most appropriate for you.

Recently added: Portugal and the Japanese Slave Trade, A Letter by a Ninth-Century Slave Trader, Teaching Inequality and Exclusive Power Structures in Grade 7, Visit of a Persian Embassy, The Jingkang Incident, and Kunlun Slaves.

Coming soon: Bactrian and Sogdian documents, and the Babylonian Talmud.

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Notes from the Field