Connecting the Mediterranean and the Atlantic

Forms of Slavery in Naples and Rome (1750–1850)

In: Journal of Global Slavery
Giulia Bonazza European University Institute

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This article aims to demonstrate that slavery persisted in Naples and Rome until the first half of the nineteenth century. My analysis shows that, while from a quantitative point of view slavery may be viewed as a “residual phenomenon,” the life narratives and practices of slavery encountered in these different urban contexts are not unlike those typical of the Italian peninsula in previous centuries: captivity, the role of privateering, the link between slavery and serfdom, and, finally, baptism as a vehicle to freedom were all important aspects of this complex phenomenon. The slavery cases examined for Naples also highlight the complex links between captivity and slavery in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic slave trade. Examples illustrate how the two circuits of slave trades were in reality intertwined.

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