The Vikings enslaved and sold their captives from raiding expeditions. Ibn Fadlan, a learned member of a diplomatic mission sent by Caliph al-Mukadir in 921 to the Bulgars (a region east of Kiev in modern-day Russia), wrote of his contact with the eastern Vikings known as the Rus (who may have given their name to Russia). Slave women on the ships of the Rus not only carried out arduous physical labour, but were subject to almost constant sexual assault from their captors. Slaves formed a large percentage of trade carried out with the Caliphate, along with furs, armaments such as swords, spears, and arrows, and the ever-precious beeswax and honey.

To learn about Anglo-Saxon slavery click here.

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