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Slavery, Violence and the Origin of Serfdom in Late Medieval Galicia

Slavery, Violence and the Origin of Serfdom in Late Medieval Galicia

Paper given by Iiuri Zazuliak

Delivered at Harvard University, 12 February 2018

This presentation discusses the interrelation between slavery and serfdom in fifteenth-century Galicia (Red Ruthenia). First, it focuses on legal records in which commoners were found guilty of some criminal wrongdoings and adjudicated to slavery. Through this analysis it demonstrates that one can speak about the slavery in fifteenth-century Galicia without a need to describe it as a specific “Galician institution” dated back to the times before the Polish conquest of the middle and second half of the fourteenth century and rooted in the legal norms and social practices of the Old Rus’ (this view has been widely held in the historiography).

Iurii Zazuliak is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ukrainian Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Associate Professor of Medieval History at Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

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