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Humayun Ansari

Britons had knowledge of Islam almost from its inception in the 7th century primarily because of the major Muslim incursions into Europe which brought Arabs as close to England as Poitiers in France in 732 References to the religion of the Saracens date from the Anglo Saxon period The English ...


Monuments and memorials  

Angela Leonard

One way to understand how a nation lives with its past and present is by locating monuments and memorials markers and places that commemorate historic events celebrate achievements of individuals help the bereaved remember and mourn the dead give meaning to the past and locate the presence of groups who ...


Premodern Africans in China  

Don J. Wyatt

The precise date for the appearance of the first Africans in China is likely to forever remain elusive but, whereas entry overland remains plausible, the footing is probably surer in electing to credit that occasion to the Indian Ocean slave trade. According to historian Gwyn Campbell (2008), this seaward trade in Africans as slaves stretched back some four millennia. Yet, before the seventh century of the Common Era, enslavement of Africans was an enterprise in which only the littoral countries of the western portion of the Indian Ocean had tended to engage, owing to their proximity to the lands along the East African coastline, which collectively served as the principal source of supply. Gradually, however, often through the process of transshipment and under a succession of Persian, Arab, and European enslavers, Africans were increasingly ferried to locales farther east and eventually on to China.

The earliest designation that ...


Slave Demography  

David Richardson

There is no consensus among historians about the definition of a slave society but if the ratio of slaves to total population is seen as an important element of such a definition some slave owning societies historically have more claim than others to be labeled as slave societies It is probable that in many if not most slave owning societies those owned by others comprised only a small fraction maybe 10 percent or less of the total population In some cases however the ratio of slaves to total population was higher though still less than half while in a small proportion of cases slaves comprised a majority of the population The geographical distribution of slave ownership across societies therefore has invariably been highly uneven In the modern world slavery has been particularly identified with Africa and the Americas though it has been prevalent in other continents notably Asia Although evidence ...