Galley Slaves of the 17th Century

The Galeotti: rowing out of the Barbary Coast

Readers of The Baroque Cycle will recall that Jack Shaftoe was captured and forced into galley slavery by the Barbary Pirates.

Ben-Hur to the contrary, galley slaves were almost unknown in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Back then rowers were free men. Galley slavery was an innovation of the late middle ages. See, for example, The Ancient Engineers, p. 352-354.

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