Price of Slaves?

My PCs have recently become interested in purchasing a few slaves. They are in the Roman tribunal, and according to my google research, Genoa and Venice were avid slavers at this time, though the markets appear to be in eastern europe or in North Africa/Iberia/Levant, and not actually in Italy. I'm trying to find a few pieces of info. "Covenants" lists a price of 6 slaves as one Mythic pound. I'm assuming this is general unskilled labor, not skilled/valued slave.

1.) Appropriate price for a skilled/valuable slave? (I'm thinking of just doubling the cost of paying a labourer of the appropriate type for a year?)

2.) Were slaves sold in Italy in the 1200s?

  1. The Church forbid Christians from owning Christian slaves, but said nothing about non-Christians. Both Genoa and Venice had extensive trade relations around the Mediterranean, including with non-Christians land, and did deal in slaves from them (and occasionally in Christian slaves sold to non-Christian lands, although that was of course quite illegal). So yes, your players can find slaves there.

Heard of the slave plantations in the US? Well, that was in practice in Crete and Cyprus under venetian management quite massively before that time (sugar plantations, 1100 - 1500ish). There are reports of slave dealing in Venice from the 9th century (regulations). Dealing in black and muslim slaves for these giuys was fairluy common, and they were sold to christians with no problems. Two direction slave trade. The trade of bulk slaves in venice found some problems, so it was done in the sidelines, and (mostly) in the colonies. More sophisticated slaves would be easier to find in the metropolis, I guess.


City & Guild , page 142:

Use the Quality Multiplier on page 144 as a guideline.

There is probably a market for Gifted slaves (presumably untrained in magic).
Slavers used to the Gift or able to recognise its effect , could charge accordingly.

Slaves with useful supernatural abilities , e.g. Animal Ken , would also go for more cash or trade-wise.

I must have missed the slave listing when I looked through my copy of C&G. So, I noticed that a shoddy slave is 1lb, standard 2, superior 4, and I'm guessing that the table means a "excellent" quality slave is 5 to 10lbs. Thanks for the tip.

Just to add my ha'pen'orth: Slaves were captured in the German/Baltic area from Charlemagne's time up to the Teutonic Order's crusades. They were mostly sold to muslims or exported to be used in the plantations/colonies that others have mentioned. Because these 'slavs' weren't Christians, neither the Church nor the Imams cared about it. It is unlikely that any of these would be considered to be experts at anything academic, but you could get fur trappers, woodsmen, etc quite easily and they wouldn't count as 'special'. On the other hand, captured muslims could have any expertise you wanted them to have.

The church did stop any slavery happening on mainland europe IF they heard about it. Non-Christian 'servants' were kept as if they were slaves, but 'owners' were expected to convert them to christianity and then pay them a wage (although I have no evidence if they actually did so).

The muslim countries had a similar system - muslims couldn't be kept as slaves by muslims, so if they converted to islam (and survived the surgery - 'ouch') slaves had to be released.

Gilarius (who isn't an expert on this, but has read lots of books)
Slave=slav; yep, that's where the English name for the inhabitants of eastern Europe came from.