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However, another equally despicable trade in humans was taking place around the same time in the Mediterranean.
It is estimated that up to 1.25 million Europeans were enslaved by the so-called Barbary corsairs, and their lives were just as pitiful as their African counterparts.
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The slaves captured by the Barbary pirates faced a grim future.
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he is a deadly enemy of the Western civilisation, nation state and white, European man”.
And the corsairs were not only Muslim; English privateers and Dutch captains also exploited the changing loyalties of an era in which friends could become enemies and enemies friends with the stroke of a pen.
Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were taken in this way in 1631.
As a result of this threat, numerous coastal towns in the Mediterranean were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants until the 19 In the 13th and 14th centuries, it was Christian pirates, primarily from Catalonia and Sicily, that dominated the seas, posing a constant threat to merchants.
At night the slaves were put into prisons called 'bagnios' that were often hot and overcrowded.
However, by far the worst fate for a Barbary slave was being assigned to man the oars of galleys.
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It was not until the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the 15 century that the Barbary corsairs started to become a menace to Christian shipping.