Prisoners of War, Captives or Slaves? The Christian Prisoners of Tunis and La Goleta in 1574

  • Cecilia TarruellEmail author


Tarruell focuses on forced mobility and labour in the early modern Mediterranean. The author stresses the importance of bondage related to warfare. To this end, the chapter analyses the fate of prisoners of war seized during Christian–Islamic confrontations through the case study of the Hispanic prisoners captured during the Ottoman conquest of Tunis and La Goleta in 1574. Special attention is drawn to the treatment reserved for the defeated population. Tarruell discusses the distinctions between the categories of captive and slave, and the fluidity between both statuses that prisoners could undergo during detention. Based on a reconstruction of over 300 trajectories of prisoners, this study examines the interconnections between free and unfree labour, alongside the geographical mobility and the varying degrees of dependence experienced by detainees.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford UniversityOxfordUK

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