El Mercado de esclavos en la región del Mar Negro, siglos XIV y XV
Crimea, Caucasus, and the Black Sea region in general became in the fourteenth – fifteenth centuries a major slave-exporting area that supplied Europe. The Italian colonies, mainly those in Caffa and Tana, were the transit points of this involuntary circulation of people. The Genoese of Caffa were large-scale slave traders, acting both on their own and through middlemen, effectively becoming the monopolists on the slave market, bringing captives to the Western Europe, the urban centres of Balkans and Asia Minor, and Mameluck Egypt. This circulation of people shaped the mixed, entangled, and multicultural societies of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were a period of changes of the sources of slave supply, which shifted from the Caucasus to Eastern Europe (the Golden Horde, the Russian lands, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Some cases of enslavement of people, their further circulation, liberation, integration in the Italian societies provides enlightening insights on the nature and operation of this trade within the Italian colonial environment.