What were the Ethiopian kings remedy for the problem of illegal slave trade? That is, what measures were to be taken against illegal merchants (Arabs and Ethiopians alike) and complicit state officials to protect Christians from enslavement and sale to non-Christians?
From the passage below read it and generate your own answer:
In his 1548 edict, King Galawdewos of Ethiopia talks about the illegal slave trade of Christians and the measures to be taken against those who knowingly sold and bought Christians with the intent of taking them out of Ethiopia. These measures included confiscation of the slaves and went even as far as death. The punishment varied for everyone depending on faith and/or ethnicity. For example, for Arab merchants who knowingly bought Christian slaves, the king decreed that their slaves be confiscated and the merchant tell him the name of the seller so that the seller could be killed. For Ethiopian sellers of Christian slaves, regardless of their faith, the king decreed that they’d be killed. The king also decreed that goverment officials complicit in the selling of Christian slaves had to be killed and have their houses ransacked. Futhermore, King Galawdewos also decreed that whoever bought slaves from any of the Ethiopian markets has to write down the name of the seller and the number of slaves bought so that they could be inspected before they depart Ethiopia. These measures were put in place to regulate the slave trade in Ethiopia and to make sure that Christian slaves were not trafficked outside of Ethiopia and sold to non-Christians and this practice was against the Christian faith.
In 1548, The Ethiopian King Galawdewos made the decision that it would be best that any merchants traveling with slaves must report to his gate for inspection of each slave to stop the selling of Christians. This remedy helped relieve the illegal slave trade but at the expense of sneaky merchants. Once at the gate, slaves would be inspected to ensure their identity and religion. Merchants who were caught selling Christian slaves faced strict and even deadly consequences. The text says that if an Arab merchant knowingly sells a Christian slave, his merchandise will be confiscated and he will be killed. Ethiopian merchants also faced the punishment of death for selling Christian slaves knowingly.
In February of 1548, King Glawdwos issued an edict stating his official response to the illegal slave trade, i.e., the capturing and sale of Christians to non-Christians, and the punishments for violating the law that would from then on be meted out to offenders. For any individual, regardless of religion, to bring captives to the coast or marketplace, they were required to present not only every captive to the three ranks of nobility but also to compile a list of the number of captives and their place of origin that were being transported. If there was any discrepancy along the route, the captives and trader alike would be taken into custody; anyone who knowingly put up for sale or sold a Christian captive would be put to death, and those who knowingly bought these captives would have all of their property and merchandise confiscated. In addition, the king mandated that any court official who did not enforce these rules would be executed and have his house and its contents confiscated, making sure that authorities did their part in helping to end the illegal slave trade within the region.
In order to protect Christians from enslavement and sale to non-Christians, King Galawdewos came up with an edict in which he proposed a remedy to stop the problem. In his edict, the Ethiopian king stated that merchants had to bring their slaves to his gate for inspection before traveling to market places. They would also have to note the number of slaves they were with and report that number to the noble men of the district. If a slave is found with a merchant and is not on the list, they would be captured and taken into custody. There, commanders would determine whether the seller of the slaves should be killed based on whether they knowingly sold a Christian. Any azaj, or commander, who doesn’t oblige with the King’s orders were also killed.