Desperation, Hopelessness, and Suicide: An Initial Consideration of Self-Murder by Slaves in Seventeenth-Century Crimean Society

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Yaşa F.

TURKISH HISTORICAL REVIEW, no.9, pp.198-211, 2018 (AHCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.198-211
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


Suicide, a new issue in Crimean social history research, has not been dealt with in terms of the status of free persons and slaves. It is difficult to find reliable and detailed primary source about slaves’ private lives and their expectations apart from some cases which focus on slaves as merchandise to be bought and sold, and examples of their release and escape. However, the Crimean Shari’a court records, which recently be- came available, provide researchers with such information on slaves as well as some incidental information on many topics such as their living conditions, their hopes for release, and reasons for their suicide. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of society on slave suicides by examining the Shari’a court records of the Crimean Khanate from 1650 to 1675.