Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
“One slave from Megiddo, three slaves from Phoenicia, eight slaves from the Hittites, one slave from Cyprus,” the ancient tablet reads.
The Minoan palace in which the tablet was stored existed between 1,900 and 1450 BCE. The Minoan civilization dates back to 2,000 BCE, as the oldest of the Greeks and, like most civilizations throughout history, including their Egyptian trading partners, bought, sold, and kept slaves.
Western civilization did not originate slavery. Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi has a great deal to say about slaves. Much of it involves the death penalty for anyone stealing slaves. Rebellious slaves had their ears cut off. Civilizations from Egypt to Greece, from Babylon to China used slave labor.
Following in the tracks of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, a 2000 BCE project could be launched to indict all of western civilization as being built on the labor of slaves. Though such an accusation would be far truer of Egypt and Babylon, than of Minoan or even Mycenean Greece. Just as it is far truer today of the Islamic states like Qatar, adored by the New York Times, than it was of America even in 1619.
If slavery, as some have insisted, is America’s original sin, it’s more like mankind’s original sin.
The origins of slavery are too ancient to attach a date. Slavery predates even the crudest writing and implements. 2,000 BCE or over 4,000 years ago, is as good a date as any other. And slavery exists today, from the skyscrapers of Qatar to the millions of ingenious and cheap products pouring out of China.