It was considered the next most severe punishment after execution to be given a life sentence in the galleys. Since Knox and the Castilians [those Protestants who had resisted at St. Andrews Castle in ] had not been sentenced by any court, they did not know how long their torment would last. Torment was the word Knox used to describe his situation, as well as affliction.
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GALLEY SLAVE – Corsairs & Captives
This browser is no longer supported. In the standard price for a slave was 1, reales - a slave capable of rowing for hours, days or even weeks in the open air. But despite his 22 years, Maraut, "son of Yusuf, dark, with small mouth and thick lips, wart on his head by the ear, stain on right ear, sign of injury on the same hand," was sold for just reales on account that he was "useless. Being unfit and useless for combat must have helped the distinguished Cervantes avoid a similar fate to Maraut after he was captured on his way back to Spain after surviving a great many skirmishes and the greatest naval conflict between galleys in history: the Battle of Lepanto Cervantes' adventures - five years held captive in Argel - do not figure in the 25 Galleys Books preserved by the Spanish navy because they cover a later period , featuring slaves, prisoners and enlisted soldiers and sailors. The restoration of these gigantic volumes will provide valuable information for the historians of today: written using the circumlocutions of the time, they reveal biographies of common people at the service of royalty. Maraut was one of the king's thousands of slaves - the brute force that propelled several almost flat boats, ideal for coastal skirmishes, around the Mediterranean.
Click here for audio of Episode Today, we finally put galley slaves to rest. The University of Houston's College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them. O ur technology has, on the whole, freed us.
A galley slave was a slave rowing in a galley. Ancient navies generally preferred to rely on free men to man their galleys and slaves were usually not put at the oars except in times of pressing manpower demands or extreme emergency,  and in some of these cases they would earn their freedom by this. There is no evidence that ancient navies ever made use of condemned criminals as oarsmen,  despite the popular image from novels such as Ben Hur. In Classical Athens, a leading naval power of Classical Greece , rowing was regarded as an honorable profession of which men should possess some practical knowledge,  and sailors were viewed as instrumental in safeguarding the state.