Cities, Merchants and Networks in the Medieval Mediterranean World
The Mediterranean world has always been a contact zone between different societies, cultures and economies. It should therefore come as no surprise that trade regained its importance in the central Middle Ages, after exchange in this area had almost come to a still stand by 700 in the wake of the Roman trade network’s demise. This seminar focuses on the nature and organisation of this renewed economic activities that flourished from the central Middle Ages onwards, thereby addressing the formation of networks at two levels: on the one hand, that of trade networks that connected cities and ports across the Mediterranean Sea; on the other, that of personal networks as trust-building strategies for commercial exchange. To this end, we will consult a wide-array of printed sources to tease out the significance of networks in the organisation and conduct of trade in the period between 1000 and 1500. Apart from becoming acquainted with aspects of the economic history of the medieval Mediterranean world, you will also be able to explore the political, social, cultural or religious underpinnings of commercial exchange in this period.
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