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10 - European and Mediterranean trade networks

from Part III - Growing interactions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2015

Benjamin Z. Kedar
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
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Summary

This chapter focuses on the largest sectors of medieval trade from northern Europe to the Muslim world by way of the Mediterranean, and the network of land and sea routes that tie them together. Whether operating alone or in an association, merchants developed and utilized a variety of commercial techniques. These included methods for raising and handling capital, new forms of paper and metal currency, changes in ships and navigational routes, and expanded fairs and markets. Rulers and popes also sought to shape trade through commercial decrees and laws, and sometimes succeeded. Two important sectors dominated medieval Europe: the Mediterranean and its access routes, the whole of the North Baltic Sea and its interior branches. Wine was the object of intense trade: Bordeaux wines went to England and Flanders; southern Italian wines to the East; Cretan wines to Venice.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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