Levant Trade in the Middle Ages

Levant Trade in the Middle Ages

Copyright Date: 1983
Pages: 622
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  • Book Info
    Levant Trade in the Middle Ages
    Book Description:

    The book is based on Arabic sources, documents in archives of centers of Levantine trade, and material from the files of the firm of Francesco Datini. From the fall of Acre to the journey of Vasco de Gama, the author provides an invaluable description of late medieval Mediterranean trade.

    Originally published in 1984.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5316-8
    Subjects: Business, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. I The Crisis of Levant Trade (1291-1344)
    (pp. 3-63)

    The conquest of Acre by the Mamluks in 1291 was surely a heavy blow to Western Christianity. It was understood that it meant the end of that great undertaking, the Crusades, but its reverberations were strongly felt in other areas that had nothing to do with religious feelings. The economic interests of various groups in the nations of Southern Europe were at stake. In fact, for the Westerners, Acre had been the gate to the Moslem Levant and a cornerstone of the trade with the Near Eastern countries, in which they were more interested then than at any time before,...

  6. II Back to Egypt and Syria (1345-1370)
    (pp. 64-102)

    In the fifth decade of the fourteenth century there was a great change in the political situation in two areas that served the Italian traders as alternative supply centers of Oriental commodities. In fact, trade with Persia and the Tatar kingdom in Southern Russia had to be discontinued.

    After the death of Abū Sa‘īd in 1335, the reign of the Īlkhānid dynasty over Persia came to an end, and a long period of anarchy and struggle among various princes and generals ensued. Ādharbaydjān, whose capital was Tebriz, fell to the Chūpānid prince Ḥasan ʺthe Little.ʺ Another pretender to the heritage...

  7. III A New Period of Growth (1370-1402)
    (pp. 103-199)

    The conclusion of peace between the sultan and the king of Cyprus was followed by the renewal of intense trade between Southern Europe and the Moslem Levant. The trading nations increased their activities in the dominions of the sultan, and the volume of their transactions reached new peaks. The new flourishing of European trade with these countries was to a great extent the result of changes in other trade routes, which for a long time had served as alternatives.

    In the second half of the fourteenth century Persia was no longer of any importance as a market where the European...

    (pp. 200-269)

    At the beginning of the fifteenth century a great change took place in the economic structures of the Near East: there was a sharp decline in industrial production. It would perhaps not be an exaggeration to speak of a collapse. Whatever the magnitude of the decrease of industrial production in the Levant may have been, it had far-reaching consequences for commercial exchanges with the European countries. It entailed a considerable increase in the import of industrial products into the Moslem Levant and the returns on this import trade made it possible for the European merchants to acquire great quantities of...

  9. V A New Crisis (1422-1452)
    (pp. 270-366)

    In the third decade of the fifteenth century once more the social structures of Near Eastern society underwent a change that had a great impact on the Levantine trade of the South European trading nations. It was the decline of the powerful group of wholesale merchants who were called Kārimīs. At first their downfall meant a deterioration of the conditions in which the Europeans carried on trade in the Moslem Levant, for it was the sultan of Cairo who took over the role of these merchants, and it was much more difficult to deal with him, but in the course...

  10. VI The Levant Trader at Home and Overseas
    (pp. 367-432)

    In the later Middle Ages the commercial exchanges between the countries of Southern Europe and the Near East also underwent great changes as far as their techniques were concerned too. The commercial techniques employed in the middle of the fifteenth century were imcomparably better developed than those used one hundred and fifty years before. Even the transport facilities had become much better than in the thirteenth century. Finally, there was a considerable change in the stratification of the Levant traders: in the course of time a class of very rich Levant traders had come into being. Great merchants regularly invested...

  11. VII Mediaeval Levant Trade at Its Height (1453-1498)
    (pp. 433-512)

    Some time after the middle of the fifteenth century the economies of the Near East and of the European countries began to show sharply contrasting trends. The general decay of the Levantine countries increased more rapidly, and its various phenomena were the striking features of several sectors of economic and social life. At the same time, most European countries began to recover economically after the long period of contraction subsequent to the famines of the first half of the fourteenth century and the Black Death. This contrast of economic development on the northern and southeastern shores of the Mediterranean is...

  12. Appendices
    (pp. 513-559)
  13. Bibliography A List of Sources and Basic Learned Works Which Are Often Quoted and Their Abbreviations
    (pp. 560-576)
  14. Index
    (pp. 577-599)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 600-600)