Housing the Stranger in the Mediterranean World: Lodging, Trade, and Travel in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

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Overview

The Greek pandocheion, Arabic funduq, and Latin fundicum (fondaco) were ubiquitous in the Mediterranean sphere for nearly two millennia. These institutions were not only hostelries for traders and travelers, but also taverns, markets, warehouses, and sites for commercial taxation and regulation. In this highly original study, Professor Constable traces the complex evolution of this family of institutions from the pandocheion in late antiquity to the appearance of the funduq throughout the Muslim Mediterranean following the rise of Islam. By the twelfth century, with the arrival of European merchants in Islamic markets, the funduq evolved into the fondaco. These merchant colonies facilitated trade and travel between Muslim and Christian regions. Before long, fondacos also appeared in southern European cities.

This study of the diffusion of this institutional family demonstrates common economic interests and cross-cultural communications across the medieval Mediterranean world, and provides a striking contribution to our understanding of this region.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Constable has written a monumental book, covering the many semantic, political, economic and cross-cultural angles of a truly interdisciplinary historical enterprise. Its diachronic and geographic reach...create[s] a rich narrative that is a delight to read, and it offers a veritable treasure house of information for classical scholars, medievalists and early modernists of many kinds." Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Constable has produced an interesting book about the ways in which travelers were housed, particularly those involved in trade in the Mediterranean world in late antiquity and the middle ages." EH.NET

"This book is filed with close, astute studies of local trends in parts of the Mediterranean and does an exellent job of balancing regional and general developments." - Steven A. Epstein, University of Kansas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521109765
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Olivia Remie Constable is an associate professor in the History Department at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Trade and Traders in Muslim Spain: The Commercial Realignment of the Iberian Peninsula 900–1500 (CUP, 1994) and Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources (1997).

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of maps
Acknowledgments
Introduction: A culture of travel: words, institutions, and connections 1
1 "Accepting all comers": a cross-cultural institution in late antiquity 11
2 The transition from Byzantium to the Dar al-Islam 40
3 Commerce, charity, community, and the funduq 68
4 Colonies before colonialism: western Christian trade and the evolution of the fondaco 107
5 Conquest and commercial space: the case of Iberia 158
6 Fondacos in Sicily, south Italy, and the Crusader states 201
7 Changing patterns of Muslim commercial space in the later middle ages 234
8 Christian commerce and the solidification of the fondaco system 266
9 The fondaco in Mediterranean Europe 306
Conclusion: A changing world: new peoples and institutions in the early modern Mediterranean 355
Selected bibliography 362
Index 405
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