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This collection of merchant documents is essential reading for any student of economic developments in the Middle Ages who wishes to go beyond the level of textbook summaries. Different aspects of economic life in the Mediterranean world are delineated in the light of a rich variety of articles and other contemporary writings, drawn from Muslim and Christian sources. From commercial contracts, promissory notes, and judicial acts to working manuals of practical geography and philology, this volume of documents provides an unparalleled portrait of the world of medieval commerce.
Columbia University Press
Table of Contents Foreword Introduction 3 Note on Coinage, Weights, and Other Technical Terms 10Pt. 1 At the Origins of the Commercial Revolution I Commerce in the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim East, and the Catholic West 19Pt. 2 Markets, Merchants, Merchandise, and Means of Exchange Durgaing the Commercial Revolution II The Development of Markets 51III The Growth of the Merchant Class 87IV The Diversification of Merchandise 108V The Evolution of the Means of Exchange 143Pt. 3 Commercial Contracts and Commercial Investments VI Loans and the Problem of Interest 157VII The Contract of Exchange and Its Double Function 162VIII The Sea Loan and the Sea Exchange 168IX The Commenda Contract 174X Partnerships and Other Contracts Used in Land Trade 185XI Depositors, Factors, and Commission Agents 212XII Some Other Forms of Agreement 221XIII Informal Commercial Papers 229Pt. 4 The Route and the Thorns Along it XIV Transportation by Sea 239XV Transportation by Land 248XVI The Development of Insurance Contracts 255XVII Commercial Litigation and Sharp Business Practices 266XVIII Business Failures and their Settlement 290XIX International Disputes over Trade 303XX Legal Restrictions of Trade 327Pt. 5 Tools and Ideas XXI Manuals 341XXII The Progress of Accounting Methods 359XXIII Commercial Correspondence 378XXIV Moral Standards and Practical Advice 408 List of Works Cited 427 Bibliography 447 Index 461