Gold and Spices: The Rise of Commerce in the Middle Ages (Hardback)
  • Gold and Spices: The Rise of Commerce in the Middle Ages (Hardback)
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Gold and Spices: The Rise of Commerce in the Middle Ages (Hardback)

(author), (translator)
£46.50
Hardback 390 Pages / Published: 30/07/1998
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In Gold and Spices, eminent medievalist Jean Favier introduces and analyses the political, social, moral, and economic milieus of the late Middle Ages that engendered Europe's transformation from feudalism to capitalism. Favier presents striking portraits of the era's important and emerging centres of commerce-such as London, Bruges, and Lubeck in the north, Genoa and Venice in the south, and Constantinople in the east-and their various impacts at the dawn of Europe's slow march to its modern economic state are detailed.

In indicating the extent of these cities' inter-dependence, he charts the many commercial land and sea routes that became the conduits of increased social and economic activity.

But the book's central theme is the evolution of the medieval businessman. The author raises the status of the merchant-entrepreneur to that of a hero as he examines the risks that led to the invention of new concepts, activities, relationships, organisations and communities. Among those risks were new markets, trade routes, forms of credit, means of production, and bold, new methods of speculation. Favier also reveals that the ultimate consequence of such actions was not merely the accumulation of wealth by such families as the Medici and the Fuggers, but the imposition of social and aesthetic values upon the populace, leading to the rise of the middle class.

As a descriptive social history Gold and Spices excels at not only recreating the past but connecting it to the present. In several highly informative chapters Favier traces the development of currency, methods of payment, and the often tricky relationships between the hommes des affaires and the Prince. He also clearly reveals the diversity of commerce at that time, and the fundamental adaptability needed by those who played a part in re-ordering the conditions of life.

Publisher: Holmes & Meier Publishers Inc
ISBN: 9780841912328
Number of pages: 390
Weight: 726 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 38 mm

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