The history of the Islamic world, in political, diplomatic and social terms has received considerable treatment over the last hundred years. Its economic history, on the other hand, has received only the scantest attention. A widespread belief that the region lived through a millennium of stagnation until European models (in banking, in communications etc) were introduced has contributed to this lacuna. More recent ideas have challenged this sense, but only to replace it with the notion that a single model for all non-European societies could be applied. Both approaches, understandably, have provided ready-made answers with little applicability to the actual experience of the region. This volume the first major study of the economic history of the Islamic Mediterranean challenge these approaches, suggesting new ways to use source materials to explore economic history. The book covers three large areas: money, land and trades. The combined research proposes new perspectives by focusing on the experience of ordinary people from the effects and history of property ownership to the varying challenges faced by urban and rural craftsmen. Money, Land and Trades provides a view from the inside into the economic realities of the regions and people it examines. It places economic history firmly within its social and cultural context, and constitutes a major rejoinder to the traditional modes of economic historical research as applied to the non-Western world. It will be a vital source, both in content and methodology, for all students of economics and of the Islamic world.
Money, Land and Trade
An Economic History of the Muslim Mediterranean