By Angeliki E. Laiou
This can be a concise survey of the economic system of the Byzantine Empire from the fourth century advert to the autumn of Constantinople in 1453. Organised chronologically, the publication addresses key issues corresponding to demography, agriculture, production and the city economic climate, alternate, financial advancements, and the position of the nation and beliefs. It offers a entire evaluate of the financial system with an emphasis at the monetary activities of the nation and the effective position of town and non-economic actors, equivalent to landlords, artisans and money-changers. the ultimate bankruptcy compares the Byzantine economic climate with the economies of western Europe and concludes that the Byzantine economic climate used to be some of the most profitable examples of a combined financial system within the pre-industrial international. this can be the single concise normal historical past of the Byzantine economic climate and should be crucial interpreting for college kids of monetary historical past, Byzantine heritage and medieval heritage extra normally.
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Carri´e, “L’institution annonaire de la premi`ere a` la deuxi`eme Rome: continuit´e et innovation,” in B. Marin and C. ), Nourrir les cit´es de M´editerran´ee: antiquit´e – temps modernes (Paris, 2003), pp. 153–212 with references. M. McCormick, “Bateaux de vie, bateaux de mort, maladie, commerce, transports ˆ annonaires et le passage e´ conomique du Bas-Empire au Moyen Age,” Morfologie sociali e culturali in Europa fra tarda antichit`a e alto medioevo (Settimane 45) (Spoleto, 1998), pp. 35–122, at pp.
All of Oikonomides’ articles on literacy have been reprinted in his Society, Culture and Politics in Byzantium (Aldershot, 2005). 29 The ubiquitous inscribed lead seals (more than 50,000 survive today), the signatures on archival documents, the writing implements found on many sites,30 even graffiti on a few buildings and on a significant number of gold coins testify to the essential role of writing in Byzantine daily life. From this picture an educated guess would suggest a 30 per cent rate of basic literacy and numeracy among men, comparable to that in eighteenth-century China and superior to that in eighteenth-century France.
Many of the factors considered below gave to Byzantium, at least till the turning point of the late twelfth century, a clear edge over the medieval West. First of all, imperial political institutions ensured stability, provided protection and justice and, notably, ensured property rights, an 15 16 17 R. Bagnall, W. Frier, The Demography of Roman Egypt (Cambridge, 1994); A. E. Laiou-Thomadakis, Peasant Society in the Late Byzantine Empire: A Social and Demographic Study (Princeton, 1977), pp. 276–9, 295; eadem, “Human Resources,” pp.
Byzantine Economy by Angeliki E. Laiou