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The Routledge Handbook of Maritime Trade around Europe 1300-1600 explores the links between maritime trading networks around Europe, from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic to the North and Baltic Seas. Maritime trade routes connected diverse geographical and cultural spheres, contributing to a more integrated Europe in both cultural and material terms. This volume explores networks’ economic functions alongside their intercultural exchanges, contacts and practical arrangements in ports on the European coasts.
The collection takes as its central question how shippers and merchants were able to connect regional and interregional trade circuits around and beyond Europe in the late medieval period. It is divided into four parts, with chapters in Part I looking across broad themes such as ships and sailing routes, maritime law, financial linkages and linguistic exchanges. In the following parts - divided into the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic and North Seas - contributors present case studies addressing themes including conflict resolution, relations between different types of main ports and their hinterland, the local institutional arrangements supporting maritime trade, and the advantages and challenges of locations around the continent. The volume concludes with a summary that points to the extraterritorial character of trading systems during this fascinating period of expansion.
Drawing together an international team of contributors, The Routledge Handbook of Maritime Trade around Europe is a vital contribution to the study of maritime history and the history of trade. It is essential reading for students and scholars in these fields.