The Routledge Handbook of Maritime Trade around Europe 1300-1600 : Commercial Networks and Urban Autonomy book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Maritime Trade around Europe 1300-1600
Commercial Networks and Urban Autonomy

ISBN 9780367872946
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
522 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

List of figures


Notes on Contributors

  1. Wim Blockmans, Mikhail Krom and Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

  2. ‘Maritime Trade around Europe, 1300-1600. Commercial Networks and Urban Autonomy’

    Thematic Aspects

  3. Richard W. Unger

  4. ‘Ships and Sailing Routes in Maritime Trade around Europe, 1300-1600’

  5. Stuart Jenks

  6. ‘Capturing Opportunity, Financing Trade’

  7. Donatella Calabi

  8. ‘Trading Spaces in European Port Cities: The Architectural Models of Bourses, Lonjas, and Exchanges’

  9. Agnete Nesse

  10. ‘Trade and Language: How did Traders Communicate Across Language Borders?’

  11. Albrecht Cordes

  12. ‘Lex Maritima? Local, Regional and Universal Maritime Law in the Middle Ages’

    The Mediterranean

  13. Monique O’Connell

  14. ‘Venice: City of Merchants or City for Merchandise?’

  15. Georg Christ

  16. ‘Collapse and Continuity: Alexandria as a Declining City with a Thriving Port (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)’

  17. Lovro Kuncevic

  18. ‘The Maritime Trading Network of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century’

  19. Luisa Piccinno

  20. ‘Genoa: a City with a Port or a Port City?’

  21. Carlo Taviani

  22. ‘The Genoese Casa di San Giorgio as a Micro-Economic and Territorial Nodal System’

  23. Thierry Pécout

  24. ‘Marseille: A Supporting Role’

  25. David Igual Luis

  26. ‘Valencia: Opportunities of a Secondary Node’

    The Baltic

  27. Carsten Jahnke

  28. ‘Lübeck and the Hanse: a Queen Without Its Body’

  29. Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

  30. ‘Danzig (Gdańsk): seeking stability and autonomy’

  31. Anu Män

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Wim Blockmans is Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at the University of Leiden. His previous publications include Introduction to Medieval Europe, 2nd edition, with Peter Hoppenbrouwers (2014).

Mikhail Krom Professor of Comparative Studies in History at the European University at St. Petersburg.

Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz is Assistant Professor in Medieval History at the University of Amsterdam.


This comprehensive handbook is a fascinating resource for all those interested in the early history of European maritime trade. The highly stimulating volume entices the reader to undertake a magnificent journey to visit important maritime ports and thus to rethink the early stages of European integration.

Jüri Kivimäe, University of Toronto, Canada

This volume is a much needed synthesis of European Medieval Maritime trade, which presents an up to date state of the art of this active field. Its detailed case-studies and comparative framework will be useful both for students and for scholars.

Maria Fusaro, University of Exeter, UK