Unbroken Landscape: Commodity, Category, Sign and Identity; Their Production as Myth and Knowledge from 1500, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Unbroken Landscape

Commodity, Category, Sign and Identity; Their Production as Myth and Knowledge from 1500, 1st Edition

By Frank Perlin


376 pages

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Hardback: 9780860784319
pub: 1994-04-14
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This book first analyses the material and cultural character of the production and marketing of commodities and payment forms across the Euro-Asian Continuum - the ’second’ or ’unbroken’ landscape - taking up these categories of objects as things communicated and transmitted by producers and merchants. In this the book complements and continues the work collected in the author’s earlier volume. Given received conceptions of culture and society in the social sciences contradicting such an empirical approach, the author then addresses several central methodological and epistemological issues, notably that of empirical complexity. His concern is to establish the existence of a knowledge-world and a world of identities that transcends current emphases upon nation, language and nationalism, and to consider the methodological principles necessary for reconstructing it.


'…the book presents highly orginal and bold ideas that merit wide discussion….' Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface and Acknowledgements; Second landscape; Commercial manufacture and the proto-industrialisation thesis; World economic integration before industrialisation and the Euro-Asian marketing and payments continuum - a reinterpretation of monetary order; The other ’species’ world: speciation of commodities and moneys, and the knowledge-base of commerce (1500-1900); Space and order looked at critically: non-comparability and procedural substantivism in history and the social sciences; The material and the cultural: an attempt to transcend the present impasse; Interpreted time and interpreter’s time: mechanicism, organicism and entropy; Languages of separation. An essauy on complicity; Indexes (including subject Index for both Unbroken Landscape and The Invisible City).

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General