By Stephan R. Epstein
This learn of past due medieval Sicily develops a critique of theories of dependence via alternate, and a brand new interpretation of the past due medieval economic system. It therefore addresses present debates at the origins of recent Italian fiscal dualism, and at the transition from feudalism to capitalism in early smooth Europe. Dr Epstein argues that fiscal improvement in this interval used to be formed principally via nearby political and institutional buildings which regulated entry to markets. Following the Black dying, many institutional and social constraints on commercialization have been comfortable all through western Europe due to social clash and demographic swap. Peasants turned extra commercialized; fiscal development happened via nearby integration and specialization. The Sicilian economic climate additionally increased and have become more and more export-oriented. even though just a small percentage of its output was once shipped in a foreign country ahead of 1500. past due medieval Sicily is hence proven to were neither underdeveloped nor depending on international manufactures and exchange.
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Additional info for An Island for Itself: Economic Development and Social Change in Late Medieval Sicily (Past and Present Publications)
This brief outline of current views of the medieval southern Italian economy suggests that some modern theories of underdevelopment and 'dependency' have been applied in ways that are imprecise and ultimately misleading. Concepts like 'dualism' or 'dependence' are used with little analytical rigour; value-laden terms like 'backward', 'traditional', 'colonial' or 'dependent' are applied rhetorically to what was in fact a mere geographical expression, the Mezzogiorno. Largely because of the traditional emphasis on the role of longdistance trade for the economy of the Mezzogiorno, medieval southern Italian regional economic structures, and relations between domestic and foreign markets have aroused less interest.
C. North, 'Transaction costs in history'. 22 An island for itself The study of market structures is crucial for at least two reasons. First, it provides the economic historian with an organizing principle for a holistic (although not necessarily homologizing) approach to the past. The 'set of social institutions' which define a market include nearly every aspect of social life: property relations, technology, political and legal institutions, demographic factors, ideology, and resource and locational endowments, whose effect is mediated by those social institutions themselves.
THE POPULATION ( 1 2 7 7 - 1 5 0 1 ) In common with many medieval population estimates, those for medieval Sicily have been strongly disputed. 16 12 13 14 15 16 M. Amari, Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia, I, pp. 606-10. Peri, 'La questione delle colonie "lombarde" in Sicilia', 253-80. Trasselli, 'Ricerche su la popolazione di Sicilia nel secolo X V , 213-71; Trasselli, 'Sulla popolazione di Palermo nei secoli XIII-XIV, 329-44; Johns, Muslims, pp. 167-8; F. D'Angelo, 'Terrae uominidella Siciliamedievale (secoliXI-XIII)'; Bresc, 'L'habitat medieval en Sicile (1100-1450)'; UM, pp.