A familiar narrative shapes our conception of the so-called ‘Commercial Revolution’ of medieval Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: namely, that economic development began in the Low Countries and the city-states of Italy, in response to new trading opportunities occasioned by improvements in agricultural production in northern Europe, and the Crusades in the Eastern Mediterranean. Finally, after centuries of stagnation – so the story goes – markets, mercantilism and the use of money were back. But told at this level of abstraction, we risk mischaracterising the origins of market exchange in medieval Europe – origins which take us right back to the Dark Ages.
This IEA Education academic lunch will cast fresh light on for the elusive origins of economic complexity in the peasant societies of early medieval Europe, shedding new light on the surprising ubiquity of transaction, money and its use, and social mobility.
This event is invite only.