Merchants, Measures and Money: Understanding Technologies of Early Trade in a Comparative Perspective
- edited by Lorenz Rahmstorf, Gojko Barjamovic, Nicola Ialongo
- Weight & Value
- volume: 2
- 1. Auflage
- 29,7 cm x 21,0 cm
- 376 pp.
- Release date: 31.03.2021
This second volume in the series collects papers from two workshops held at the University of Göttingen in 2019 and 2020. The international meetings tackled questions related to merchants and money in a comparative perspective, with examples spanning from the Bronze Age to the early Modern period and embracing Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and East Africa. The first part of this volume presents historical case studies of how merchants planned and carried out commercial expeditions; how risk, cost, and potential profit was calculated; and how the value of goods was calculated and converted. The papers in the second part address current theories and methods on the development and function of money before and after the invention of coinage. The introduction of balance scales around 3000 BCE enabled the formation of overarching indexes of value and the calculation of the commercial value of goods and services. It also allowed for a selected set of commodities to take on the role of currency. Around 650 BCE, this led to the invention of coinage in the Eastern Mediterranean.