How are markets in antiquity to be characterized? As comparable to modern free markets, with differences in scale not quality? As controlled and dominated by the State? Or as a third way, in completely different terms, as free but regulated? In Trade and Markets in Byzantium seventeen scholars address these and related issues by reexamining and reinterpreting the material and textual record from Byzantium and its hinterland for local, regional, and interregional trade. Special emphasis is placed on local trade, which has been understudied. To comprehend the recovery of long-distance trade from its eighth-century nadir to the economic prosperity enjoyed in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the authors analyze the variety and complexity of the exchange networks, the role of money as a measure of exchange, and the character of local markets. This collection of groundbreaking research will prove to be indispensable for anyone interested in economic history in antiquity and the medieval period.
Cécile Morrisson is Director of Research Emerita at Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris, and Advisor for Byzantine Numismatics at Dumbarton Oaks.