Bulut M. (2002) Dutch and Ottoman commercial interactions

March 1, 2009

Bulut, Mehmet (2002) “The Role of the Ottoman and Dutch in the Commercial Integration between the Levant and Atlantic in the Seventeenth Century”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 45/2, 197-230.



Large trade volume and significant bullion transfer testify of the advanced integration between the Ottoman Empire and Europe in the early modern period (p.197). The discovery of the Cape route had gradually weakened the Ottoman position as Europe’s middleman, but by the end of the 16th century it remained significant (p.198). To replace the vanishing fiscal revenues, the Ottoman rulers granted trading privileges (the so-called capitulations) to European nations who were consequently attracted to the Levant ports. But these efforts were unable to limit the Rise of the West of which the commercial integration of the Levant and the Atlantic is a part (p.199). Read the rest of this entry »

The English Levant Company’s rates of consulage

January 23, 2009

Here are the taxes per commodity levied by the English Levant Company’s consul in 1660.


pdf file

Goiten S. (1964) Mediterranean trade before the Crusades

February 17, 2008

Goiten Shelomo Dov (1964) “Le commerce méditerranéen avant les croisades. Quelques faits et problèmes”, reproduced in Micheau Françoise (ed.) Les relations des pays d’Islam avec le monde latin du milieu du Xe siècle au milieu du XIIIe siècle, Paris Vuibert, 2004, 286-303.


Have the Crusadeds followed and used or preceded and triggered the first commercial long-standing relations between the Muslim parts of the Mediterranean world and the Western Christendom (286) ? The documents from the Cairo Geniza cast a new light on this issue (287). These documents reveal “the strong influence of Europe upon he islamic trade as early as the first decades of the 11th century, and even sooner”. Read the rest of this entry »

Pourchasse P. (2006) French, Swedish and Danish consuls in 18th-century Europe

February 3, 2008

Pourchasse Pierrick (2006) “Les consulats, un service essentiel pour le monde négociant: une approche comparative entre la France et la Scandinavie”, in Ulbert Jörg and Le Bouëdec dir., La fonction consulaire à l’époque moderne. L’affirmation d’une institution économique et politique (1500-1700), Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 191-209.


In the extremely slow early modern economy, having a good network to carry information as quickly as possible meant being competitive. Prices varied a lot from one place to the other, being informed on time meant one’s success or one’s ruin. During the 18th century, French merchants were very passive in the northern seas, they had no information network; on the other hand, the Scandinavian traders were emerging quickly as one of the main players of the region (191). Consuls – present mostly in port towns such as Bordeaux, Nantes, Bergen, or Dantzig – were a key element in the chain relaying information. Read the rest of this entry »