The Baltic and the Black Sea in Medieval Trade

The Baltic and the Black Sea in Medieval Trade

By Marian Malowist

Baltic and Scandinavian Countries, Vol.3 (1937)

Introduction: The object of this paper is to give a short outline of the history of Black Sea and Baltic trade during the Middle Ages, and to examine the reciprocal action of these two important historical phenomena. Considerations of space exclude the possibility of making an exhaustive study of the enormous complex of problems connected with the subject, and hence no attempt will be made to deal with matters which do not appear to be of primary importance.

There is already a very copious literature dealing with the history of trade on the Baltic. The outstanding works are those of Daenelle, Schafer and Rorig, but there are many other German, Dutch and Scandinavian writers whose works merit attention. Amongst the Polish writers on the subject, Kutrzeba, Widajewicz, Wachowski and Koczy have done much to extend our knowledge of the history of Baltic commerce. The literature on Black Sea trade is hardly less extensive: W. Heyd’s works are probably the most important, but much valuable information is also given in the writings of F. Bruun, Manfroni, C. Bratianu and Canale. The periodical publications Atti della Societa Ligure di Storia Patria of Genoa, and Zapiski Odeskago, Obshestva, Istorii i Drevnostiei (Records of the Historical and Antiquarian Society of Odessa) likewise contain material of great interest. A certain amount has been written concerning the Black Sea by Polish authors, but economic history has so far receivecd little attention. Kutrzeba’s Handel Krakowa z Wschodem (Cracow’s trade with the East), and the writings of Dabrowski, Kolankowski, Halecki, Charewicz and Gorka are among the more important works on this subject.

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