Long Distance Trade Partnerships and Social dynamic in Medieval Genoa
Doosselaere, Quentin Van (Nuffield College, Oxford University)
European Conference on Complex System, Oxford September 28 (2006)
From the early 12th to the late 15th centuries, the Italian cities of Genoa and Venice shared control of the Mediterranean Sea, serving as anchors for the medieval economic expansion that subsequently led to western domination of the rest of the world. While the Italian Renaissance cities, in particular Florence and Venice, have been widely studied to illustrate this domination, few studies have focused on how the Renaissance social organization came about.
For example, Ansell and Pagett’s (1993), building on Leifer’s role structuring process (1988), analyze the emergence of the Renaissance state in Florence and open a critical path to an empirical historical sociology built on inherent processual micro-social arrangements. While Ansell and Pagett certainly contributes to a better understanding of the Florentine elite, their use of accounting books as a data source already implies the social organization they are studying and cannot be very helpful for understanding its antecedent.