Technology, Industry, and Trade: The Levant Versus Europe, 1250-1500
This is the 5th collection of articles by Eliyahu Ashtor to be published by Variorum and focuses on the fundamental question of why, during the later ... Show synopsis This is the 5th collection of articles by Eliyahu Ashtor to be published by Variorum and focuses on the fundamental question of why, during the later Middle Ages, technology and industry declined, even collapsed, in the Muslim Levant, while simultaneously making enormous progress in the Christian West. An indefatigable researcher in archives all over the Mediterranean, Ashtor amassed quantities of data on this subject, and began to propose casual links between, on the one hand, demographic trends, types of political regime, economic policies and attitudes towards innovation, and on the other, the progress or decline of technology and industry. Although cut short by his death in 1984, the information that Ashtor has made available for instance on the sugar and the alkali industries and the questions and hypotheses he has suggested should provide a vital basis for continuing research. The final article, dealing more specifically with the history of commerce, represents in effect a summation of the author's views on the role of the Jews in the trade of the Mediterranean.