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Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe
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Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe

4.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  26 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The years between 1200 and 1500 saw the economy of Europe transformed from being rural, feudal and localized to being urban, capitalist and expansionist. Professor Spufford, who has made a lifelong study of these changes, here brings together a vast amount of material from archives all over the world - letters, account books, legal documents, civil records - to build up a ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 19th 2003 by Thames & Hudson (first published October 1st 2002)
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275th out of 442 books — 85 voters
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Czarny Pies
Nov 06, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History enthusiasts looking for an accurate and understandable history of medieval banking.
Recommended to Czarny by: Norman Davies
Shelves: european-history
This beautifully illustrated history of the development of Europe's banking system provides an explanation for the layman of the great financial revolution that occurred in Europe during the Middle Ages that dramatically increased the overall level of prosperity and which allowed the accumulation of capital that would make the industrial revolution possible.

This book offers a simple yet accurate description of the role of banks and financial instruments in the economic, political and social dev
...more
Lynn Abbey
Nov 15, 2011 Lynn Abbey rated it it was amazing
This is not to race through...there's something to be learned on every page. From what was traded into and out of Europe to how it was transported and what it cost every step of the way, Spufford has delved into what little record there is and reached some persuasive conclusions about medieval entrepreneurship. The first-edition hardcover illustrations are eclectic, but useful. An excellent companion to his "Money and Its Uses in Medieval Europe"
Jóhannes Birgir Jensson
Jul 28, 2013 Jóhannes Birgir Jensson rated it it was amazing
An eye-opening book. Medieval Europe becomes much more modern reading this book, traveler cheques in the 1400s! The breadth of this book is incredible. It is not a one-sitting reading, it took me weeks to slowly make my way through but every step was rewarding and my view of medieval times was thrust closer to reality.
Mark
Aug 16, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing
The title of Peter Spufford's book is a little deceptive, as it is much more than a study of merchants in the Middle Ages. What Peter Spufford has done in this book is to provide an accessible description of the nature and forms of commerce in medieval Europe. This may sound like a dull subject, but in Spufford's hands it is anything but. Demolishing many myths, he demonstrates that the medieval European economy was both highly integrated and increasingly sophisticated, with numerous business in ...more
Kris
Feb 18, 2011 Kris rated it it was amazing
An aside: I really wish Goodreads allowed 1/2 stars...

I appreciated so many things bout this book, right down to the gloss paper and wonderful full-color images thought the book (hardcover version). I had the sense that I was reading from a scholar, but also someone who loved the world he was writing about. He traveled the routes he spoke of, albeit in the 20th century.

Kevin Vejrup
Jun 21, 2015 Kevin Vejrup rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
The book is more of a historical study than an accessible reading.
Lynda
Jul 09, 2010 Lynda rated it liked it
Found and changed a lot of incorrect assumptions
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Peter Spufford was until 2001 Professor of European History, University of Cambridge, and is the author of definitive studies of money in the Middle Ages.
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