Markets and Exchanges in Pre-Modern and Traditional Societies [Hardback]

Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia(Editor)

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ISBN: 9781789256116 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: MaTAS | Volume: 1 | Year of Publication: 2021 | 448p, H9.4 x W6.7, b/w
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Markets and Exchanges in Pre-Modern and Traditional Societies


Markets emerge in recent historical research as important spheres of economic interaction in ancient societies. In the case of ancient Egypt, traditional models imagined an all-encompassing centralized, bureaucratic economy that left practically no place for market transactions, as many surviving documents only described the activities of the royal palace and of huge institutions―mainly temples. Yet scattered references in the sources reveal that markets and traders were crucial actors in the economic life of ancient Egypt.

In this perspective, this volume aims to discuss the role of markets, traders and economic interaction (not necessarily organized through markets) and the use of “money” (metals, valuable commodities) in pre-modern societies, based on archaeological, anthropological and historical evidence. Furthermore, it intends to integrate different perspectives about the social organization of transactions and exchanges and the different forms taken by markets, from meeting places where exchanges operated under ritualized procedures and conventions, to markets in which profit-seeking activities were marginal in respect with other practices that stressed, on the contrary, community collaboration. The book also deals with social forms of pre-modern exchanges in which trust and ethnic solidarity guaranteed the validity of commercial operations in the absence of formal codes of laws or accepted authorities over long distances (trade diasporas, guilds, etc.). Finally, the volume analyzes a critical aspect of small-scale trade and markets, such as the commercialization of agricultural household production and its impact on the peasant economic strategies.

In all, the book covers a diversity of topics in which recent research in the fields of economic sociology, archaeology, anthropology, economics and history proves invaluable in order to analyze the role of Egyptian trade in a broader perspective, as well as to suggest new venues of comparative research, theoretical reflection and dialogue between Egyptology and social sciences. The book will also address pre-modern social organizations of trade activities in which trust and ethnic solidarity guaranteed the validity of commercial operations in the absence of formal codes of laws or accepted authorities over long distances, particularly trade diasporas, guilds, etc. This book will be the first in the new series from Oxbow, Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ancient Societies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Elusive markets in ancient Egypt - Juan Carlos Moreno García (CNRS - France)

Theoretical Approaches

Markets, merchant capitalism and tributary states - Paolo Tedesco (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen)

Markets and early capitalism in pre-modern societies - Bas van Leeuwen (Utrecht University)

Markets and networks. A global perspective

Markets, merchant diasporas and self-organized trading networks - J. B. Owens (Idaho State University)

Long-distance traders, guilds and their commercial practices in modern south-east Asia - Kenneth R. Hall (Ball State University)

Markets and trade networks in pre-colonial Africa - *Anne Haour (East Anglia University)

Markets and market exchange in pre-colonial America - Gary Feinman (Field Museum Chicago)

Markets, emerging elites, central places and monetization of exchanges in early medieval Europe - Christopher Loveluck (University of Nottingham)

Traders, warriors and herders in Africa - John G. Galaty (McGill University)

Barter, trade and the logics of exchange in traditional Andean societies - Emilia Ferraro (University of St Andrews)

Peasants, markets and strategies of commercialization

Peasants, agricultural commercialization and seasonal markets in colonial India - Rajat Datta (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Markets, peasants and commercial agriculture in Japan: the dynamics of pre-industrial agrarian societies - Osamu Saito (Hitotsubashi University)

Markets, peasants and economic growth in medieval Islam - *Michele Campopiano (Technische Universität Darmstadt)

The ancient Near East

Markets and trade in Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia in the early 2nd millennium BC - Rafał Koliński (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań)

Markets, trade and palaces in the Near East in the 2nd millennium BC - Christopher Monroe (Cornell University)

Markets in Babylonia (first millennium BC) - Reinhard Pirngruber (Austrian Academy of Sciences)


Conclusion: new paths to explore - Juan Carlos Moreno García (CNRS - France)

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