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An island for itself [electronic resource] : economic development and social change in late medieval Sicily /
Stephan R. Epstein.
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
description
xvi, 464 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0521385180
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
isbn
0521385180
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8365561
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 413-446) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-12:
Because Sicily has lagged economically behind more prosperous northern Italy for centuries, historians have sought the reasons far back in Sicily's past. The decline has often been attributed to overdependence on foreign trade that brought disaster when the trade collapsed. Political and social causes have also been cited. In this revisionist study of the Sicilian economy between 1270 and 1500, Epstein argues that Sicily had a flourishing regional economy with its own specialization and dynamic in the later Middle Ages. He finds in Sicily regional market integration and specialization that produced economic growth and demographic expansion. Sicily's decline came in the 17th century when its flourishing regional economy fell victim to the severe problems of the larger Italian southern mainland and to international economies. Epstein bases his study on extensive archival research and provides information on population, taxes, government, and social classes. This is specialized economic history intended to offer a model for other regional studies. Graduate; faculty. P. Grendler; University of Toronto
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1992
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This study of late medieval Sicily develops a critique of theories of dependence through trade, and a new interpretation of the late medieval economy. Following the Black Death, many institutional and social constraints on commercialization were relaxed throughout western Europe as a result of social conflict and demographic change.
Description for Library
This study of late medieval Sicily develops a critique of theories of dependence through trade, and a new interpretation of the late medieval economy. Following the Black Death, many institutional and social constraints on commercialization were relaxed throughout western Europe as a result of social conflict and demographic change. The Sicilian economy also expanded and became increasingly export-oriented. although only a small proportion of its output was shipped abroad before 1500. Late medieval Sicily is thus shown to have been neither underdeveloped nor dependent on foreign manufactures and trade.
Main Description
This study of late medieval Sicily develops a critique of theories of dependence through trade, and a new interpretation of the late medieval economy. It thus addresses current debates on the origins of modern Italian economic dualism, and on the transition from feudalism to capitalism in early modern Europe. Dr Epstein argues that economic development during this period was shaped largely by regional political and institutional structures which regulated access to markets. Following the Black Death, many institutional and social constraints on commercialization were relaxed throughout western Europe as a result of social conflict and demographic change. Peasants became more commercialized; economic growth occurred through regional integration and specialization. The Sicilian economy also expanded and became increasingly export-oriented. although only a small proportion of its output was shipped abroad before 1500. Late medieval Sicily is thus shown to have been neither underdeveloped nor dependent on foreign manufactures and trade.
Table of Contents
List of maps
List of tables
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Currency and measurements
Chronology
Introduction: the historiography and the sources
Regional geographic and demographic differentiation
Market structures and regional specialization
Sicily and its regions: economic growth and specialization
Sicily and its regions: Eastern val Demone and the southern mainland
Foreign trade and the domestic economy
Income distribution, social conflict and the Sicilian state
A further question: the origins of Sicilian underdevelopment
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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