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Medieval Trade Routes. Medieval Europe was an agricultural society in which most people lived in small villages. In the s and s, however, Europe experienced a revival of trade and an associated growth of towns and cities. Many other areas of the world also experienced growth due to trade, and it is through these trade routes that many of. 25/05/ · “The Silk Road” is a catch-all term for the many overland and maritime routes linking East Asia with Europe and the Middle East. Cities and towns along busy Silk Road routes thrived, and during the 12th century, Merv (in present day Turkmenistan) was actually the largest city in the world until it was decimated in by the Mongol pilotenkueche.deted Reading Time: 8 mins. Medieval Europe/Mediterranean Trade Routes Hanseatic League Wool The Silver Denarius Wool was waterproof, warm, soft and wasn’t itchy. This made wool made a desirable material for clothing. Since there was a high demand for this given the benefits, the wool trade was an immense. 19/05/ · The map above is probably the most detailed map of Medieval Trade Routes in Europe, Asia and Africa in the 11th and 12th centuries you can find online. It includes major and minor locations, major and minor routes, sea routes, canals and roads. martinjanmansson explains that: Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected.
Cutting-edge scientific techniques used to study ancient artifacts found in Exeter have revealed more about the ancient international trading routes between the city and Europe. A five-year research project by a team of archaeologists led by Professor Stephen Rippon at the University of Exeter shows the links between merchants in Exeter and France, the Low Countries, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Mediterranean.
The artifacts are held by the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter. The analysis has helped experts establish where various pottery vessels found in Exeter were made,. The analysis shows that in the Late Roman period people in Exeter traded with other ports along Europe’s Atlantic coast and in the Mediterranean. Fine quality table wares were imported from South West France, while vessels carrying olive oil, wine, and fish sauce arrived from North Africa.
The research shows pottery was imported from mainland Europe in the medieval period from Normandy, Brittany, and France’s South West coast, though some vessels also came from the Low Countries. In the 15th century pottery vessels were imported from even further afield including northern France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. The research project „Exeter: A Place in Time,“ is a partnership between the University of Exeter, Cotswold Archaeology, Historic England, Exeter City Council, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, and the University of Reading.
It was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Historic England and the University of Exeter.
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A confluence of interesting factors helped bring these markets together to encourage commercial activity:. The First Crusade kicked off in , sparking a trend that would have an undeniable economic and cultural impact on Europe and the Middle East. European fighters arriving in the Middle East came into contact with civilizations that were, in many ways, more advanced than their own.
The maritime infrastructure used to deliver all those soldiers laid the groundwork for moving goods between ports along the Mediterranean. Some ports, such as Alexandria, had separate ports for Muslim and Christian ships, which helped create a more stable pipeline of trade. The dissolution of the Byzantine Empire and the Italian Kingdom left a vacuum that allowed Italian coastal cities to claim prominent roles in regional trade.
The port cities of Venice and Genoa were transporting crusading soldiers to the front lines, so becoming hubs of trade in the Mediterranean was a natural evolution. Their geographic locations were also ideal entry points for goods moving along inland European trade routes. A lucrative gold export industry encouraged the growth of cities to the south of the Sahara Desert, which formed critical links between Africa and the Mediterranean trade network.
While Italian cities were cementing their role in Western trade, the Song Dynasty introduced an innovation that has important implications today: paper currency. Later on, Marco Polo would famously deliver this idea back to Europe. Cities and towns along busy Silk Road routes thrived, and during the 12th century, Merv in present day Turkmenistan was actually the largest city in the world until it was decimated in by the Mongol Empire.
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Map created by reddit user martinjanmansson. Click to zoom in. The map above is probably the most detailed map of Medieval Trade Routes in Europe, Asia and Africa in the 11th and 12th centuries you can find online. It includes major and minor locations, major and minor routes, sea routes, canals and roads. Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected. This map depicts the main trading arteries of the high middle ages, just after the decline of the Vikings and before the rise of the Mongols, the Hansa and well before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope.
The map also depicts the general topography, rivers, mountain passes and named routes. All of which contributed to why cities came to be, and still are, up until modern times. The high middle ages were a time when the stars aligned in terms of commerce for many areas of the world. In central Europe many German and French cities initiated annual trade fairs, some of which are still active today — most notably in Frankfurt.
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During the Middle-Ages a number of trade guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe formed a commercial and defensive confederation in order to help ensure safer trade. The Hanseatic League grew from a loose collaboration of a few North German towns in the late s to dominate trade in Northern Europe and the Baltic for the next three centuries.
You can learn more about the trade routes and main roads of late medieval and early modern northern Europe on Viabundus , an interactive map of medieval Northern Europe. The Viabundus interactive map uses historical atlases and records to reconstruct „a map of pre-modern European transport and mobility“. This map helps reveal the trade routes that were used by the Hanseatic League to carry goods by both road and by navigable rivers.
The Viabundus map provides both information about the large market towns of Northern Europe, and the factors such as tolls, fairs and markets which promoted and affected trade between them. The map also includes a route calculator which can be used to discover what routes travelers and traders were likely to have taken to travel between two different pre-modern European towns.
If you select a town on the map you can view information such as the town’s estimated population for different years and the existence of markets. You can also view details on the dates of any fairs in the town and surrounding towns and use the route calculator to view a route between the town and any other medieval town shown on the map. If you want to learn more about travel in Europe before the Middle-Ages then you might be interested in the OmnesViae interactive map.
OmnesViae: Itinerarium Romanum is a route planner that lets you navigate the Roman Empire using the roads and shipping lanes available to the ancient Romans.
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Here, we resolve the hypothetical role of trade routes through statistical analysis on the geo-referenced major trade routes in the early modern period and the 6, geo-referenced plague outbreak records in AD— Ordinary Least Square OLS estimation results show that major trade routes played a dominant role in spreading plague in pre-industrial Europe. Furthermore, the negative correlation between plague outbreaks and their distance from major trade ports indicates the absence of a permanent plague focus in the inland areas of Europe.
Major trade routes decided the major plague outbreak hotspots, while navigable rivers determined the geographic pattern of sporadic plague cases. A case study in Germany indicates that plague penetrated further into Europe through the local trade route network. Based on our findings, we propose the mechanism of plague transmission in historical Europe, which is imperative in demonstrating how pandemics were spread in recent human history.
Normally, the bloodsucking fleas acquire Yersinia pestis from an infected rodent. When the infected flea jumps onto another mammal, preferably rodents, it will transmit the bacteria to the new host by regurgitating the clotted blood from the blockage of the alimentary canal 4. If an infected flea attempts to feed on a human, it will transmit Yersinia pestis to the human and lead to human plague in the form of bubonic plague or pulmonary plague.
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The economy of Medieval Europ e was based primarily on farming, but as time went by trade and industry became more important, towns grew in number and size, and merchants became more important. Like all pre-industrial societies, medieval Europe had a predominantly agricultural economy. The basic economic unit was the manor , managed by its lord and his officials. This was, in the early Middle Ages especially, a largely self-sufficient farming estate, with its peasant inhabitants growing their own crops, keeping their own cattle, making their own bread, cheese, beer or wine, and as far as possible making and repairing their own equipment, clothes, cottages, furniture and all the necessities of life.
Surplus produce was sold at the nearest market town , where equipment which could not be made or maintained in the manor workshops, or luxuries unavailable locally, could be purchased. Here craftsmen and shopkeepers such as cobblers, tailors, costermongers, tinkers, smiths and others plied their trades. Most industry in medieval Europe was carried out on a very small scale and was closely related to farming, either processing its produce or servicing its needs.
Much of this was carried out within rural villages rather than in towns. Brewing, milling, baking bread, cheese-making, spinning, weaving, making clothes, tanning leather and making shoes, belts, woodworking, smithing and building and maintaining cottages, barns and other buildings, all were done by the villagers themselves within their own households. Some of this work required skilled specialists, but even these had their own field strips which they worked for much of their time.
Examples of large-scale industrial units were the salt-mines of central Europe, stone quarries in various places, and shipbuilding, especially in the larger ports. At Venice, the Arsenal was a huge complex of shipbuilding and armaments manufacture, employing thousands of workers. As in so much else, so for trade: the early medieval period on Europe was a shadow of what had come before under the Roman Empire.
In the centuries after the fall of the Roman empire in the west , long-distance trade routes shrank to a shadow of what they had been.
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Indian exposure to the Europeans was a result of the discovery of a sea route to India. Old trade routes existed since the ancient times. The invasion of Alexander boosted trade contacts outside India. Opening of new trade routes, through Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caspian Sea till the Black sea also favoured European entry into India.
Another trade route was through Persia and Syria till Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The route through the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and the Red Sea was the most convenient of all. Through these routes goods from India went to Europe and back. The rise of the Arabs witnessed a block of the trade in the 7th century. Besides this the Turks were gaining grounds over the Arabs. The shortage in the supply of Asian goods caused a rise of price of these commodities in Europe.
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Trade Routes to the North Sea AD Interesting that the descendants of the great trading empire of the Phoenicians were some of the best and most well respected traders in the early Middle Ages. Many historians state that these traders mostly dealt with goods like spices from the east that came into the ports such as Cadiz or Marseilles. 15/02/ · Perhaps the most fabled of these trade routes was the Silk Road. The Silk Road was not a product of the Middle Ages; indeed, the Silk Road has roots going back thousands of Video Duration: 7 min.
Trade routes have popped up throughout ancient history, stitching places of production to places of commerce. Scarce commodities that were only available in certain locations, such as salt or spices, were the biggest driver of trade networks, but once established, these roads also facilitated cultural exchanges—including the spread of religion, ideas, knowledge, and sometimes even bacteria.
The Silk Road is the most famous ancient trade route, linking the major ancient civilizations of China and the Roman Empire. Silk was traded from China to the Roman Empire starting in the first century BCE, in exchange for wool, silver, and gold coming from Europe. In addition to fostering trade, the Silk Road also became a vital route for the spread of knowledge, technology, religion, and the arts, with many trading centers along the route, such as Samarkand in modern-day Uzbekistan, also becoming important centers of intellectual exchange.
It was rare for tradespeople to travel the full miles, so most plied their trade on sections of the route. As the Roman Empire crumbled in the fourth century CE, the Silk Road became unsafe and fell out of use until the 13th century, when it was revived under the Mongols. Italian explorer Marco Polo followed the Silk Road during the 13th century, becoming one of the first Europeans to visit China.
But the famous route may have spread more than trade and cross-cultural links—some scientists think it was merchants traveling along the route who spread the plague bacteria that caused the Black Death. Unlike most of the other trade routes in this list, the Spice Routes were maritime paths linking the East to the West.