By Edwin S. Hunt, James Murray
A heritage of commercial in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550, demolishes the generally held view that the word "medieval business" is an oxymoron. The authors evaluation the total diversity of commercial in medieval western Europe, probing its Roman and Christian history to find the industrial and political forces that formed the association of agriculture, production, development, mining, transportation, and advertising. Then they take care of the responses of businessmen to the devastating plagues, famines, and war that beset Europe within the overdue center a long time. Medieval businessmen's awesome luck in dealing with this opposed new surroundings ready the best way for the industrial enlargement of the 16th century.
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Additional resources for A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550 (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks)
A second great advance was the spread of the treadle-operated horizontal loom during the twelfth century, which permitted efficient manufacture of cloths of much greater length and tighter, more uniform weave than the old vertical loom. This was followed in the thirteenth century by the horizontal broadloom, which not only had the desired effect of producing cloth of double width, but also eventually brought weaving productivity to a level not exceeded until the late eighteenth century. The treadle looms, especially the broadloom, which involved two weavers sitting side-by-side operating expensive equipment, effectively transformed much of industrial weaving into an urbanized maledominated occupation.
The word itself has ancient Germanic roots and first occurs in a document from the mid-eleventh century as gearmarket, or “yearmarket,” akin to the modern German Jahrmarkt, denoting an annual gathering of merchants. Even though all the Germanic forms of the word are ultimately derived from the Latin mercatum, it is clear that before the eleventh century words in many languages were being coined to describe a developing new reality. 9 It is unlikely, however, that markets and merchants were ever entirely absent from western Europe, even in the darkest of the so-called Dark Ages.
The laborers employed in this work were both female slaves and serfs together with free and even aristocratic women, all of whom had in common the expectation that women were the clothmakers. By the thirteenth century, however, men- Part I. Before the Black Death tions of such workshops disappear as does the apparent monopoly of women in the cloth trades. As the household became the locus of production, males came to share in the work of making cloth, so that by the thirteenth century, when more specialized cloth production was shifted to the towns, men and women worked side by side as weavers and dyers.