Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Origins of the European Economy Communications and Commerce AD 300-900 by Michael (Harvard University, Massachusetts) McCormick

Origins of the European Economy Communications and Commerce AD 300-900



Origins of the European Economy Communications and Commerce AD 300-900 by Michael (Harvard University, Massachusetts) McCormick

For fifty years debate has raged about early European commerce during the period between antiquity and the middle ages. Was there trade? If so, in what - and with whom? New evidence and new ways of looking at old evidence are now breaking the stalemate. Analysis of communications - the movements of people, ideas and things - is transforming our vision of Europe and the Mediterranean in the age of Charlemagne and Harun al Rashid. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the economic transition during this period for over sixty years. Using new materials and new methodology, it will attract all social and economic historians of antiquity and the middle ages, and anyone concerned with the origins of Europe, the history of the slave trade, medicine and disease, cross-cultural contacts, and the Muslim and Byzantine worlds.


'Cambridge University Press is to be congratulated on a polished and well-edited production ... This is a noble addition to the school inspired by Pirenne, and will no doubt still be around in another sixty years'

Economic History Services

'Michael McCormick has written a Decline and Fall for the twenty-first century ... his brilliant book will shatter most people's conceptions of the Dark Ages.'
Ross Balzaretti, The Times Literary Supplement

'... an awesome book ... The results are little short of extraordinary. McCormick has established a benchmark for what, as he rightly points out, has been a virtual world lost between those studying East and West, and North and South. Time will show what a massively useful work this.'
Richard Hodges, Agrarian History Review

'The motor of the economic surge which appears in the increase of Mediterranean communications...was the linking of Europe to the more advanced economy of the Middle East. The Mediterranean was thus no barrier, but a bridge between two economic worlds. The significance of this clear and persuasively polished book lies in its method of observing economic development and in the convincing results ...'. Neue Zurcher Zeitung '... a product of arduous, ambitious, serious historical scholarship ... a noble addition to the school inspired by Pireene, and will no doubt still be around in another sixty years'


.Net Reviews '... this is a thorough and refeshing discussion of what documentary and artefactual sources tell us about economy and communcation in this period.

'The book is a remarkable compendium of information about travel. McCormick is an exceptional scholar, blessed with the linguistic gifts that allow him to range through an extraordinary number of texts ... am certain it will be productively mined, as a comprehensive work of reference, for a long time to come.'
The Times Higher Education Supplement

'McCormick's book is a masterpiece of craft ... McCormick, like Bloch and Pirenne, is writing a different kind of economic history: 'economic history as cultural history' ... McCormick has carried the best work of the early twentieth century on into the twenty-first - not just by adding more lanes, but by carving out a whole new route.'
New Republic

About the Author

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

17th January 2002


Michael (Harvard University, Massachusetts) McCormick

More books by Michael (Harvard University, Massachusetts) McCormick
Author 'Like for Like'


Cambridge University Press


1130 pages


European history
Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500
Economic history



I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones