By Fernand Braudel

"In this concise book... Braudel summarizes the extensive subject matters of his three-volume Civilisation materielle et capitalisme, 1400-1800 and provides his reflections at the historian's craft and at the nature of the ancient imagination... Taken as an entire, the e-book is provocative and stimulating. sometimes, it rises to revelation whilst or 3 sentences of compressed yet very good prose strength us to think again the occasions of a whole century or the historical past of a continent." -- American ancient assessment.

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Additional resources for Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History)

Sample text

On the other hand, the big merchant generally did not restrict himself solely to his capital; he had recourse to credit, to other people's money. And, in addition, capital and credit are able to move about. The papers of Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant of Prato, near Florence, reveal that by the end of the fourteenth century letters of change were moving to and fro between Italian cities and the most active centers of European capitalism: Barcelona, Montpellier, Avignon, Paris, London, and Bruges.

He had nothing in common with the hawanti, or shopkeeper, in the sukh. ' " In the West the vocabulary used reveals similar distinctions. The Higocian! or wholesale merchant was France's Katari; the word nigociant appeared during the seventeenth century. fherr on the other. Need I comment that these capitalisrs, both in Islam and in Christendom, were friends of the prince and helpers or exploiters of the state? At an early date, from the very beginning, they went beyond "national" boundaries and were in touch with merchants in foreign commercial centers.

Itinerant dealers who collected and assembled merchandise went to the homes of the producers. From the peasant they bought wool, hemp, livestock, hides, barley or wheat, and poultry. Or they might even buy these items in advance, as unshorn wool and uncut wheat. A simple note signed in the village inn or at the farm itself sealed the bargain. Then they shipped their purchases by cart, pack horse, or boat to the major cities or coastal ports. Examples of this sort of activity were to be found throughout the world, around Paris and London, at Segovia (for wool), around Naples (for wheat), in Apulia (for oil), and in Insulinde (for pepper).

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