Medieval Economic History in Comparative Perspective

Term: 
Spring 2015
Req: 
HASS-S
Cat: 
CI-H
Level: 
Introductory

Surveys the conditions of material life and changing social and economic relations in medieval Europe using the comparative context of contemporary Islamic, Chinese, and Japanese experiences. Covers the emergence and decline of feudal institutions, the transformation of peasant agriculture, living standards and the course of epidemic disease, and the ebb and flow of long-distance trade across the Eurasian system. Particular emphasis placed on the study of those factors, both institutional and technological, which contributed to the emergence of capitalist organization and economic growth in western Europe in contrast to the trajectories followed by the other major medieval economies.