Medieval Trade Routes

Classic Pamphlet

J. N. L. Baker, last updated: 8th March 2015

Trade and Contact

The subject of Medieval Trade Routes presents certain difficulties at the outset. There is no clear definition of the word ‘medieval' and, whatever period is chosen, it is obvious that trade routes within that period would be unlikely always to follow the same direction or to be of the same importance. Allowance must be made not only for the changing development of different regions, and the substitution of one form of commerce for another, but also for all the varying non-geographical factors which so frequently affect the direction and the volume of trade.

It is not the purpose of this essay to discuss these political and economic factors as a whole, though it will be necessary to refer to some of them: their operation throughout the period should, however, be borne in mind...

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