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The Economy of Ransoming in the Early Modern Mediterranean

Abstract : Drawing from diplomatic sources, commercial treatises, and legal documents, this chapter describes the ransoming of captives as an important economic sector of the early modern Mediterranean. It argues that, far from being an economy of booty and plunder that obstructed commercial exchanges, corsairing in the Mediterranean sustained a constant trade in captives that crossed religious, legal, and political boundaries. The official function of corsairing was to damage the enemy’s economic activities. But in practice, corsairing also contributed to intensify contacts between Christian, Muslim, and Jewish merchants in the western Mediterranean.
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Contributor : Guillaume Calafat <>
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Wolfgang Kaiser, Guillaume Calafat. The Economy of Ransoming in the Early Modern Mediterranean. Religion and Trade : Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000-1900, Oxford University Press, pp.108-130, 2014, ⟨10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199379187.003.0004⟩. ⟨halshs-02895584⟩



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