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6 The Economy of Latin Greece

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Chapter Summary

The economic evolution of Latin Greece in the late Middle Ages was generated by a conjunction of geo-political developments both within and outside the region, as well as by the constant interplay between micro and macroeconomic factors and between private initiative and political powers. In the 13th century the economy of Latin Greece swiftly geared itself to growing western demand. While ensuring the continuity of the Byzantine rural infrastructure, Italian landowners, stewards, merchants and bankers, mostly settled in coastal cities, implemented structural changes in the exploitation and management of rural resources and in the marketing of export-oriented surpluses. As a result, Latin Greece experienced a free flow of cash and an ever stronger economic interaction between its rural sector, the cities, and maritime trade. The gradual consolidation of Venetian economic domination in the western Aegean decisively contributed to the intensification of local, regional and trans-Mediterranean commerce and shipping.

Keywords: Byzantine; economic evolution; geo-political developments; Latin Greece

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