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Economic Boundaries? Late Antiquity and Early Islam

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

The Mediterranean economy was retracting from the mid-sixth century while the Sasanian economy was expanding. Six trends are identified during Late Antiquity that extended into the Islamic period: (1) the development and spread of large estates with tenant labor, (2) the monetization of the economy, (3) the development and spread of irrigated agriculture, (4) the revival of mining, (5) the emergence of merchant diasporas, and (6) the domination of Indian Ocean commerce by Persian shipping. It is argued that these trends were strongest in Sasanian territory where the economic system identified as "Islamic" originated. À partir du milieu du sixième siècle l'économie méditerranéenne connaissait une régression alors que celle de l'Empire sasanide était en plein essor. Durant l'époque de l'Antiquité tardive et au cours de la période islamique, six tendances peuvent être relevées: 1) le développement et la diffusion des grands domaines avec fermiers à bail; (2) la monétarisation de l'économie; (3) l'extension de l'agriculture irriguée; (4) la revivi fication du secteur minier; (5) l'émergence des diasporas commerciales; et (6) la domination commerciale de la marine perse dans l'Océan indien. Selon notre analyse, ces tendances étaient plus fortement ressenties en territoire sasanide où le système économique dit "islamique" connut le jour.


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