Chris Wickham (BSR; Oxford)
The image of the ‘commercial revolution’ is traditionally attached to the growing role of the Italian trading cities, Pisa, Genoa and Venice, in the sea-trading across the Mediterranean in the twelfth century. But this is a one-sided image; it ignores the production of goods, rather than long-distance selling; and, in particular, it ignores what we know from archaeology, which is ever clearer. This lecture will suggest a reconstruction of the twelfth-century Italian economy only on the basis of archaeology, and will then compare it with the written sources.
Chris Wickham taught at Birmingham and Oxford; in 2005-16, he was Chichele Professor of Medieval History at Oxford. He is the author of over a dozen books. He is currently (2020-21) Director of the British School at Rome.