The Black Death in Egypt and England: A Comparative Study (Google eBook)

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, Sep 15, 2009 - Medical
0 Reviews

Throughout the fourteenth century AD/eighth century H, waves of plague swept out of Central Asia and decimated populations from China to Iceland. So devastating was the Black Death across the Old World that some historians have compared its effects to those of a nuclear holocaust. As countries began to recover from the plague during the following century, sharp contrasts arose between the East, where societies slumped into long-term economic and social decline, and the West, where technological and social innovation set the stage for Europe's dominance into the twentieth century. Why were there such opposite outcomes from the same catastrophic event?

In contrast to previous studies that have looked to differences between Islam and Christianity for the solution to the puzzle, this pioneering work proposes that a country's system of landholding primarily determined how successfully it recovered from the calamity of the Black Death. Stuart Borsch compares the specific cases of Egypt and England, countries whose economies were based in agriculture and whose pre-plague levels of total and agrarian gross domestic product were roughly equivalent. Undertaking a thorough analysis of medieval economic data, he cogently explains why Egypt's centralized and urban landholding system was unable to adapt to massive depopulation, while England's localized and rural landholding system had fully recovered by the year 1500.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

INTRODUCTION Plague and Methodology
1
MORTALITY IRRIGATION AND LANDHOLDERS IN MAMLUK EGYPT
24
THE IMPACT OF THE PLAGUES ON THE RURAL ECONOMY OF EGYPT
40
THE IMPACT OF THE PLAGUES ON THE RURAL ECONOMY OF ENGLAND
55
THE DINAR JAYSHI AND AGRARIAN OUTPUT IN ENGLAND AND EGYPT
67
PRICES AND WAGES A REEVALUATION
91
CONCLUSION
113
THE MARGINAL PRODUCT OF LABOR RECONSIDERED
118
NOTES
135
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
167
INDEX
185
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xi - Mills for her constructive criticism, support and encouragement at every stage throughout the course of the research for this book. I would also like to thank all of my informants who generously took time out of their busy schedules to be interviewed by me.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2009)

STUART J. BORSCH is Assistant Professor of History at Assumption College in Worchester, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information