Anciens systèmes de poids et mesures en Occident

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Ashgate Publishing Company, 1974 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
The history of pre-metric weights and measures is without doubt an intractable subject, yet an understanding of what they meant is an essential prerequisite for the study of economic history. This is not simply a matter of calculating a metric equivalent, but of discovering how the systems of weighing, measuring and counting actually worked. When this is done, as Professor Hocquet shows, the 'chaos' of a score of differing - and often seemingly conflicting - systems resolves into coherent structures: units and their multiples and fractions form rational patterns; different measures were used for different purposes (for instance, one for buying, one for selling); and the use of a given measure reflects economic and political power. The studies here cover the period from the early medieval West up to the European expansion, but the focus, reflecting the availability of the source material, is on the salt trade and on Venice in the later Middle Ages.

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