Charlemagne, Muhammad, and the Arab Roots of Capitalism

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Walter de Gruyter, 2006 - History - 381 pages

Presented in six principal analytic chapters with supporting appendices, this book explores the role of Islam in precipitating Europe's twelfth century commercial renaissance. Employing the classic analytic techniques of economics, Gene Heck determines that medieval Europe's feudal interregnum was largely caused by indigenous governmental business regulation and not by shifts in international trade patterns. He then proceeds by demonstrating how Islamic economic precepts provided the ideological rationales that empowered medieval Europe to escape its three-centuries-long experiment in "Dark Age economics" ― in the process, providing the West with its archetypic tools of capitalism. While treatises such as Maxime Rodinson's excellent book, Islam and Capitalism, document the capitalistic nature of the Islamic economic system, in applying modern economic method to medieval orientalist historiography, this work is unique in capturing both the evolution and the impact of the system's role in forging medieval history.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Medieval Christian Europe in Stasis
13
The MuslimsMedieval Trade Explosion
41
Islamic Free Market Doctrine Pragmatically Applied
81
The Fruition of Commercial Capitalism in Fatimid Egypt
115
Imperatives of Trade and the Transformation of Europe
161
Medieval Europes Transformation The Triumph Of Ideas
211
Islam and Medieval Europes Economic Recrudescence
259
Trade Routes Leading to the Hijaz at the Dawn of Islam
289
The Islamic Doctrine of Private Gain in the Free Market
297
F Principal Trade Routes of the Radhanite Jews
305
H Imperatives of Trade and the Transformation of Europe
315
J The Echoes of Islamic Exegesis in Early Christian Protestant
321
Source Analysis
337
Bibliography
343
General Index
377

A Early Medieval Muslim Perceptions of the European West
265
B The Dispersion Of Islamic Global Trade
273

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About the author (2006)

Gene W. Heck, Dallas, Texas, USA.

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