Barcelona and Its Rulers, 1096-1291
Based on extensive archival research, this volume examines the early growth of Barcelona in order to understand the causes of the European economic take-off. The city did not at first grow because of overseas trade but because of market-oriented agriculture and tribute from Islamic Spain. Only after a difficult adjustment did the city develop the commercial foundations that would later ensure its prosperity. Barcelona's patriciate rose to prominence during the second stage of growth, also a period dominated by a struggle for power in Catalonia. Here, the family structure of the patriciate receives close examination, and in general the volume challenges many traditional assumptions about the nature of Mediterranean towns.
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