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Showing papers in "Journal of the American Oriental Society in 1967"





Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The role of credit in medieval economic life has been subject to dispute by economic historians as discussed by the authors, with the prevalent view being that credit transactions, to the extent that they were employed, were of minor economic importance, and that their function was restricted to consumption to the exclusion of production and trade.
Abstract: THE PRECISE ROLE OF CREDIT in the context of medieval economic life has been subject to dispute by economic historians. Until forty years ago, the prevalent view was that the middle ages constituted a pre-credit era, that credit transactions, to the extent that they were employed, were of minor economic importance, and that their function was restricted to consumption to the exclusion of production and trade. Accordingly, proponents of this view denied any significant relationship between credit and trade.' In an important study of medieval credit, the English economic historian M. M. Postan convincingly demonstrated that this view did not correspond to the economic realities of medieval Europe. On the basis of data found in English medieval archives, he showed that by the thirteenth century credit had already assumed a major role in the trade of Northern Europe.2 In Southern Europe, especially Italy, this was the case a century or more earlier.3 For the medieval Near East, the still unpublished commercial records from the Cairo Geniza will show that by the eleventh century credit operations formed an integral, not to say indispensable, element in the commerce of that area.4 This date can be pushed back even further. The earliest Muslim legal sources now justify the assertion that already in the late eighth century, and possibly earlier, credit arrangements of various types constituted an important feature of both trade and industry. Credit fulfilled several important functions in medieval trade. It financed trade by providing capital or goods for those who temporarily or otherwise did not have the means of carrying out trade; it provided an outlet for surplus eapital to be utilized in a productive and profitable way, and it contributed to the expansion of trade by providing merchants with a means of doing business in an age when the supply of coins was not always adequate. In long distance trade, it dispensed with the necessity of transporting large sums of money across perilous routes and, in combination with other contracts, it served as a means of sharing the risks of commercial ventures. While a full study of the role of all the above mentioned aspects of credit in medieval Islamic trade has yet to be undertaken, one fact is certain: the legal instruments necessary for the extensive use of mercantile credit were already available in the earliest Islamic period. Credit arrangements which could both facilitate trade and provide a framework for the use of credit as a means of investment in trade are already found in a developed form in some of the earliest Islamic legal works. Buying and selling on credit was an accepted and apparently widespread commercial practice, whether a merchant was trading with his own capital or with that entrusted to him by an associate. In the " Book of Partnership " of Shaybanl's 5 Kitib al-asl,6 the earliest Hanaf! code, a provision entitling each of the parties to a partnership to buy and sell on credit is included in the very text of the suggested contract formula. Furthermore, unless otherwise stipulated, neither partner requires the express permission of his colleague for the sale on credit of any of their joint property. The text reads as follows:

41 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the King's concern as to how much of the property of the Lady-of-Uruk has come up to Babylon is somewhat perplexing, unless one assumes that the king relied upon the lucrative income of the temples as an important source for his own tax collection system.
Abstract: This identification is attractive because it is the bakers and the brewers who are responsible for the proper functioning of an important part of the cult, the preparation of food for the images.12 The king's concern as to how much of the property of the Lady-of-Uruk has come up to Babylon is somewhat perplexing, unless one assumes that the king relied upon the lucrative income of the temples as an important source for his own tax collection system. If this interpretation is correct, the king might be inquiring about temple goods which should have been sent to him in Babylon, but were delayed for some reason. This explains why the king asks how much of the property has come up to Babylon (rather than Esagila). More evidence to the effect that the king taxed temple income may be had from the title of an official stationed in Uruk called Sa ris sarri sa muhhi quppi sa Sarri sa Eanna, " The King's Officer (actually, " Eunuch ") in Charge of the King's Basket of Eanna." This official collected meat, barley and money at the temple and sent them to the king.13

37 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors outline the evolution of the basic monetary framework of the early Northern Sung economy and outline the reasons for elevenventh-century Chinese economic growth are many and varied.
Abstract: THE NORTHERN SUNG DYNASTY (A. D. 960-1126) has come to be recognized as a period of rapid commercial and industrial development.' The reasons for eleventh-century Chinese economic growth are many and varied. But the currency system was an important aspect of the changes taking place during this era. The purpose of this paper is to outline the evolution of the basic monetary framework of the early Northern Sung economy. When Chao K'uang-yin established the Sung dynasty in 960, a bewildering conglomeration of iron, lead, and bronze coins of all sizes and alloys constituted the medium of circulation in the regions of China that would come under Imperial control during the next two decades. Since the eighth century, and possibly earlier, the Chinese money of account had been the " cash " (ch'iena). The term ch'ien can also mean, depending on context, a unit of weight, a coin, money in general, or a tax. It may also have a varying value as a money of account in different regions of China. Clarity requires a different translation of chrien for each of its uses. In this study, I have translated it as "cash" when used as a money of account, chien when used as a unit of weight, and coin when used to refer to the actual metal piece. To make matters more complicated, the cash's multiple, the string of one thousand cash, refers to a number of coins as often as it does to a unit of 1,000 cash for accounting purposes. Terminological distinctions are sometimes made, but our documents are by no means consistent.2 A means of devaluation was to issue the actual coins in strings of less than 1,000, and then cry up the "short strings" to the value of a full 1,000 cash string. Where it has been impossible to determine whether a document refers to full strings of 1,000 coins or short strings tariffed at 1,000 cash, I have indicated alternative explanations and calculations in the footnotes. Otherwise, I have followed the same usage adopted for the term ch'ien.3 The most important coin during the T'ang dynasty was the K'ai-yiian t'ung-paob, an alloy of 83 percent copper, 15 percent lead, and 2 percent tin, weighing one ch'ien (3.73 grams),5 and tariffed at one cash. These coins were first issued in 620 A. D.6 and continued to be minted and circulated through the Five Dynasties (907-960 A. D.), supplemented in North China with issues of the same standard by the Later Han and Later Chou rulers.7 The monetary situation was far more

32 citations






Book ChapterDOI
TL;DR: In this article, an Ottoman diplomatic mission opened negotiations with the delegations representing the Holy League Powers (the Habsburg Monarchy, Poland, Muscovy and Venice) at the site of the ruined Serbian town of Karlowitz (Karlovoi Sremski in modern Yugoslavia).
Abstract: At nine o’clock Saturday morning, 13 November 1698, an Ottoman diplomatic mission opened negotiations with the delegations representing the Holy League Powers (the Habsburg Monarchy, Poland, Muscovy and Venice) at the site of the ruined Serbian town of Karlowitz (Karlovoi Sremski in modern Yugoslavia).1 The occasion for this confrontation was the settlement of territorial claims and the differentiation of frontiers between the Habsburg Kaiser and his Allies on the one hand and the Sultan on the other, commencing the formal assessment of decisions which had been forced over the previous 14 years on the battlefields of eastern and southeastern Europe.












Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Stelae of AxUm as discussed by the authors is one of the more enigmatic monuments of the historic period in Africa, and it has been used extensively for archeological field work in both southern Arabia and Ethiopia to provide a framework within which these monuments must be understood and interpreted.
Abstract: THE STELAE OF AxUm are among the more enigmatic monuments of the historic period in Africa. When were they built? What architectural designs do they incorporate? Are these motifs borrowed or are they indigenous? If they are borrowed, what source or sources are represented? What is the purpose or function of the stelae? Not all of these questions can be answered even in part at this time, but the vastly increased amount of archeological field work in both southern Arabia and Ethiopia in the past 15 years has added significantly to our knowledge of these regions. This knowledge in turn provides a framework within which these monuments must be understood and interpreted.






Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A chart showing the amplitude and phase of these various cycles has been included as our fig. 1 (cf. also fig. 2) as discussed by the authors, where the phases of minima are shown in fig.
Abstract: The Chinese did not realize that the activity on the sun was often associated with the northern lights in the terrestrial atmosphere; indeed, even when the two phenomena correspond there is usually a delay of one or two days between the eruption of the particles from the sun and the auroral disturbances seen from the earth. The Chinese likewise did not realize that both phenomena wax and and wane in a cycle of about eleven years. This "solar cycle" can be recognized, and its irregularities followed, by combining the evidence from both East and West. A chart showing the amplitude and phase of these various cycles has been included as our fig. 1 (cf. also fig. 2). The phase can be measured by deducting multiples of 11 from the last two digits of the year of maximum, as explained in detail elsewhere." Thus, the great fourth century maximum c. 372 has a phase of (372-366) or six. The phases of minima are shown in fig. 1.