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Religion and TradeCross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000-1900$
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Francesca Trivellato, Leor Halevi, and Catia Antunes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199379187

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199379187.001.0001

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The Economy of Ransoming in the Early Modern Mediterranean

The Economy of Ransoming in the Early Modern Mediterranean

A form of Cross-Cultural Trade Between Southern Europe and the Maghreb (Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)

(p.108) 4 The Economy of Ransoming in the Early Modern Mediterranean
Religion and Trade

Wolfgang Kaiser

Guillaume Calafat

Oxford University Press

Drawing from diplomatic sources, commercial treatises, and legal documents, this chapter describes the ransoming of captives as an important economic sector of the early modern Mediterranean. It argues that, far from being an economy of booty and plunder that obstructed commercial exchanges, corsairing in the Mediterranean sustained a constant trade in captives that crossed religious, legal, and political boundaries. The official function of corsairing was to damage the enemy’s economic activities. But in practice, corsairing also contributed to intensify contacts between Christian, Muslim, and Jewish merchants in the western Mediterranean.

Keywords:   corsairing, captivity, ransoming, Christians, Muslims, Jews, western Mediterranean, early modern

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