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An Agrarian History of Portugal, 1000-2000

Economic Development on the European Frontier

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Edited by Dulce Freire and Pedro Lains

This book follows the renovation of European economic history towards a more unified interpretation of sources of growth and stagnation. To better understand the diversity of patterns of growth, we need to look beyond the study of the industrialization of the core economies, and explore the centuries before it occurred. Portuguese agriculture was hardly ever at the European productivity and technological forefront and the distance from it varied substantially across the second Millennium. Yet if we look at the periods of the Christian Reconquista, the recovery from the Black Death, the response to the globalization of the Renaissance, to the eighteenth century economic enlightenment, or to nineteenth century industrialization, we may conclude that agriculture in this country of the European periphery was often adaptive and dynamic. The fact that economic backwardness was not overcome by the end of the period is no longer the most relevant aspect of that story.

Contributors are: Luciano Amaral, Amélia Branco, Dulce Freire, António Henriques, Pedro Lains, Susana Münch Miranda, Margarida Sobral Neto, Jaime Reis, Ana Maria Rodrigues, José Vicente Serrão and Ester G. Silva.

Iceland's Networked Society

Revealing How the Global Affairs of the Viking Age Created New Forms of Social Complexity

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Tara Carter

Linked by the politics of global trade networks, Viking Age Europe was a well-connected world. Within this fertile social environment, Iceland ironically has been casted as a marginal society too remote to participate in global affairs, and destined to live in the shadow of its more successful neighbours. Drawing on new archaeological evidence, Tara Carter challenges this view, arguing that by building strong social networks the first citizens of Iceland balanced thinking globally while acting locally, creating the first cosmopolitan society in the North Atlantic. Iceland’s Networked Society asks us to reconsider how societies like Iceland can, even when positioned at the margins of competing empires, remain active in a global political economy and achieve social complexity on its own terms.