Original Articles

Trade and Exchange: The Sasanian World to Islam

Author:
Michael G. Morony, University of California, Los Angeles
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Commercial history needs to be seen both in terms of dynamic changes and the place of commerce in the economy. The latter is also related to whether the economy is expanding, contracting or stable. In the case of   Western Asia, there is a common perception that the Late Antique economy was stable or retracting and that the economy in the early Islamic period was expanding. The change is seen to be from a mainly agrarian, self-sufficient economy with some local trade and long-distance commerce in luxuries subject to government control or regulation during Late Antiquity, to a more urban, commercial and unregulated economy supported by commercialized production in the Islamic period.

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