IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 129: Mercantile Communication and Foreign Exchange in Medieval Europe: Evidence from the Datini Archive

Monday 1 July 2013, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading
Organiser:Tony Moore, International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre, University of Reading
Moderator/Chair:Adrian R. Bell, International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre, University of Reading
Paper 129-a'Nothing more to tell you, and no other news': The Structure and Content of Florentine Business Letters toward the End of the 14th Century
(Language: English)
Helen Bradley, International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre, University of Reading
Index terms: Daily Life, Economics - Trade, Language and Literature - Italian
Paper 129-bNetwork and Communication: The Deployment of Economic Information in the Datini Letters
(Language: English)
Francesco Bettarini, International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre, University of Reading
Index terms: Economics - Trade, Geography and Settlement Studies, Language and Literature - Italian
Paper 129-cForeign Exchange Trading in Medieval Europe
(Language: English)
Tony Moore, International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Centre, University of Reading
Index terms: Economics - General, Economics - Trade, Numismatics
Abstract

The archive of the Italian merchant Francesco di Marco Datini of Prato contains over 100,000 letters between correspondents across western Europe c.1380-1411. These were the medieval equivalent of the Financial Times, providing vital business and economic information that Datini could use to plan his future activities. Many letters included exchange rates between different currencies and these are being extracted by a new Leverhulme Trust-funded project studying the medieval foreign exchange market. This session will explore the value of Datini’s archive for historians and economists, looking at the writing of the letters, changes in the exchange rates quoted, and how to reconstruct medieval foreign exchange operations.