The London Evening Standard reported in 1881 that one transaction from the Sursuq (Sursock) and Debbas families caused the French stock market to decline. The Levantine companies had accumulated significant capital from silk and futures trading throughout the mid-nineteenth century. By the late-nineteenth century the Beirut-based family companies wielded so much economic, political, and social... Read More »
Spanish galleons were large ships specifically built to carry a huge amount of cargo across the vast distances of the Spanish maritime empire. The Manila Galleon Trade is a common topic in world history courses and represents the first truly global trade in world history. The manila galleons, specifically, could reach over 160ft in length. Interestingly, due to a number of environmental,... Read More »
These intricate figurines, made by skilled West African smiths, were measuring instruments central to world flows of capital and commerce through medieval and early modern times.
West Africa was one of the world’s main sources of gold from antiquity onwards. Keeping the location of the region’s gold-fields secret, the great empires of ancient Ghana (6th - 13th century), Mali (c. 1240-... Read More »
The Nuzhat al-mushtāq fī ikhtirāq al-āfāq, most commonly known in the West as the Tabula Rogeriana ("The Book of Roger" in Latin), is a manuscript created by the Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi that contains a highly detailed, partial-world map and extensive descriptions of the seven climate zones represented on the map. Depicting the Eurasian continent and North Africa, Al-... Read More »
This color drawing, produced in 1793 at the request of the Committee of Public Safety and then published as an engraving, caricatures the British army and its king, George III, as incompetent, who, despite fine uniforms, cannot defeat shoddily clad, yet energetic sans–culottes (on the left), who humiliate the British by defecating on the advancing troops. The British vainly try to respond with... Read More »