are always warmly welcome -

24 April 2006

Scott Levi, H-WORLD, on Overland Trade Early-Modern Times

Early modern overland Eurasian trade is an important issue that is quite frequently, and quite incorrectly, assumed to have fallen into decline with the rise of the European Companies I'm therefore pleased to contribute to this important thread by adding a few observations to R. J. Barendse's very well informed reply ( to Jonathan Even-Zohar's inquiry

I'll recommend the account of the earlier English entrepreneur Anthony Jenkinson. Motivated by the rise of the Estado da India to find an alternate route to the Indian Ocean, in the mid-sixteenth century Jenkinson traveled through Russia southward to Bukhara and Persia. The volume cited here also includes a couple of other interesting accounts from the same period.

Jenkinson, Anthony. Early Voyages and Travels to Russia and PersiaS Edited by E. Delmar Morgan and C. H. Coote. Hakluyt Society Publications. 2 vols. 1st ser., nos 72-73. London, 1886.

If Jenkinson is of interest, then you might also take a look at: Willan, T. S. The Early History of the Russia Company, 1553-1603. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1956.

Barendse has given references to a number of excellent sources that will provide a good introduction to Russia's 'Asia trade.' Here's just a few more that should not be overlooked:

Baikova, N. B. Rol' Srednei Azii v russko-indiiskikh torgovikh sviaziakh. Tashkent: Nauka, 1964.

Nizamutdinov, Il'ias. Iz istorii Sredneaziatsko-indiiskikh otnoshenii, (IX-XVIII vv.). Tashkent: Fan, 1969.

Shkunov, V. N. 'Russko-indiiskaia torgovlia na Sredneaziatskikh rinkakh v kontse XVIII-nachale XIX v. (po materialam Rossiyskikh arkhivov).' Vostok, Afro-aziatskie obshchestva: istoriya i sovremennost' 3 (1997), pp. 94-101.

Burton, Audrey. The Bukharans: a Dynastic, Diplomatic and Commercial History, 1550-1702. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997. This impressively detailed study has much to say about Bukhara's commercial relationship with Russia during the seventeenth century, although, as the title suggests, it is from the Bukharan perspective.

[... additional bibliographal listings follow ...]

Please note that the above details were correct on the day this post was published. To suggest an update, please email the site's editor at