The Levant, Egypt, Italian city states, Caliphates, and more, all played a role in the evolution of the concept of a company in the eastern Mediterranean. Tel Aviv University professor, and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr Ron Harris, joins the show to discuss.
Some topics explored
- When companies start to form in the eastern Mediterranean
- Early financial lending
- Trade in this period in the region
- Early independent contractors and employees
- How shipwrecks help scholars infer information on this topic
- Sea loans including being known to have been invented in the eastern Mediterranean
- Muziris papyrus, an important archaeological discovery in Egypt, that details the longest known trade in Antiquity (a transaction between India and Rome)
- Italian city-states role
- Greek colonies
- The creation of equity partnerships by Muslim people
- Guilds and their role in the economy
- The Roman Catholic Church being the first invention of a corporation
- The Levant Company (est. 1581)—the first joint stock company to trade in the Mediterranean
- When and what types of private sector corporations started to become more prevelant in the eastern Mediterranean
Listen to the episode
The episode is available on major podcast apps: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.
- Professor Harris is author of the book Going the Distance: Eurasian Trade of the Business Corporation, 1400-1700 (Princeton University Press)
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