The paper stems from a greater project on economic history concerning the monetary system and policies of medieval and renaissance Venice, with a special focus on Venice’s colony of Crete. The Venetian monetary system included various currencies, both minted and virtual, and it was intertwined with the currencies that already existed or appeared in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Venetian imperial era. I examine actual historical examples through the lenses of both mainstream and heterodox monetary theories in order to show the complexity of monetary practices under real conditions and how the available monetary theories need further sophistication in order to explain and systemize our understanding of monetary phenomena.
To make the research inquiry clearer, I focus on two examples that seem to run counter to what current assumptions about monetary structures:
One case is that of the Byzantine yperpyron, a golden coin of the Eastern Roman Empire which seems to survive in Crete island, both the Venetian rule (starting in early 13th century) and the end of the Byzantine Empire itself (in 1453) and remained in circulation, mostly as a virtual currency or accounting unit, until 17th century, together with various other currencies circulating in the island.
The other case is the Venetian ducat itself, a golden coin minted by Venice from late 13th century onwards and well known for its quality of gold and value in international trade in both Mediterranean and Europe. Yet, it seems that the Venetians preferred to use other international currencies in domestic trade. There has been evidence that in some cases the never-debased golden ducat was not accepted in local transactions.
The paper attempts to set the grounds for further investigation and discussion concerning monetary phenomena and the issues those raise for monetary theory.
This is the presentation for the paper “Persistent food shortages in Venetian Crete: A first hypothesis”, presented at the 2nd COMPOT workshop “Explaining famines, defining responsibilities”, held in Turku, Finland on 12-15.1.2017. The paper will be available in a few months.
Αυτή είναι η παρουσίαση για την μελέτη “Επαναλαμβανόμενες διατροφικές ελλείψεις στη βενετική Κρήτη: Μια πρώτη υπόθεση εργασίας” που παρουσιάστηκε στο 2ο εργαστήριο COMPOT “Εξηγώντας τους λιμούς, ορίζοντας ευθύνες” που έλαβε χώρα στο Τούρκου της Φινλανδάς, την 12-15.1.2017. Η πλήρης μελέτη θα είναι διαθέσιμη σε μερικούς μήνες.
The paper is part of a larger research project concerning grassroots economics, i.e. theory and practice, which exist among everyday people and communities, in spaces which are more informed by everyday communal life and/or social movements than by established economic thinking. Folktales, therefore, are one among the sources I use for learning and understanding grassroots economics.
In this paper, I analyse folktales within the framework of capitalist patriarchy having in mind that the folktales draw ideas and resistance stories from social struggles and arrangements that might be non-capitalist and/or non-patriarchal at the same time. My case studies are various folktales from the island of Crete, Greece, and the main research question is how kitchen work performed by women is valued and perceived through local folktales and how the folk narratives of women’s kitchen tasks raise issues about the possibilities for fighting back patriarchal rules and enhancing solidarity among women.
The next section presents the theoretical framework of analysis and section three explains how folktales function as sources of grassroots economics. The research questions and the method of analysis are presented in section four and section five examines the main themes emerging in Cretan folktales with reference to women’s work and action in the kitchen. In section six I discuss how the themes answer or illustrate better the research questions and the concluding remarks are presented in section seven.