The History of Ragusa in an Eastern Mediterranean Context
The historical literature on Ragusa exhibits a considerable consensus that despite its small size and limited natural resources, it was one of the most successful states in the eastern Mediterranean, with volumes of shipping and trade, levels of wealth, and architectural and cultural achievements comparable to the major centres of the region. Innumerable authors over the centuries have attributed its success to effective governance based on a political regime of republicanism that may not have been democratic but relatively fair and benevolent providing pioneering social provisions like education, health care, quarantine systems, and grain reserves for times of shortage. To this was coupled a generally liberal, open economy, with prudent state finances, limited market intervention, and encouragement of private enterprise. Is this rosy view of Ragusa truly justified? We ask this question in the book and try to answer it by using the new methodologies of cliometrics, testing hypotheses of historians with as much hard data as possible.
KeywordsHistorical Literature Economic Prosperity Roman Period Limited Natural Resource Byzantine Period
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