Even the Mediterranean sea trade had been taken over by the Italian cities - without conquest, without pressure, simply by more active and more effective commercial methods. Apart from a few products like sugar and later coffee, Middle Eastern agriculture and industry were no longer able to provide an exportable surplus of commodities, and Middle Eastern traders had to depend increasingly on the transit trade between Europe and the further East."
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I found on this blog this quote from Bernard Lewis (p. 178). "Regarding the decline of the Middle East after about the 1500, Lewis writes :