Nouvelle acquisition : Le marchand et les poids et mesures
Le marchand et les poids et mesures
London : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2023, XIII-254 p.
Collection Variorum collected studies
Published in French in this Variorum volume, these chapters represent over twenty years of scholarship and publication. Many have been updated and translated from German and Italian into French for the first time. The chapters all deal with merchants, of whom the author is a world-renowned specialist, and their use of local weights and measures during the Middle Ages and the modern period. The reader is taken on a journey from the Carolingian Empire to pre-Columbian Mexico and post-colonial Java or Madagascar, from the measures of ancient Rome to the aluminium can of the 21st century. As the author has specialised in the history of salt and saltworks or of the sea, the book also makes room for salt springs, fish and fishing ports in northern Europe, and finally the scholarly investigation leads to the history of food, bread and cereals. The book expands on the earlier survey published in the Variorum series, which dealt mainly with Venice and salt, and was very well received by the educated public, who still wonder how people overcame the chaos of the old measures. The revolution of 1789 put an end to this situation by inventing the metre and the decimal system. (éditeur)