The distribution of consumer goods in medieval and modern Europe was multifaceted and involved different spaces and actors. In fairs and markets, every type of food and items necessary for daily life were sold in the bigger and smaller workshops of the cities. There were also countless small street vendors who kept bench on the street, as well as peasants who came to the city to offer the products of their gardens and chicken coop, as well as hunting or farming products, which they sold knocking from door to door. Street vendors also travelled the less frequented streets carrying their bales and chests, reaching scattered villages and hamlets. A great multiplicity of economic actors who competed together to reach every type of consumer, from the wealthiest to the most humble. The aim of the research project was to understand the economic organisation and evolution of these different forms of retail trade. In terms of results, the contributions collected in this volume constitute the most historiographically updated answer to some of the proposed questions, such as the analysis of the links between the various spatial scales (from the shop to the European networks of itinerant merchants), formal and informal trade between rule and practice, the displacement of goods between the city and the countryside, the tensions between the actors of these exchanges, their rivalries and their agreements, but also the expectations of consumers and the needs of the state, the effects on institutional organisation and on distribution trades organisation in the period between the Middle Ages and the eighteenth century.
in the Catalogue