Networks of Trading and Communication
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Majandus- ja kommunikatsioonivõrgustikud
Course title in English
Networks of Trading and Communication
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
Kaarel Vanamölder (eesti keel) tavaline kursus
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
To provide opportunities to gain knowledge enabling to understand the development of Estonian economy from Viking age to Early Modren times in the wider European context and its influence on other spheres of life (culture, mentality etc).
The course explores the development of trade and communication networks using them to explain the transfer of cultural influences in both time and space.
Brief description of the course
Main development features of European economy, focusing on regions closer to Estonia: Germany, Scandinavia, Russia.
Agriculture, industry, finance, trade. Communication networks in the Viking period, trade routes and their cultural impact for the local traditions.
Hanseatic economy. Commerce: Hanse, its origins, integration of Livonia. The role of local Livonian centers in the Hanseatic economy. The rise and role of the towns in medieval Livonia, trade guilds, town´s economy. Internal commerce, relationships between town and its hinterland. Finance: coinages, internal and external coinage, money transfers etc.
The birth of Modern economy and trade. New branches and methods in production. The rise of the Netherlands and England, decline of Hanseatic League. Development of postal service and routes, printing and the Early Modern communication revolution.
Independent work
Independent work contains work with the reading material, preparing and writing an essay.
Learning outcomes in the course
Passing the course
- student understands the fundamental features and phases of Estonian economic history
- student is skilled to place Estonian economic history into wider European context
student has expertise for historical analysis in the mediating role of trade and communication networks
Assessment methods
Written test
Assistent Kaarel Vanamölder
Study literature
Fernand Braudel. Civilization and capitalism 15th-18th. I-III, New-York 1981, 1982.
Marika Mägi. Rrafala. Idateest ja Tallinna algusest. Tallinn, Argo 2015.
Else Roesdahl. Viikingite maailm: viikingid kodu- ja välismaal. Taani keelest tõlkinud Tiina Toomet. Tallinn 2007.
Peter Spufford. Power And Profit: The Merchant In Medieval Europe. Thames & Hudson, 2002, 2006.
Replacement literature
Helen Clarke & Björn Ambrosiani. Towns in the Viking Age. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1995.
Wolfgang Behringer, Im Zeichen des Merkur. Reichspost und Kommunikationsrevolution in der Frühen Neuzeit. (=Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte, Bd. 189), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2003.
Johann Callmer. The archaeology of the early Rus’ c. A. D. 500-900. Medieval Scandinavia, 13/2000, 7-63.
Richard Hodges. Dark Age Economics. The Origins of Towns and Trade AD 600-1100. Second edition. London: Duckworth 1989.
Vilho Niitemaa. Der Binnenhandel in der Politik der livländischen Städte im Mittelalter. — Annales Academicae Scientiarum Fennicae B 76. 2. Helsinki 1952.
Toomas Karjahärm Ajaloolase käsiraamat. Tallinn
Eesti ajalugu II köide: Eesti keskaeg. Tartu 2012.

Anu Mai Kõll. Majandusajaloo metodoloogiast // Ajaloolise tõe otsinguil, 2. Tallinn, 2000, lk. 83-92.
Marika Mägi. Viking Age and early mediaval Eastern Baltic between the West and the East. - Steinar Imsen (ed.) Taxes, tributes and tributary lands in the making of the Scandinavian kingdoms in the Middle Ages. „Norgesveldet“, Occasional papers No. 2. Tapir Academic Press. Trondheim 2011. 189-233.