03 May 2022

LECTURE: Renaissance Florence and the Origins of Capitalism: A Business History Perspective (Law and History Workshop, 10 May 2022, Stanford-ONLINE)

We learned that the last seminar of the Law and History Workshop organized by the Stanford Center for Law and History will be held on Tuesday, May 10, from 12:45-2:00PM (Pacific) in Room 320D, Stanford Law School, and via Zoom. 

Francesca Trivellato, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies will present, “Renaissance Florence and the Origins of Capitalism: A Business History Perspective.” Professor Trivellato will present in-person but participants will be able to attend either in-person or online. 

Please RSVP by Monday, May 2. To RSVP, click here. Those who confirm their attendance will receive a separate email containing the paper and link to the event after the RSVP deadline.

For those who attend in-person, however, lunch will be provided at 12:25PM, 20 minutes before the workshop at Room 320D. We also ask all those who attend in-person to comply with current Stanford event guidelines which can be found here.


From the 1940s to the 1970s, the commercial revolution of the Middle Ages was a historiographical concept with considerable traction. This article revisits the literature that brought about and engaged with that concept, with specific reference to Florence. In so doing, it draws attention to the place once held by business history in the study of Europe’s takeoff. It also discusses the preliminary results of an ongoing project on limited partnerships in early modern Tuscany, which reaffirms the relevance of business history for understanding preindustrial economies but steers away from a teleological search for the origins of modern capitalism.

More information can be found here.

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