This book breaks new ground by presenting a detailed description and history of one of the most famous companies of the early fourteenth century. This analysis of the Peruzzi Company produces a radical reassessment of what made the Florentine super-companies so exceptional: commodity trading, especially in grain, which required heavy capital, sophisticated organization, and an international network. But the book also exposes the limitations of their financial power, and explodes the myth that the collapse of the Peruzzi and its joint-venture partner, the Bardi, was caused by bad loans to Edward III to finance his invasions of France.
"A fascinating and eminently readable history of a Florentine company of European scope...this book will stand as a major contribution and a godsend to history teachers seeking comprehensible readings for their students in medieval economic history."- T.C. Price Zimmerman, Choice "This is an impressive first book, written by a mature scholar whose grasp of the intricacies of the medieval economy is certainly enhanced by his 'personal experience in the world of multibranch operations in international business.' His arguments are soldily based on the documentary record and written in a lucid style. Particularly impressive is his development of context, as well as his attention to the political, social, and cultural forces that influenced the evolution of the Peruzzi company. His concluding chapter is a masterful summation of his argument, which situates the super-companies in the larger history of the European economy." Gene Brucker, Journal of Interdisciplinary History "Hunt successfully demonstrates his main points about the Peruzzi Company and is thorough and clear in his analysis of his published primary and secondary sources, leaving few possibilities unconsidered." Speculum