By enabling inter-regional commercial exchange, which then contributed significantly to economic growth, fairs were a pivotal element of the economic development in Europe in the Middle Ages and early-modern times. The Franco-German research cooperation CoMOR (“Configurations of European Fairs. Merchants, Objects, Routes” [1350‒1600]), sponsored by both the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the German Research Foundation (DFG), is dedicated to analyse the system of pre-modern fairs in its entire European dimension. CoMOR brings together historians from Lyons, Erfurt, Leipzig, Graz, Torino and Lisbon, who systematically collect information on fairs, merchants, traded commodities and trading routes from various archival sources to build up a large database. The main objective of CoMOR is to reconstruct temporal and spatial changes in the in the pre-modern European system of fairs and to make these changes visible on a digital dynamic map.
The second CoMOR-workshop – to be held online on 22 January 2021 as a videoconference – will focus on merchant documents like accounting books, letters and travel reports as well as the merchants’ communication at the fairs in the late Middle Ages, roughly the period between the decline of the Champagne fairs in the early fourteenth century and the rise of the fairs at Lyons in the fifteenth century as well as the emergence of Antwerp as an international commercial hub around 1500.