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The degree of differentiation of town inhabitants in terms of wealth, which is all that the eighteenth century Kadi records from Vidin, Sofia and Ruse clearly show, cannot by itself be considered as evidence of an emerging capitalism. Todorov seems to advocate a different view. Cf. La ville . Ch. VII, 'La differentiation de la population urbaine au XVIIIe s. d'apres des registres des cadis de Vidin, Sofia et Ruse'. 64. Gonul Tankut 'The spatial distribution of urban activities in the Ottoman city' in Structure Sociale .

Shipping was, without doubt, the most important and profitable area of economic activity. for the Greeks under Ottoman rule. There is a considerable body of literature on the Greek merchant fleet of the time, but few, if any, of the basic questions relating to its size, its relative importance in the Levant trade, and its diverse functions, have yet been tackled. 35 The basic problems, and these are not limited to the Greek merchant marine alone, are twofold. First, the flag of a ship and its relation to the ship's owner(s) andjor its place of registration; second, the bulk value and kind of merchandise carried, 26 the place of origin and the destination of the cargoes.

This Any analysis of the social structure requires quantitative data on land tenure, commerce, price fluctuations, demographic changes etc. and these are simply lacking. What is of course available is the relevant historical literature, some of it dating from the period in question. Unfortunately the preoccupations of historians have changed with time. islands were The various histories of the written in order to answer questions which are no longer considered important, whereas other aspects which have become the focus of current attention are hardly touched on or are omitted altogether as common or unnecessary knowledge.

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