"Constable has written a monumental book, covering the many semantic, political, economic and cross-cultural angles of a truly interdisciplinary historical enterprise. Its diachronic and geographic reach...create[s] a rich narrative that is a delight to read, and it offers a veritable treasure house of information for classical scholars, medievalists and early modernists of many kinds." Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Constable has produced an interesting book about the ways in which travelers were housed, particularly those involved in trade in the Mediterranean world in late antiquity and the middle ages." EH.NET
"This book is filed with close, astute studies of local trends in parts of the Mediterranean and does an exellent job of balancing regional and general developments." - Steven A. Epstein, University of Kansas
The Greek pandocheion, the Arabic funduq, and Latin fondaco were ubiquitous institutions in the Mediterranean sphere that were hostelries for travellers and evolved into centres of trade between Muslim and Christian regions. In this highly original study, Professor Constable traces the evolution of this family of institutions from the pandocheion in Late Antiquity to the arrival of European merchants in Islamic markets and the appearance of the fondaco. Exploring how this diffusion demonstrates common economic interests, the author provides a striking contribution to our understanding of the Mediterranean middle ages.