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> Culture

The Hanseatic League: An Early Attempt at Globalization   

Z  Online Class:  A Zoom invitation link will be sent one day before class begins.

Since the dawn of time, navigation across the Northern Seas has linked many countries. During the 14th century, merchant guilds from 16 countries around the Baltic Sea allied to open new harbors, create trading monopolies, develop international maritime laws, support each other, and fend off pirates. Known as the Hanseatic League, this collaboration effectively controlled northern Europe’s commerce and culture for 400 years. The League disseminated Norse mythologies, facilitated beautiful architecture and urban characteristics, and shared the Protestant faith and work ethic. These alliances created a wealthy merchant class, and their cultural impact is still with us today in the paintings of Hans Holbein and Edward Munch, the music of Edvard Grieg, Jan Sibelius and Frederic Chopin, the writings of Thomas Mann, and in Hanseatic museum collections. Over time, the League’s member cities ranged from 70 to 186. We will visit several of these cities, including Visby, Hamburg, Lübeck, Bergen, Bruges, and Gdansk.  


Gerlinda Melchiori holds advanced degrees in business, history and higher education management. She has served as international consultant to universities around the world.