- 東洋史研究 (ISSN:03869059)
- vol.51, no.4, pp.657-694, 1993-03-31
Raw silk had been the principal export article of Iran since medieval times. In 1864, however, pebrine, silkworm disease which originally broke out in France and Italy, spread to Iran by way of Ottoman territory, and devastated raw silk production in the province of Gilan. Raw silk trade simultaneously declined. Restoring the production and trade of raw silk was critical task, since Iranian economy considerably depended on the raw silk export. Uninfected silkworm eggs were imported from Japan in an attempt to meet the problem, but the Japanese silkworm eggs were not suited to the soil of Iran and the attempt failed. From the beginning of 1890s, silkworm eggs were imported from Bursa, and consequently raw silk production in Gilan recovered. However, the export trade never surpassed earlier level, and changed its article from raw silk to cocoons. This trade was controlled by Greek merchants from the Ottoman empire. Thus Iranian silk trade was continued but under conditions of greater subordination to the worldwide capitalist economy system than previously.