The commercial and financial pre-eminence of Antwerp in the half-century preceding the Revolt of the Netherlands has been the subject of several classic accounts, from Guicciardini’s contemporary description to the modern analyses of Pirenne and Ehrenberg. Guicciardini’s figures of the main branches of Antwerp’s imports at the height of its prosperity, about 1560, are a useful guide to the relative importance of the trade-routes which converged upon the town; The largest single item was English cloth, which accounted for almost one third of the total value; next came Italian luxury goods, amounting to nearly one-fifth; Northern foodstuffs accounted for rather more and German wine for rather less than one-tenth, French wine and Portuguese spices each for about one-sixteenth; Spanish wine and wool, German cloth, French dyes and salt, and English wool represented progressively smaller fractions. 1