Benedetto Ligorio, Una nuova élite mercantile in Adriatico Orientale: le esportazioni dei sefarditi ragusei verso la Serenissima

Benedetto Ligorio - Sapienza Università di Roma
p. 123-135
Online publication date: 
Jewish trading diaspora, inter-adriatic trade, Sephardic merchants, Abraam Coen de Herrera, Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik)

The merchants of the Republic of Ragusa played an important role in the connection between Ottoman Balkans and the Italian peninsula. The Sephardim traders of South-Eastern Europe gained strength as trade élite in the last decade of 16th century and their networks became mature in the first half of 17th century, while the noblemen merchants of Ragusa withdraw from Balkan business and the European General Crisis arise.
Levantine and Ponentine Sephardim like Abraam Coen de Herrera, Jacob Danon and the members of the Namias family used the ports of the Republic of Ragusa to send and insure their merchandises coming from the ottoman hinterland and addressed to the markets of Venice and Ancona. The traditional historiography empathized the competition between the Serenissima and the Republic of Saint Blaise in Early Modern Era. But the quantitative analysis of private trade remark new data: the merchants and especially the Sephardim used the economical space of the Adriatic to bypass the rivalry of the two Adriatic republics and to connect the markets in a shared network. Those trade networks allowed Ragusa to resist to the first part of the crisis although in a trend of general downsizing of the Mediterranean trade business.

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