Trading Conflicts

Venetian Merchants and Mamluk Officials in Late Medieval Alexandria

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Analysing different conflicts in Late Medieval Alexandria, this book offers new insights into the micro-mechanics of Venetian life and trade in Egypt and recalibrates the narrative of the strictly regulated and often violent contacts between East and West. This thorough microanalysis, based on the private archive of a Venetian merchant and consul in Alexandria read in conjunction with other Venetian and Mamluk sources, provides a differentiated image of conflict patterns cutting across the cultural divide. It transforms our image of Alexandria as a city at the intersection of Orient and Occident into that of a microcosm in its own right where disputes did not always fall neatly along cultural divides and conflicts were traded as much as trade created conflicts.
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Biographical Note

Georg Christ, Dr. phil. (2006) in History of the Middle Ages, Universität Basel, is a research group leader at Universität Heidelberg. He has published on topics in Late Medieval trade history, including news management, navigation and urban history.

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables ...xiii
Acknowledgements ...xv
Transcription of Arabic Words and Unifijication of Date ...xvii

I Introduction ...1

PART ONE
FRAMEWORK: VENETIAN MERCHANTS IN ALEXANDRIA – BIOGRAPHY OF BIAGIO DOLFIN
II Levant Trade ...19
III Venetian Commercial Privileges in the Mamluk Empire ...45
IV The Venetian Consulate in Alexandria ...55
V Biagio Dolfijin – Public Servant and Merchant ...97

PART TWO
PRESUMED RELIGIOUS CONFLICTS
VI Crusade and Levant Trade ...113
VII Slave Trade and Solidarities ...121
VIII Venice as Protector of Pilgrims and the Importance of the cortexia ...143
IX Per onor di san Marcho – Wanderings of St Mark’s Head ...155
X Shed Wine – Anti-Christian Riots in Alexandria? ...167

PART THREE
CONFLICTS OVER THE SPICE TRADE FAIR
XI Prolungar la muda – Conflict over the Spice Fair’s Deadline ...187
XII Non per pato, ma per complaxer – Modalities of the Customs Clearance ...209
XIII Per cholpa, defeto et triste maniere – The Conflict Surrounding the Sultan’s Pepper ...229
XIV The Case of Giacomo Zorzi: Release of a Debt Prisoner ...251

PART FOUR
EPILOGUE AND CONCLUSION
XV Epilogue: Montar al Caiero – Quasi-Martyrdom of the Consul? ...273
XVI Conclusion – Types of Truth ...281

APPENDICES
I Partial Reconstruction of Biagio Dolfijin’s Correspondence ...293
II Transcription of Venetian Texts ...305
III Documents ...307

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1 Sources ...331
2 Selected Studies ...335
3 Reference Works ...354

Index ...

Readership

Scholars and public interested in Late Medieval and Early Modern cultural, legal and economic history, Mamluk and Mediterranean studies, history of Religion, Islam studies; Venetian, trade, and urban history.

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