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Merchants and their hometown: Florentines in Antwerp and the duchy of Florence (ca 1500-1585)

Dates:
  • Mon 10 Dec 2018 10.00 - 12.30
  Add to Calendar 2018-12-10 10:00 2018-12-10 12:30 Europe/Paris Merchants and their hometown: Florentines in Antwerp and the duchy of Florence (ca 1500-1585)

This dissertation investigates the ties between Florentine merchants in Antwerp and their hometown in the sixteenth century. It demonstrates that such ties were of great importance to them and are crucial to understand their actions and strategical decisions. Despite being an outdated institution, the Florentine nation in Antwerp remained an important point of reference for the merchant community, and depending on its concrete strategical value it was treated with either indifference or great attention by its home government in Florence. The members of the nation in Antwerp predominantly had a background in the Florentine Office Holding Class, which indicates that social dynamics in Florence resonated in the composition of the community in Antwerp. Apart from the nation, merchants also were guided by their Florentine background in forming their business ties. In their partnerships, they relied strongly on investments from other Florentines, and in Antwerp they largely selected collaborators with a Florentine background. This also goes up on a long-distance level, where a large number of their international contacts were with Florentines in other centers of commerce in Europe. Their ties with their hometown were stronger than has been assessed thus far. Apart from commercial ties with their hometown, Florentine merchants in Antwerp also sought to develop patronage ties with their home ruler, Duke Cosimo I through the provision of various services. As demonstrated by the case of Gaspare Ducci, also merchants that developed strong ties in the Low Countries and settled there, sought to maintain ties with their region of origin. By pointing to the importance of merchants’ hometown, this thesis contributes to debates about the relation between politics and commerce, the relation between informal networks and formal institutions, as well as the explanatory value of diaspora and cross-cultural trade.

Sala del Consiglio - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Consiglio - Villa Salviati- Castle

This dissertation investigates the ties between Florentine merchants in Antwerp and their hometown in the sixteenth century. It demonstrates that such ties were of great importance to them and are crucial to understand their actions and strategical decisions. Despite being an outdated institution, the Florentine nation in Antwerp remained an important point of reference for the merchant community, and depending on its concrete strategical value it was treated with either indifference or great attention by its home government in Florence. The members of the nation in Antwerp predominantly had a background in the Florentine Office Holding Class, which indicates that social dynamics in Florence resonated in the composition of the community in Antwerp. Apart from the nation, merchants also were guided by their Florentine background in forming their business ties. In their partnerships, they relied strongly on investments from other Florentines, and in Antwerp they largely selected collaborators with a Florentine background. This also goes up on a long-distance level, where a large number of their international contacts were with Florentines in other centers of commerce in Europe. Their ties with their hometown were stronger than has been assessed thus far. Apart from commercial ties with their hometown, Florentine merchants in Antwerp also sought to develop patronage ties with their home ruler, Duke Cosimo I through the provision of various services. As demonstrated by the case of Gaspare Ducci, also merchants that developed strong ties in the Low Countries and settled there, sought to maintain ties with their region of origin. By pointing to the importance of merchants’ hometown, this thesis contributes to debates about the relation between politics and commerce, the relation between informal networks and formal institutions, as well as the explanatory value of diaspora and cross-cultural trade.


Location:
Sala del Consiglio - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Examiner:
Prof. Regina Grafe
Prof. Francesco Guidi Bruscoli (Università di Firenze)
Maartje van Gelder (University of Amsterdam)

Contact:
Miriam Felicia Curci - Send a mail

Defendant:
Christophe Schellekens (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Supervisor:
Luca Molà (University of Warwick)

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