Finished Workshop “Trade Diasporas across the Early Modern Mediterranean” (Mar. 20)


Category: Workshop

Research Group: B01 State Systems

The Workshop “Trade Diasporas across the Early Modern Mediterranean” will be organized by Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems”(KONDO Nobuaki, 20H05827).

Date & Time: March 20, 2023, 15:00–17:00

Tommaso Stefini (European University Institute)
“Hosting the stranger: trade diasporas across the early modern Mediterranean (15th-18th centuries)”

During the early modern period, expanding diplomatic activities and trade connections across the Mediterranean promoted the creation of diasporas of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim merchants in the main commercial centers of the Ottoman Empire and Mediterranean Europe. In order to benefit from economic opportunities and to cope with the challenges arising from human migration and religious diversity, the rulers of Christian and Muslim states had to devise institutional arrangements to regulate the presence of foreign communities within their borders. These arrangements usually included hosting these groups in distinct neighborhoods or secluded buildings, allowing them a degree of self-administration in intra-group taxation and justice administration, and offering them fiscal exemptions and legal privileges in state courts. By focusing on the Ottoman trade hubs of Istanbul, Izmir, and Aleppo and on the European ports of Venice, Livorno, and Marseille, this presentation will argue that, despite differences in the political and legal systems, the Ottoman, Italian, and French governments devised comparable solutions to regulate the residence and business activities of foreign merchants. These solutions included the issuance of charters of privileges and duties and similar regulations on matters of residence, justice administration, and economic rights which aimed to both include foreign merchants in the states’ legal and economic systems and limit their contacts with the host population. These similar arrangements, it will be argued, stemmed from the shared institution of the safe- conduct (Latin, salvus conductus, Arabic/Turkish aman), which had regulated inter-state relations and the protection of religious minorities and foreign merchants in the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe since the period Crusades in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Despite these shared solutions, however, there also existed a degree of difference among all the contexts under study-for instance, in the freedom of movement and business activity granted to merchants as well as in acceptance of any religious groups- which relate to the political economy of long-distance trade of different states.


Moderator: KONDO Nobuaki (ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)

Venue: Room 301, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (registered participants may also access the workshop online by Zoom), Open to public/Admission free, Pre-registration is required.

Pre-registration: please use this form for in-person participation. 
                                     please use this form for online participation. 

Organizer: Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems” (Principal Investigator: KONDO Nobuaki (ILCAA); 20H05827).

Contact: MORITA Madoka (mmorita[at]

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