Paper in Motion - Information and the Economy of Knowledge in the Early Modern Mediterranean

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José María Pérez Fernández and Giovanni Tarantino with

Matteo Calcagni

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Information and the Economy of Knowledge in the Early Modern Mediterranean

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Giovanni Tarantino is an early modern intellectual historian at the University of Florence and Chair of the PIMo COST Action. His most recent publications include ‘The Sky in Place of the Nile: Climate, Religious Unrest and Scapegoating in Post-Tridentine Apulia’ (Environment and History 2022) and (with Paola von Wyss-Giacosa) Through Your Eyes: Religious Alterity and the Early Modern Western Imagination (Brill, 2021). José María Pérez Fernández is professor at the University of Granada in Spain. His recent research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to early modern translation and communication. He joined the People in Motion COST Action in 2019, where he leads the Work Group ‘Paper in Motion’. Matteo Calcagni is PhD researcher at the European University Institute. His current research focuses on Tuscan trade in the late 17th-century Eastern Mediterranean. He is author of La Toscana del Granduca Ferdinando II: Diplomazia, cerimonie e quotidianità alla corte dei Medici (1661-1664) (2018).

Edited by José María Pérez Fernández and Giovanni Tarantino with Matteo Calcagni

© 2021 Images have been reproduced by courtesy of the archives participating to the PIMo exhibition “Paper in Motion” (Prato, 27th January–27th March 2022) This publication is based upon work from COST Action PIMo (CA18140) supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Research Group HUM383, Junta de AndalucíaUniversidad de Granada


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Contents Opening Remarks Simone Mangani, Municipality of Prato, Councillor for Culture Diana Toccafondi, Italian National Council for Cultural Heritage Leonardo Meoni, Prato State Archives, Director

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‘People in Motion’ (PIMo) COST Action CA18140 Giovanni Tarantino, José María Pérez Fernández

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Paper in Motion: Information and the Economy of Knowledge in the Early Modern Mediterranean José María Pérez Fernández

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A Trade History of the Mediterranean Through Thirteen Archives The Datini Archive, Prato, Italy, Chiara Marcheschi The Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive, Prato, Italy, Matteo Calcagni The Adami-Lami Archive, Florence, Italy, Matteo Calcagni A Small Library: The Riccardiana Library in Florence and its Collections, Francesca Gallori The Monte di Pietà of Bologna and its Archive: Paper, Credit and Solidarity, Armando Antonelli, Mauro Carboni, Pietro Delcorno, Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli Court Records of Cairo as a Source for the Activity of European Merchants in Seventheenth-Century Egypt, Nelly Hanna The Simón Ruiz Archive, Medina del Campo, Spain, Antonio Sánchez del Barrio The National Library of Malta and its Collections, Maroma Camilleri Archival Insights from Malta, Charles J. Farrugia The Historical Archive of the Fondazione Banco di Napoli, Claudia Grossi, Gloria Guida Notes on Information and Paper in Motion across the Portuguese Empire, Roger Lee De Jesus The Future of the Past: Unlocking the Mediterranean in the Amsterdam Notarial Archives, Tessa de Boer, Ramona Negrón Fürstlich und Gräflich Fuggersches Familien-und Stiftungsarchiv (The Fugger Family and Foundation Archive), Franz Karg

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The Catalogue 01. Paper Trails of the Global Mediterranean 02. Paper and Communication 03. Paper and the Spirit of Trafficke 04. Paper Trails of Human Goods 05. Paper and Politics, Piety and Finance

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Appendix (trascriptions and translations)

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Trade and Tolerance in Early Modern Europe Giovanni Tarantino, PIMo Action Chair

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Simone Mangani Municipality of Prato, Councillor for Culture

The Municipality of Prato is thrilled to have been part of the organisation of this two-day People in Motion: Entangled Histories of Displacement across the Mediterranean (1492–1923) (PIMo) COST Action event. An international research network involving dozens of different countries and hundreds of researchers is – and will always be – welcome in our city. In this case, however, we are not only offering our hospitality out of choice but also due to the necessity to give further, well-deserved visibility to a fundamental piece of our regional heritage. The archives of Francesco di Marco Datini, preserved in the Prato State Archives, provide vivid testimony of the excellence achieved by their founder in skilfully managing a complex organisation of people and documents. We therefore extend our informal but very heartfelt thanks to the entire research team – to professors José Maria Pérez Fernández and Giovanni Tarantino in particular – for creating this research project and consequently, promoting this international event.

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Diana Toccafondi Italian National Council for Cultural Heritage

‘Ciò che si perde o per nostro difetto / o per colpa di tempo o di Fortuna / ciò che si perde qui, là si raguna.’ In canto XXXIV of Orlando Furioso, Ludovico Ariosto uses these words to describe the miraculous place on the moon where Astolfo goes in search, among the many and disparate things gathered there, of Orlando’s lost wits. In doing so, perhaps unwittingly, Ariosto’s pyrotechnic imagination provides us with an unexpected and effective image of an archive, a fascinating and secret place where the wisdom (and therefore the meaning) of our existence is collected. The deep meaning of these words is well understood by anyone who has had the good fortune to work, as a researcher or archivist, in the midst of ancient papers and has been able to savour what Arlette Farge calls, in one of her successful books, the ‘pleasure of the archive’. This is what happened to me, like many others. Today, looking back on my life in contact with archives, I can say that it was a privilege and an extraordinary opportunity for my professional growth to have been able to work, for some years, on the Datini Archive in the State Archives in Prato. This meant not only coming into contact with a mine of data to sift through in order to obtain results on some research topic (as a historian does), but also being confronted with a complex and stratified system of writings and trying to understand its nature, history and structure. I had to ask fundamental questions about the characteristics, including the formal ones, of the individual types of records and the relationships between them, about how the archive has been set out and transformed over time, about the meaning and use of the records at the time they were produced and then later, in the course of history. As we know, the Datini papers were to find their singular destiny and privileged home in Palazzo Datini, built as the Prato merchant’s residence at the end of the fourteenth century. It was Francesco Datini, together with his wife Margherita, who created the conditions for this house to one day become an ‘archive’, when the trader’s entire inheritance was bequeathed to the foundation of a charitable institution to support the poor of Prato. Datini’s archive remained almost intact over time until it was rediscovered at the end of the nineteenth century (which is why historians have called it the Pompei of the Middle Ages). However, we would be wrong to think of it as an archaeological object frozen in an immobile time: not only does its exploration amaze researchers with its kaleidoscopic variety, just like Astolfo on the moon, but the nature of the papers it preserves has much to say to our contemporary world, and to our sense of information providers and communication society. If the archives of government institutions, families and institutions usually offer a well-structured and almost monumental representation of the subjects from which they originate (and this strength, this monumentality also includes transformations, manipulations, successive aggregations and all the vicissitudes that place the seal of history on the papers), mercantile archives, and in particular the Datini Archive, are born and live under the banner of mobility. The papers 10


they contain often travelled by sea and land along with the goods, determining and accompanying their destinations, sustaining personal and business relationships, feeding networks of knowledge and communication, and laying the foundations for the process of abstraction of money. In a word, they helped lay the foundations of the noosphere in which our contemporary world is immersed. And it is precisely thanks to its originally fluid and open nature that the Datini Archive has not escaped the permanent mutation of history and has chosen to continue reaffirming its strong vocation for mobility and communication, even at the beginning of the twenty-first century. A digitisation project has already been carried out for this archive, which allows it to be consulted online. At present, the Prato State Archives are assiduously and competently working on increasing the digital content. The digital version of the Datini Archive places the entire source in front of us; it is a sort of fresco, a total history, a complex system which can display the different segments, hone in on the smallest details and at the same time illustrate the lines of the general picture. This is why the initiatives promoted by the People in Motion: Entangled Histories of Displacement across the Mediterranean (1492–1923) (PIMo) COST Action are particularly valuable. The project interprets the need to understand our world and cultural and material reality in the best possible way, by putting together an international network of conservation and research institutions, partnerships, interests and skills, following in the footsteps of those who historically contributed to founding this reality. Today it has become urgent to follow these tracks in an integrated and interdisciplinary way, also in the light of new questions and fresh perspectives. In a time that risks being without history, as Adriano Prosperi recently wrote, archives provide a memory full of sense and meaning that is waiting to be understood and reactivated in order to generate new awareness and sustain our present world.

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Leonardo Meoni Prato State Archives, Director

The documentary archives of Prato merchant Francesco di Marco Datini are certainly the most outstanding of those preserved in the Prato State Archives. The Datini Archive is universally known and consulted by scholars from all over the world, as it offers a formidable source for innumerable research fields, in the first place for economic history and accounting techniques, but also for the cultural, intellectual and social history of the period. In both its form and substance, it is also a privileged source for investigating the complex and efficient management system of written communication between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The fonds consist of more than 1,100 accounting registers and about 150,000 letters, covering a chronological period that goes from the end of the 1360s to the second decade of the fifteenth century. It bears witness for the greater part to the vast activity carried out in the fields of industry, commerce and banking by the various companies created by Francesco di Marco Datini. Its extraordinary size makes it the largest mercantile fonds in the world dating from the Middle Ages. At the height of his business expansion, between 1398 and 1399, Francesco was at the head of a group of companies comprising two independent firms, five trading companies, two industrial companies and a bank. All of this could only be managed through the continuous circulation of information conveyed by uninterrupted correspondence between the various companies. Information was a primary asset for the merchant and essentially had a dual function: a knowledge function, to therefore forecast economic facts, and a control function, certainly within the same company to guarantee correct operations, but also externally, given that economic relations were, and still are, based on the principle of ‘trust’ and the reliability of the various economic operators. The connection of the merchant’s own close network with those of his correspondents created a vast web along which information circulated, frequently from places which were thousands of kilometres away. The denser the web of the merchant’s relations and the more possible connections, the greater the number of letters he wrote and received and the greater the amount of information he had to know and handle. The size and scope of these networks can be measured by the figures: the Datini papers boast more than 4,400 correspondents writing from more than 400 different locations. The Prato State Archives, aware of the extraordinary documentary heritage we have to preserve and promote, are delighted to collaborate in some of the initiatives of the People in Motion: Entangled Histories of Displacement across the Mediterranean (1492–1923) (PIMo) COST Action directed by Prof. Giovanni Tarantino. In particular, we are thrilled to partner with the ‘Paper in Motion’ workgroup, led by Prof. José María Pérez Fernández, whose aim is to investigate the role of paper in communication and trade across the Mediterranean, in the circulation of people, ideas and goods, and as a tool for the creation of complex relational networks. Our institute can certainly offer an important contribution to a project like 12


this: the wealth in number and variety of the documents conserved in the Datini Archive offers extraordinary opportunities for the investigation of the many aspects involved in the movement of paper at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Diana Toccafondi – for many years the director of our institute – masterfully underlines in many of her writings the two-way movement behind the formation of the Datini Archive. In a first phase the papers circulated through the various nodes within the dense commercial networks that united the Mediterranean basin and in turn connected these domestic networks with places well beyond its shores, conveying extremely valuable information of a very diverse nature on a global scale. The very circulation of these papers, letters of exchange for example, even ‘created’ the economic fact itself. Then a second, this time centripetal movement brought the documents from the various fondaci towards the heart of Datini’s business system, into the hands of Francesco himself, substantially for reasons of control and final verification. This second centre-bound flow is what makes up the archive which we preserve. The Prato State Archives have great pleasure in collaborating with PIMo through two different initiatives. First of all, we are pleased to provide the virtual exhibition and this publication which catalogues the event with the digital reproduction of some documents from the Datini Archive, with corresponding descriptions, as well as a short essay. The value of both projects cannot be understated. By bringing together – albeit virtually – documents from several international archives, the aim is to restore a perspective that gives an account of the complexity of economic, cultural and social relations in the Mediterranean basin, starting from the fourteenth century. The second initiative is a traditional documentary exhibition, curated by Chiara Marcheschi with the collaboration of Matteo Calcagni, which will be held at our institute. It intends to offer the city and scholars a selection of papers from the Datini Archive, and illustrate the richness and variety, in terms of format and content, required and adopted by the mercantile communications of the period. In conclusion, I must say that it will certainly be stimulating, and also quite moving, to see scholars from so many countries of the Mediterranean basin and Northern Europe gathered around the Datini papers to reaffirm, and in some way renew, relationships and connections with distant roots.

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Information and the Economy of Knowledge in the Early Modern Mediterranean

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Giovanni Tarantino PIMo Action Chair José María Pérez Fernández Paper in Motion Workgroup Leader

People in Motion (PIMo) COST Action CA18140

I This exhibition and its catalogue are organised and produced by ‘Paper in Motion’, one of the four People in Motion: Entangled Histories of Displacement across the Mediterranean (1492–1923) (PIMo) COST Action workgroups. Its inauguration in Prato on 27 and 28 January 2022 coincided with a symposium on ‘Paper and the Dematerialisation of the Global Mediterranean Economy’, which proposed a series of approaches to paper through the contributions of an international group of experts in different disciplines.

II PIMo is a large humanities research network involving 40 countries across Europe and globally. It seeks to investigate multiple historical case studies of the movement of people, objects, ideas and paper through drivers such as religious persecution, environmental and social catastrophe, war, imperialism and slavery, missionary work, scientific and cultural curiosity, and trade. One of the project’s major goals is to provide a critical historical context and increased understanding of the current migration crisis in Europe, specifically in terms of the intensity of the emotional responses of displaced peoples and the communities they orbit and join. The project grew out of an earlier series of interdisciplinary research seminars held between 2017 and 2018 entitled Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World and convened by intellectual historian Giovanni Tarantino (of the University of Western Australia, before he moved to the University of Florence in late 2018). 15


The series explored the emotional entanglements which historically shaped life in the Mediterranean populations. The series was jointly promoted by the Society for the History of Emotions and the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. Both Giovanni Tarantino, chair of PIMo, and literary scholar Katrina O’Loughlin, vice-chair, were at length associated with this Australian research institution before moving to new jobs in Europe. The Australian seminar series, which was mostly held in Europe, provided an inspiring intellectual framework and fertile ground upon which to develop a much more ambitious project and draft our COST Action proposal. Initially quite a small group of colleagues, the original proposers comprised twelve colleagues from eight different COST countries and a variety of disciplines and academic traditions. Of the proposers, 50% were affiliated with universities and research institutions based in ITC countries, 24% were early career scholars and 52% were women. At the very first attempt in late 2018, PIMo was very fortunate to be awarded four years’ funding by the COST Association (2019–23), to be administered by the University of Florence. Over the 50-year life of this highly competitive funding scheme, only a handful of humanities-driven projects have gained support from COST. So, as you can imagine, we were, and still are, thrilled at the outcome. Over the last 30 months, a global network of scholars has been established from across the humanities and social sciences (220 researchers to date). The participating scholars come from a range of disciplines, and include historians, anthropologists, scholars of literary, visual and material culture, philosophers, mathematicians and maritime scientists. The geographical background and expertise of the PIMo network is equally (and necessarily) as diverse, with participants hailing from 35 COST member countries. PIMo also hosts international partners and observers from Australia, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and the United States. At our launch meeting in Lecce in September 2019, the developing network worked to refine PIMo’s key research questions and shared goals: by introducing emotion to the study of dislocated people, the PIMo COST Action asks new questions of historical materials, and seeks to add new layers of understanding to our research findings, in the conviction that emotions follow different logics of place, travel and time. Emotions are part and parcel of all aspects of daily life, and as such are increasingly debated across the social sciences and humanities. This also holds true for migration studies: mixed and contrasting emotions and feelings such as hope and nostalgia, envy, guilt and ambition, affection and disaffection (to name but a few) are an integral part of migrants’ (and merchants’) life experiences. The emotional side of the migrant condition still seems relatively understudied. This is partly due to the dominance of economic and political analyses of migration, which tend to downplay emotional factors or overlook them altogether. But the decision to migrate entails both economic motivations and social and emotional constraints. Furthermore, some of the most emotive issues of our times concern not so much the migrant condition as the politics of the migrant phenomenon: the plight of asylum seekers and refugees tests the limits of trust and compassion; the capacity of societies to integrate multi-ethnic and multifaith denominations in the face of extremism and acts of terror have put multicultural social policy on trial. All these issues are both deeply emotive and deeply political. Indeed, the politics of fear, identity politics and a rise in xenophobia now dominate most contemporary political campaigns – locally, nationally and globally.

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III In order to manage this large group of scholars, and the ambitious aims of the project, the PIMo COST Action is divided strategically into four thematic workgroups. Each workgroup consists of a leader, a deputy and 45-50 researchers who together develop the direction of the group’s activities within the established research themes, and are responsible for key events and research deliverables. The four workgroup topics are Things, Ideas, Paper and People. The ‘Paper in Motion’ workgroup, led by professor José María Pérez Fernández (University of Granada), explores paper as a medium for the codification, recording and exchange of information, ideas, emotions and value across the Mediterranean. Although its material nature and the conditions for its production and distribution are our starting points, we view paper as a vehicle for the construction and communication of cultures in all their heterogeneous dimensions. The workgroup also contemplates paper as a trope for the many different sorts of institutions and practices that relied on it as their repository and facilitator. Alongside other important inventions like print, paper contributed to the expression of individual and common identities, and the establishment of networks that facilitated the circulation of people, ideas and objects within the geo-cultural spaces of the Mediterranean. This exhibition and the symposium which was celebrated to mark its inauguration are part of a series of conferences and workshops, the first of which was held at the Archivo Nacional de Simancas on 17 January 2020. This encounter explored the relations between paper and power, which included the complex administrative structures that resulted from the global expansion of trade and finance, alongside the emergence of modern European states, with their paths of colonial expansion through exploration and conquest. Both developments unfolded in large part thanks to the administrative uses of paper as the infrastructure for their sophisticated bureaucratic mechanisms. Our exhibition and the symposium continued to look into these networks, with a particular emphasis on the primary documents and doctrines that codify and regulate financial and economic information, and above all their entanglement with other practices and institutions. Early in 2021 (28 and 29 January) the ‘Paper in Motion’ workgroup also organised PIMo’s second annual conference, ‘Paper: Material and Semiotic Mobility across the Global Mediterranean’, held online and hosted by the University of Granada. The videos with the presentations of the conference in Granada have been made available online, on PIMo’s YouTube channel, and a publication with a collection of the most representative papers is also in the works. The workgroup’s second workshop, ‘Paper Production and Trade: The Onset of the Paper Revolution in the Mediterranean’ (Fabriano, 15 February 2021) addressed the arrival of paper-manufacturing technologies in the south of Europe, all the way from the eastern Mediterranean. Although the pandemic forced us to hold the seminar online, Fabriano was a most appropriate location, given the historical relevance of this town as a paper production centre. Our host, the Fondazione Fedrigoni-Fabriano, keeps this history alive with its museum, cultural activities and publications, which include a forthcoming collection of essays with the papers presented during the workshop. The videos with each of the presentations are also available online on the foundation’s website. The third of the workgroup’s workshops, ‘Paper and Things: Material Mobility between East and West’, was held in Istanbul and had as its keynote speaker professor Jonathan Bloom, author of Paper before Print: the History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (Yale, 2001). It took place from 15 to 17 September 2021 17


and was co-organised by professor Rosita D’Amora, leader of ‘Things in Motion’, another PIMo workgroup. The event was hosted by professor Tülay Artan of Sabancı University and the Sakıp Sabancı Museum. One of the organised activities included a visit to the Süleymaniye Library and its manuscript restoration lab. This exhibition at Prato was also a prelude to other events and seminars, one of which approached the textual spaces woven by female epistolography, under the title ‘A Web of Sentiments: Letter Writing and Gender in the Early Modern Mediterranean’.1 The ‘Paper in Motion’ workgroup also organised a summer training school on ‘Paper in Motion: Restoration, Conservation, Transmediation’ at the Arnamagnæan Institute of the University of Copenhagen, held between 31 August and 3 September 2022.

IV Our exhibition consists of 93 different documents in Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian and Armenian, from archives in the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Egypt and Malta, all of which house paper-based records of financial and commercial activity between the late fourteenth and early eighteenth centuries. The exhibition thus samples some of the most relevant paper-based formats and documentary genres used to codify commercial information and financial value by different communities around the Mediterranean. They illustrate relations among these eminently Mediterranean communities as well as their deals with the north of Europe. Above all our exhibition intends to look into the ways in which these documents register information and values that go beyond mere economic data and pertain to other disciplines such as diaspora studies, the history of emotions, cultural studies and the history of communication. More than the merely domestic circulation of these documents, we focus upon the formats, genres and strategies employed for the circulation of such documents across linguistic, cultural, political, ethnic and religious communities, and what these transnational and interdisciplinary entanglements entailed in terms of their formal features, semiotic nature and functions. The exhibition proposes, in conclusion, a selection of paper traces left behind by the movement of people, objects and ideas across the Mediterranean, and as such, it addresses some of the most important objectives of the PIMo COST Action, which include: • • • • •

Redrawing geographical and disciplinary boundaries in innovative ways. Developing new perspectives for the study of circulation, dislocation and dispossession across a region of historical significance and contemporary urgency. Multiplying and cross-referencing primary sources in different partner countries in order to respond adequately to the complexity of comparative historiography within the Mediterranean. Bringing together researchers from multiple academic traditions, areas and disciplines including literary, art, cultural, political and material history. Providing an alternative history of the ‘Great Sea’ by looking at the ‘Med-

1   This seminar, held in Florence on 7th February 2022, was co-organised by Ida Caiazza (NYU) and José María Pérez Fernández. It was a joint collaboration involving PIMo, the University of Florence, the ‘Women Thinking Love’ Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (Horizon 2020, Grant Agreement no. 101024624) and the University of Granada ‘Literature and Translation’ research group (HUM383).

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iterranean in the world’ and introducing the study of emotions, firstly to the history of human dislocation, and secondly as a site of hitherto unwritten history. Building a functional and highly creative interdisciplinary network of collaborators from around the world that will carry on the conversation after the grant reaches the end of its duration.

This project has been developed and made possible thanks to the generous support and valuable contributions of the scholars, archivists, librarians and administrators of each of the participating archives and libraries, all of whom have provided images, information and expertise for the captions, as well as essays to introduce and contextualise the documents and the institutions that curate them. A project of this nature must perforce be the result of enthusiastic and devoted teamwork, and we want to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those involved, in particular to Caterina Pagnini (University of Florence) and the Scientific Committee of the “F. Datini” International Institute of Economic History for their constant advice and encouragement and to Matteo Calcagni (European University Institute) and Chiara Marcheschi (Prato State Archives) for their invaluable contribution to the concept and curation of the exhibition. Without them, none of this would have been possible.

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José María Pérez Fernández University of Granada

Paper in Motion: Information and the Economy of Knowledge in the Early Modern Mediterranean I The pen is such a noble and excellent instrument, that it is most necessary not only for the merchant, but also for any other art, be it liberal or mechanical… And the merchant must not merely excel in his writing skills, he must be also good at keeping his documents (scripture) in order, of which we intend to deal in this chapter.1

This is how Benedetto Cotrugli (ca.1410–69) opens chapter 13 of his Libro dell’arte della mercatura (1458). He follows with a brief account of the origins of the pen, the writing instrument whose praise he is singing, and whose invention he attributes to the mythical Carmenta, mother of Evandrus, ‘la prima che trovò l’uso della penna’ (the first to find the use of the pen). Although Cotrugli is relevant because his manuscript has the first formal description of the method of double-entry bookkeeping, this emphasis on the importance of script and the need to keep documents in good order is part of a much larger constellation of authors regulating the instruments, skills and practices related to the registration of information and knowledge.2 1   ‘La penna è uno instromento scì nobile e scì excellente, che non solamente a’ mercanti, ma eziamdio ad ogni arte, et liberali et mechaniche, l’è necessariissimo. Et como tu vedi uno mercante che li grava la pena, overo ad issa penna sia mal apto, pòi dire ch’el non sia mercante. E non solamente dè havere destreza de lo scrivere, anche dè havere l’ordine in che modo deve hordinare le scripture sue, de le qual è nostra intenzione tractare nel presente capitullo.’ Benedetto Cotrugli, Libro de l’arte della mercatura (1458), ed. Vera Ribaudo (Venice: Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, 2016), chap. XIII, ‘De l’hordene de tenere le scripture con ordine mercantile’, 82, my translation. See documents 68 and 69 for other versions of this text. 2   See, among others, Giovanni Antonio Tagliente’s practical instructions on writing instruments and materials such as the pen, paper and ink in his booklet La vera arte delo excellente scriuere (Venice, 1525).

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Other than Cotrugli, I will use the work of Luca Pacioli (ca.1446/48–1517) and Gerard Malynes (1585–1641), among several other authors of the period from the late fifteenth to the early seventeenth centuries, to illustrate some of the most relevant aspects of the normative and intellectual background behind the documents displayed in this catalogue.3 With these authors, Cotrugli shares concerns closely related to the practice of trade and the emergence of modern financial capitalism. One of them involves its material dimension, in terms of the sheer movement of goods and people, on which Cotrugli composed a treatise titled De navigatione (ca.1464–65). His other concern addresses methods for the registration and administration of immaterial information and value. As is well known, Pacioli is the author of a brief essay significantly titled ‘De computis et scripturis’, namely, ‘Of Accounts and Records.’4 Malynes, on the other hand, brings together regulations for the material movement of merchandise and the immaterial circulation of financial value in his Lex Mercatoria.5 Cotrugli and Pacioli belong in an age when these methods for the applied use of figures (computis) and script (scripturis) were being systematised into handbooks for Italian readers, based on pre-existing and well-established practices: indeed, documents 52 and 66 in our catalogue prove that merchants like Francesco di Marco Datini had been using these methods decades before they were formally described in these essays. Gerard Malynes illustrates a different period, when the systems developed in the Italian peninsula had taken firm root in the north of Europe, and above all when financial capitalism had spread its wings after what is traditionally called the age of exploration had accelerated the process of European colonisation of outposts both across the Atlantic and all over the Pacific. The second part of Malynes’ long title does in fact emphasise the global scope of trade and finance as it lists the different sorts of agents that could benefit from the knowledge provided by its contents: Necessarie for all statesmen, iudges, magistrates, temporall and ciuile lawyers, mint-men, merchants, marriners, and all others negotiating in all places of the world. Cotrugli’s manuscript and his own activities already evince the entanglement of different realms and practices that include trade, accountancy and information management on the one hand, and navigation and transport on the other. These are, in short, the material infrastructures and methods that make communication possible, in contrast to its inescapable immaterial components – the latter of which were greatly facilitated by the relatively new media of paper. Cotrugli’s treatise also formulates important ideas about mercantile economy in the strictly etymological sense of the word: the morphological combination of the Greek nouns oikos and nomos, to wit the merchant’s household and the laws that should regulate it. This was a common and widespread humanist concern which was also addressed, from different angles and with different nuances, by other contemporary or near-contemporary authors. It brings under its scope both the private and public dimensions of the new scriptural, legal and geographical spaces that this new class of international merchants, and the authors who responded to their demand for legitimacy, were all negotiating. The documents in our catalogue illustrate some of the methods and documentary genres they employed to create international networks with a view to the circulation of financial value and accumulation of capital. Cotrugli, Pacioli and Malynes: each in his own way intends to systematise, 3   Gerard Malynes, Consuetudo, vel lex mercatoria (London: Adam Islip, 1622). 4   ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis’ is part of Pacioli’s Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità (Venice: Paganini, 1494). 5   The full title of Malynes’s book is Consuetudo, vel lex mercatoria, Or The Ancient Law-Merchant. Diuided into three parts: according to the essentiall parts of trafficke. Necessarie for all statesmen, iudges, magistrates, temporall and ciuile lawyers, mint-men, merchants, marriners, and all others negotiating in all places of the world.

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regulate and make sense of accountancy and finance, with a view to maximising profit. In many respects, these methods boil down to protocols and practices devoted to the collection, registration and administration of economic and financial information. In so doing, they also had to address general methods for knowledge engineering – from calligraphy and grammar to rhetoric, and from manuscript mise-en-page to typographic design after the invention of print.6 These are methods for the codification, registration and application of words, figures and iconic signifiers, the inescapable semiotic foundations of disciplines that lie at the roots of the scientific and financial revolutions that took place between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, hand in hand with the colonial expansion of the European nation-states. These disciplines included geometry, mathematics, astronomy and cartography, in combination with the new technologies that resulted from the practical application of their principles. It is always difficult to establish chronological boundaries, but for practical purposes we can use two important events to establish the foundational period (if not the moment) of this revolution in the economy of information. One concerns the materiality of the medium employed to register and communicate data, namely the arrival of paper from China across the Muslim world and its gradual adoption first in the Mediterranean, then across the rest of Europe. The other is the arrival of the Hindu-Arabic numerical system, another invention that came from the East, and also reached Europe by crossing the shores of the Muslim Mediterranean. In contrast to the materiality of paper, this innovative semiotic system addresses the need to codify and represent knowledge in an abstract fashion: alongside script and documentary-administrative practices, knowledge is the software to paper’s hardware. Algebra and the use of the Hindu-Arabic numerical system reached Europe thanks to a Pisan merchant, Leonardo Fibonacci (ca.1170–ca.1240), who trained in this discipline during the years he spent in North Africa. We do not have time, nor is this the place, to discuss the importance of the knowledge that Fibonacci brought to the northern Mediterranean from its southern African shores. But its far-reaching implications for science, technology, accounting and finance can hardly be overstressed. To put it in very simple and blunt terms, the combined arrival of paper and the Hindu-Arabic system of numerical representation amounted to a revolution in terms of media and semiotics which came from the Far East, put down deep roots in the Mediterranean, and then gradually developed and flourished in northern Europe and the Atlantic World that came to dominate the globe during the next few centuries. The accounting method of double-entry bookkeeping was nothing but a system for information management and processing, conducted along the principles and methods of mathematics, for whose development the use of Hindu-Arabic numerals was fundamental. We are, in this respect, very fortunate to have the Prato State Archives as our host, because Francesco di Marco Datini’s papers constitute a superb example – arguably the best that remains from that period – of the combined application of paper as a medium with the symbolic systems of script and figures, in other words of the science of information management at work with the purpose of optimising business administration and maximising profit. The international network of partnerships that Datini created, in combination with his extraordinary skills in information management, turned him into the business genius that he was. 6   Rhetoric meets algebra and communication techniques with the use of paper-based documents in sections like chapter 35 of Luca Pacioli’s ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis:’ ‘Del modo e ordine a saper tener le scripture menute come sono scritti de mano lettere familiari … e altri instrumenti e del registro de le lettere important,’ i.e., ‘How and in what order papers should be kept, such as manuscripts, family letters … and other instruments of writing and the record book of important letters’ (208v). See also document 51.

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All civilisations, ancient and modern, rest on a combination of material media and technologies with abstract (qua merely systemic) protocols for the collection, codification, registration and communication of information. In the case of Western science and economic development, the use of paper and the invention of print in combination with the Hindu-Arabic system of numerical representation greatly facilitated the development of early modern science. They created new conditions for systematic and analytical representations of nature, the earth and the cosmos, which in turn led to the development of new methods and technologies for transport and communication. At the same time, sophisticated contractual and administrative practices created the legal framework that contributed to the establishment and management of large and complex human communities spread over vast geographical areas. The modern state thus emerged as a paper-based administrative Leviathan whose reach pervaded the most intimate corners of an individual’s life, as shown in Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s Village Lawyer. Early modern empires, such as Spain and Portugal, and religious orders like the Jesuits built international networks of information exchange and knowledge administration based on paper and communication protocols. This mix also constituted the foundations for equally vast and far-reaching mercantile and financial institutions like those created and managed by Datini, Fugger and Simón Ruiz. All this led to a revolution in the economy of knowledge which affected vast geographical areas, diverse disciplines, practices and even the common life of millions of people. One of the purposes of this catalogue is to bring to the attention of the general reader the fact that well before our current age of electronic digital media, there was a revolution in knowledge and communication which laid the foundations for the world in which we live now.

II This exhibition and its catalogue complement the exhibition that PIMo Workgroup 3 organised in Florence at the Biblioteca Riccardiana early in 2020 (Encounters at Sea: Paper, Objects and Sentiments in Motion Across the Mediterranean).7 In that exhibition we sampled a series of books, documents and maps, both in manuscript and in print, to provide a cross-section of intellectual and material exchanges across the Mediterranean. In the essays that accompanied the catalogue, we put particular emphasis on objects and sentiments in motion and viewed them within the general framework of communication in the Mediterranean. This new exhibition and its catalogue focus on paper as the medium for more immaterial exchanges, and therefore as the infrastructure for the complex networks that made up communication in the global Mediterranean. In contrast to the material interconnectivity of raw products, manufactured goods and artefacts of every sort, these documents codify immaterial value, also thanks to their semiotic configuration. They stand as signifiers, each with its own peculiar format, and are set in motion by protocols that make them instruments within complex communicative networks, endowed with a variety of perlocution7   Giovanni Tarantino, Giorgio Riello, and José María Pérez Fernández, Encounters at Sea: Paper, Objects and Sentiments in Motion Across the Mediterranean. An Intellectual Journey Through the Collections of the Riccardiana Library in Florence, with an afterword by Cátia Ántunes (Pisa: Bandecchi & Vivaldi, 2020).

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01

ary functions. They are, to put it simply, inscribed pieces of paper that do things, some of them of great momentum and consequence. As such, the media used and their perlocutionary functions are sometimes difficult to distinguish – in a sort of early modern twist on McLuhan’s famous dictum, media is the message. In these cases, the medium is, if not totally identifiable with the message, at least perceived as an essential part of what the document in question performs. In some cases, Luca Pacioli uses the same noun (e.g., cartoline) to describe both the type of paper and the documentary genre he is describing. The result is that different material formats and semiotic functions – parchment is also included in Pacioli’s list – tend to appear bundled as a heterogeneous but nevertheless common category of documentary signifiers.8

01 Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Village Lawyer. Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent. Used with permission.

Each of the documents we display does something. For example, document 55 formally appoints Jakob Fugger’s nephew Anton Fugger, Georg Hörmann and Konrad Mair as representatives of the Fugger company in Tyrol and grants all three of them legal capacity to act on its behalf. Document 28 is a royal warrant issued by the Hispanic infanta and regent, Juana de Austria, which legitimises Simón Ruiz to trade with France without fear of sanctions. But alongside documents 1 and 2 – and other related documents not on display – document number 3 also illustrates a particular but nevertheless very eloquent episode within the long history of Mediterranean diasporas, that is, the consequences of antisemitism on the Iberian peninsula in the late fourteenth century, and how dramatically they affected the life of the individuals who produced these papers. These small, loose sheets of paper with a few lines swiftly scribbled upon them may register commercial transactions that circulated throughout the networks of the Datini companies, but they also constitute tragic documentary indices of personal biographies fraught with dispossession and exile.

8   Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’ 209r.

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Indeed, many of the documents we display often serve different purposes simultaneously – some of which may not have been originally intended by those who produced them in the first place. Number 43 registers the purchase of paper for administrative use at the same time as it documents, for historians of the future, that paper produced in Italy and France circulated globally through Portuguese networks. In other words, it stands as documentary evidence of the universal use of paper as a medium for the control and administration of an empire. The discipline of history, in fact, began with the invention of script and the semiotic activation of a document, irrespective of whether the information was inscribed on media other than paper, such as stone, metal, wood or any other material. Documenting is one of the instrumental functions that the practice of accounting and the discipline of history have in common: ‘le scripture,’ says Cotrugli as he tries to persuade merchants of the importance of the use of pen and script for their business, ‘fanno li homini litterati vivere mille dapoi mille anni riponendo a memoria lo nome glorioso e li ilustri fati, la qual cosa non si può fare senza questo glorioso instromento de la penna.’9 Characteristically, many of our mercantile and financial documents are of a contractual nature, which turns them into legally binding instruments. This results from the combination of a controlling political authority that supervises and legitimises the documents, with the credit or credibility of all the parties involved. But on a par with these two is a third essential component in their contractual and legal power, i.e. the protocols, the set of established discursive formulas and the semiotic design of the document itself.10 Besides this function, which is their raison d’être, these documents also codify information and denote values that pertain to other realms and practices. Each one becomes a small piece within the vast and complex multicultural mosaic that was the Mediterranean world throughout which they circulated. They may have had a primary, practical function, but they also carried with them traces of the individuals and the communities that produced them, and of their addressees. In short, they are eminently entangled documents.

III This is why the use of the word economy in my title is polysemic, for with it I intend to denote, besides the administration of economic and financial resources, the way in which any complex organisation is managed: the system of knowledge production, its configuration and its circulation. This involves human resources, material infrastructures, means of transportation, the creation of hubs where information is collected, stored, processed and then re-broadcast if necessary, as well as sophisticated systems for the classification of data and information with a view to turning it to financial profit or political advantage – or both. In short, to gain some sort of hegemony. The polysemy of the noun economy allows me to emphasise the overlapping 9   Cotrugli, Libro de l’arte della mercatura, 82. 10  This sort of contractual culture was described and regulated in essays such as De contractibus, by one of the most prolific intellectuals of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, theologian Jean Gerson (1363–1429). Cotrugli does in fact stress the importance of good record-keeping because having all this information at hand, and the documents that register it in proper order, can help solve potential legal disputes: ‘sono cagione di fugire multi litigii’ (Ibid.).

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of phenomena that are traditionally approached from different disciplines, such as economic history or the history of finance, versus cultural studies in general and especially epistemologies and critical categories that pertain to the realms of theology or philosophy. In addition, I can mention semiotics and pragmatics, and, of course, media and communication studies, book history and above all the history of paper as a medium. For example, the discipline of theology, and its discursive and iconic components are particularly well represented in some of our documents. As number 67 shows, the illustrator of Filippo Calandri’s Trattato di aritmetica uses the iconic format of medieval canon tables to represent equivalence in currency value through mathematical calculation and a combination of symbols and figures. But it was the same iconic format that had been used for many centuries in canon tables which represented the occurrence of the same passage in the life of Christ within each of the four gospels, that is, their doctrinal, spiritual or allegorical equivalence.11 Calandri uses this system to codify financial values – some of the symbols that he uses in the highly ornamented columns stand for different types of currency – whereas traditional canon tables conveyed spiritual values. Calandri helps readers find their way around the currency markets and helps them conduct profit-seeking operations with the symbols that represent them. Traditional medieval canons, in contrast, guided their readers through the doctrinal meanings and equivalence between the same episodes within the narrative structures of each of the four gospels.

02

Gerard Malynes also resorts to concepts and categories from the disciplines of philosophy and theology to explain the complex nature of bills of exchange, and the apparently miraculous way in which a small and virtually immaterial piece of paper could codify and convey an enormous amount of value from one location to another and transfer it from one individual or organisation to another.12 Religious values and icons also overlap – quite literally, for they are both inscribed on paper – in some of the documents from the Italian mounts of piety (see docs. 91–93, also doc. 78). 11   For several images of canon tables as they were used in Greek and Latin gospels during the Middle Ages, see Kathleen Doyle’s ‘Illuminated Canon Tables’ (https://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2021/02/illuminated-canon-tables.html, accessed on 5 November 2021).

02 Filippo Calandri’s, Trattato di aritmetica, detail. Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence (Ms 2669). Reproduced with permission.

12   For a bill of exchange of the sort described by Malynes, see documents 79 and 80. Document 80 is the actual bill of exchange, whereas document 81 is its register in the ledger, which illustrates how these documents and the value they represented were recorded in different sorts of documentary repositories. Document 83 is another bill of exchange, entangled with information about the current geopolitical situation, that is, the conflict that involved the Hispanic monarchy on the one hand, and the Dutch rebels and the English Crown on the other. Other documents, such as number 13, involve legal disputes related to a bill of exchange, as well as the practice of translation. Several others (33, 49 and 81) exemplify the registration of data related to the different phases through which a bill of exchange circulated as it travelled from one place to another.

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Some of these documents also exemplify the functional connection between the public and private realms, namely the merchant’s business and his family. See for example document 34, an autograph letter by Margherita Datini, wife of the merchant and author of one of the most significant epistolary collections produced by a lay woman in the late Middle Ages. The authors at the service of mercantile humanism were busy producing a series of textual and legal spaces, as well as a series of complex material and virtual networks to connect them, all with a view to legitimising those profit-seeking practices that so far had not enjoyed the same social and cultural prestige as aristocratic and chivalric values. Even more humble authors like Giovanni Tagliente, whose very practical 56-page booklet appears to merely discuss writing materials and instruments for trainees alongside ad hoc formulas of courtesy and communicative protocols in letters of all sorts, were also engaged in the normalisation of both public and domestic spaces. This included formal business and political correspondence with superiors, subordinates and between peers, alongside the discursive patterns that were to be used to express and share emotional ties and establish a hierarchy among the different members of the family. More prominent humanists like Leon Battista Alberti also proposed new methods and norms for the organisation of business and familial economies, as well as their social legitimation, in his I libri della famiglia (1433–41). With another of his treatises, De uxore ducenda, Cotrugli makes his own proposals for social institutions like marriage and its function as the axis between the private and the public dimensions of the person who would later be referred to as the homo economicus. Algorismus (1478), another practical handbook for the education of merchants penned by a contemporary of Cotrugli, Pietro Paolo Muscharello, offers eloquent proof of this combination of private family affairs with the public business of the merchant. In fols 74r to 75v, Muscharello proposes a mathematical problem which involves the inheritance of a merchant and how it can be divided between his two children. The figures and operations used to find the right answer are illustrated with a scene that shows the dying man in his bed, surrounded by his distressed wife and children and a notary public in the act of drafting his last will and testament.13 Luca Pacioli has an entire section in which he gives detailed instructions on how to produce letters, store and classify those which are received, and keep well-ordered copies of those which are sent abroad, so that they can all be easily retrieved and cross-referenced whenever necessary.14 This is a very relevant section in Pacioli’s De computis et scripturis, because it deals with letter management in great detail, yet another important aspect of the significance of information registration and management which also involves rhetoric, and overlaps, as I have just mentioned, with other related practices. The business letter is part of a long continuum, a constellation of prose typologies employed in correspondence of a very heterogeneous nature – as demonstrated by the large catalogue of epistolary genres discussed by Tagliente and in many of the handbooks for epistolography that circulated throughout Europe. They overlap, for instance, with the literary prestige of the so-called familiares and the well-established classical and modern traditions upon which this genre stands, represented by such authoritative names as Cicero, Seneca, Pliny the Younger and Petrarch, among many others, all prominent members of the humanist epistolary canon. The texts produced by authors like Tagliente and Pacioli, Cotrugli and Alberti, were establishing norms for a complex system of scriptural economies which systematised and regulated different realms and practices. In this respect, script 13   The manuscript is part of the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection at the University of Pennsylvania. It is digitised and freely available online. The image in question can be viewed at http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/ medren/pageturn.html?id=MEDREN_9947974193503681&rotation=0&size=3&currentpage=179 (accessed on 14 November 2021). 14   See above, n. 6.

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was creating private textual spaces for both emotional and family relations, a rhetoric for the expression of sentiments which included domestic power hierarchies and normalised relations between genders. But it also set protocols and discursive patterns for political, legal, financial and business correspondence. Usually studied separately from each other, a more comprehensive approach can demonstrate how the discursive representation of all these different aspects of early modern culture were in fact part of a vast network sustained by a body of doctrine and informed by a host of prose typologies that sought to measure and regulate life in all its complexity.

IV Cotrugli and Pacioli describe the good merchant as an expert in data collection and management.15 No merchant can ever record too much information, says Pacioli, who emphasises the need to record who, what, when and where with as much detail and clarity as possible: ‘El chi. El che. El quando. El doue: con tutte sue chiarezze e mentioni.’16 This is a careful habit which Pacioli describes not just as a remedy for the vicissitudes of fortune, but also as an important strategy for the merchant to grasp any business opportunity that may come his way.17 Pacioli’s handbook enjoyed an enormous success, and was translated, rewritten and imitated all over the rest of Europe. One of the most important among them was Jan Ympyn (ca.1485–1540). He spent 12 years in Italy where he acquired skills in the so-called Venetian method, in other words double-entry bookkeeping, and the authors who systematised it. His rewriting and improvement of Pacioli’s text rendered this method available for vernacular readers in Dutch, French and English. Important financial agents like Sir Thomas Gresham (on whom more below), as well as authors like Gerard Malynes and James Peele (who penned The Maner and Fourme how to Kepe a Perfect Reconyng in 1553) are all in debt to Ympyn’s translations, which constitute excellent case studies for the transnational and translational circulation of knowledge and practical skills.18 The influence and international prestige of the Italian or Venetian method is demonstrated by several of the documents we display in the exhibition. Number 71 is a posthumous inventory of the properties of a certain Pieter Barentsz which includes ‘three books of Italian bookkeeping’ and ‘one book of Italian bookkeeping by Anthonio van Neulighem.’19 Documents number 18 and 37 were 15   First of all, the merchant’s scriptorium had to be kept in good order, and for example, as regards the letters received: ‘devi notare donde, e l’anno, [lo] mese e lo dì, et meterle ad uno loco et ad tute fare resposta et notare di sopra: ‘risposta’; poi ogni mese fa’ mazi da per sé et conservali’ (Cotrugli, Libro de l’arte della mercatura, 85). 16   Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’ 200r. 17  Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’ 199v–200r. 18  ‘Ympyn is remembered today for his posthumous treatise on double-entry accounting, Nieuwe instructie ende bewijs der looffelijcker consten des rekenboecks (Antwerp, 1543), which was translated into French as Nouvelle instruction et remonstration de la très excellente science du livre de compte (Antwerp, 1543), and into English as A notable and very excellente woorke, expressyng and declaryng the maner and forme how to kepe a boke of accomptes or reconynges (London, 1547). The Dutch and French versions, which were published under the supervision of his widow, are the earliest texts on accounting in their respective languages. The English version of Ympyn, almost certainly printed by Richard Grafton, is the oldest extant text on accounting in English’ (R. H. Parker, ‘Jan Ympyn,’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/56448, accessed on 5 November 2021). 19   Anthonio van Neulighem was the author of Openbaringe van’t Italiaens boeck-houden (Amsterdam: Paulus Aertsz van Ravesteyn, [1631]). This must be the book listed in the inventory, which dates from 1640. See the ap-

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penned by Matthäus Schwarz, who managed the Fugger business as its chief accountant and administrator. Schwarz also put together a manuscript primer on ‘Venezianische Musterbuchhaltung’ (Venetian bookkeeping), which must have been used for training within the company but was never distributed among the general public on account of the real figures that it included among its samples – it was common for these extremely practical handbooks to provide samples of documents for the instruction of apprentices. Other than the international distribution of skills and know-how in the management of paper-based information, many of the documents we display trace the paths of paper itself. These go in all directions from the important Mediterranean centres of production – confirmation that soon after its arrival in Europe, the Italians developed important new techniques for paper production which gave them a competitive edge and great leverage in this thriving international market. Paper travels east to the Levant in document 19, and in document 43 we see it sailing west across the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, all the way to Lisbon. From this commercial and imperial hub, it travels south along the West African coast first, and then around the Cape of Good Hope towards the different Portuguese outposts around the shores of the Indian Ocean. This is a significant case that brings to the foreground the global mobility of paper and the relevance it had attained as the material administrative infrastructure of empire and trade.20 As some of our documents illustrate, there were signifiers other than Hindu-Arabic numerals and script which were also part of the overall semiotic systems used to convey information. These paralinguistic signs (punctuation or ad-hoc symbols such as those employed for currency), and other icons like trademarks, all pervade the documents involved in the practice of trade. A significant case is that of Sir Thomas Gresham’s portrait. Gresham (1519–79) was one of those accountants and financial experts who fell – through Ympyn, it seems – under the influence of Pacioli and the Venetian method. A well-seasoned international merchant and expert in transnational money markets, he acted as an agent for the English Crown on the Antwerp bourse during times of great political and financial instability at home and abroad, and was founder of the London Royal Exchange.21 A trademark was a symbol generally used for the very practical purpose of identifying the merchant in letters and other documents. It was also stamped on bales during their shipment and transportation. But in Gresham’s anonymous 1544 portrait, his trademark is brought to a position of prominence, situated next to the solemn figure of this young man flaunting his wealth and status. Here, the trademark is one of the signifiers that represent him, his profession and his social standing, on a par with other standard iconic components in the art of the period like the memento mori represented by the skull. On the upper right-hand side of the portrait, next to Gresham’s head and on the opposite side of the trademark that identifies him as a merchant, is a hybrid, scriptural-iconic inscription which represents his marital status, in other words, the other main component in his merchant’s life – his family. This inscription bears his initials and those of his wife, Anne Gresham (née Ferneley), around the legend ‘love, serve and obei.’ Pacioli discusses the use of trademarks and seals in commercial correspondence. For him, they are means to identify the addresser and addressee, and part pendix for a partial transcription and translation of the document by Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón. 20   Chapter XVII in Malynes , ‘Of the beginning of Sea Lawes’ (119–20), includes a potted history of the evolution of international sea law which amounts to a genealogy of seafaring empires from the ancient Mediterranean to Malynes’s own global times. 21   Several decades later, Malynes would also develop a similar profile, which combined the roles of merchant and informer with that of consultant on currency markets, fiscal policy and public debt.

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of other protocols to be used not just for commercial correspondence, but in general in other realms and practices where formal epistolography required the precise identification of the agents involved – such as correspondence from cardinals and the Pope himself.22 Documents that use trademarks for several different ends include numbers 50, 54 and 79. Number 50 in particular is a remarkable case which combines the practice of translation, authentication and the use of trademarks. Document 54, a letter from the Datini Archive, has an inventory with a series of trademarks next to each item to identify the different companies involved in the information conveyed by the letter.

03

Seals were sometimes even more important than trademarks, for, like signatures or the so-called deposited hand, they were scriptural practices and traces that authenticated the document in question, and therefore guaranteed its perlocutionary force.23 When he deals with banking-related documents, for instance, Pacioli stresses the need to cancel documents, and semiotically nullify their perlocutionary power, to stop anybody else from claiming a debt or requesting money that has already been paid or withdrawn.24 Document 37 also constitutes an interesting case for the use of paralinguistic symbols in combination with the mise-en-page in four different columns to establish equivalences, cross-reference the information, and in general provide an overview of the state of affairs within a significant sector of the Fugger business. Pacioli gives detailed instructions on how to rationalise and systematise accounting, which include graphic or scriptural conventions. He explicitly describes the combined use of ‘narrative discourse’ (tua scriptura narratiua) with mise-en-page and paralinguistic symbols (e.g., con una sola riga a trauerso così /). He also emphasises that, in order to be effective, these methods must be used consistently across all the different documents. He also insists on the need for the use of specialised vocabulary (termini) and other conventional signs (segni).25 When he describes his method for the rationalisation of accounts, he stresses the systematic way in which information must be displayed consistently in different formats and functions, cross-referenced and carried over from one register to another.26 Documents which illustrate this method in our catalogue include numbers 73, 80 and 81.

22  Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’ 209r. 23   Pacioli has a section on protocols to avoid fraud and insure the legitimacy of the information for potential use in a legal dispute. This section is followed by instructions on how these books must be authenticated and registered with the authorities (Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’ 200r–200v). 03 Portrait of Thomas Gresham. Flemish school, collection of the Mercers’ Company, City of London. Public domain image.

24   Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’206v. 25   Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’ 201v. 26  See, for example, the very eloquent title of chapter 14: ‘Del modo a portar le partite de giornale in quaderno e perche de una in giornale sene facia doi in quaderno e del modo a depennare le partite in giornale e de li doi numeri dele carti del quaderno che in le sue margine si pone e perche’ (Pacioli, ‘Particularis de computis et scripturis,’ 202r).

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V The value of information as an immaterial commodity appears with great eloquence in document 20, the seventeenth-century manuscript Compendio di Geografia e Statistica. The product of a comprehensive view of the globe, this manuscript database of sorts also demonstrates that information circulated about and around the world as never before. This fascinating document straddles two different worlds. On the one hand, it reflects a pre-modern outlook which still enlisted the imaginary kingdom of Prester John among the nations of the earth, but on the other it also prefigures a mentality in which statistics and figures about all the countries of the globe start to be perceived as valuable commodities. The Portuguese document with information on Persia (doc. 47), penned by a native merchant who also worked as an interpreter for the Portuguese, proves that information on foreign countries had always existed before the age of statistics. It is a heterogeneous practical record that combines cartography, history and current news, of the sort that was frequently used by travelling merchants and ambassadors. In contrast, the comprehensive and systematic nature of the Compendio di Geografia e Statistica signals a significant change in methods and the approaches to data about countries around the globe. Translators and interpreters were fundamental agents within the human infrastructure for trade and communication. The tariffe listed in document 19 show their services as one of the expenses incurred in trade between Venice and the Levant. Document 46 proves that they were held in some esteem as valuable assets in the global mechanisms of Portuguese imperial administration and trade. Many of the documents we include in the catalogue are multilingual (nos. 12 and 13), whereas others are the result of certified translations, all of which constitute both documentary and linguistic testimony of intercultural relations among different linguistic communities across the Mediterranean (see for example doc. 14). Closely connected to the practice of translation and interpreting, we have included two samples of lexicography, a Portuguese-Malayalam lexicon (doc. 45), and Pietro Niccodemi’s Arabic-Italian dictionary (doc. 48). Lexicography is a discipline that deserves a special place in the cultural history of the global economies of information and knowledge, and Vasco da Gama’s case also stresses its strong connections with conquest and empire. Naturally, information of all sorts was a very valuable asset for merchants, since both regional events and those of vast geopolitical bearing could affect their affairs.27 Document 56, attached to a business letter, informs about the results of the Battle of Lepanto, whereas document 57 reports a failed attempt at invasion by the Turkish navy in Calabria. Document 82 directly links the political instability created by the recent death of Alessandro Farnese with the predicament of money markets in the Netherlands. The Turkish threat, this time in central Europe, is also the subject of one of the Del Vernaccia letters that we display (document 58), whereas the two other letters from this archive (documents 59 and 60) read as vivid proto-journalistic reports on the Portuguese rebellion against the Hispanic monarchy. All these documents, and the Del Vernaccia letters in particular, demonstrate the entanglement between commercial correspondence and secret intelligence in times of war.28

27   Pacioli devotes an entire chapter (26) to the documents to be produced and managed by travelling merchants. ‘Commo se habino asettare neli libri le partite de li viaggi in sua mano e quelle de li viaggi recomandati e commo de necessita de tali nascono doi quaderni’ (206v), i.e., ‘How entries should be made in mercantile books relative to trips which you conduct yourself or you entrust to other people, and the two ledgers resulting therefrom.’ 28   See the appendix for the transcription and translations of documents 58, 59 and 60.

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VI Classifying the documents into several different categories has not been easy, given the fact that although they may be considered to belong to one specific typology, most, if not all of them, display formal features and functions that overlap with other categories. Far from a problem, this inherent entanglement is precisely one of the main points that our exhibition and catalogue want to make. This classification is therefore a provisional proposal which does not aspire to become a fixed typological chart. Like the documents and what they do, it is multifunctional and fluid. Consequently, rather than focusing our attention on distinct typologies – which of course do exist, especially in highly regulated practices like accounting and finance – we would like to underline the material and immaterial networks which emerge from the connectivity that all these documents perform. Our interest in the materiality, formats and semiotic functions of these documents stems from our main intent, which is to contemplate them as active signifiers which perform a variety of specific functions as they register information that is simultaneously of great use not only for their original senders and recipients, but also for economic and cultural historians. As with the catalogue and exhibition, it is not our aim to be comprehensive and systematic when it comes to the theories and doctrines that emerged between the fifteenth and the early seventeenth centuries for the collection and management of information, but rather to sample a few representative cases. As I mentioned in the introductory paragraphs of this essay, Malynes is representative because his work provides a description and a normative approach to trade and finance from a more advanced, as it were, or sophisticated perspective, when many of the methods and practices that had first proliferated in the Mediterranean were already acquiring a truly global dimension and even gaining notoriety among the general population. This was a period when the sophisticated methods of international credit and bond markets had become a source of great concern among political authorities. As is well known, after the second half of the sixteenth century the Hispanic monarchy became painfully aware that, no matter how powerful its administrative and military machinery, the supranational networks of international finance and credit did escape its control and could (and did) wreak havoc on its economy. The pervasive use of paper as the medium of choice for all these administrative and financial operations turns it into a fascinating case study, a gateway for fresh approaches to the complex and inherently entangled phenomena that shaped the economy, politics, societies and cultures of the periods and regions represented by the documents we display. They constitute a mere foretaste and above all an incentive for further research into paper, its multiple uses and functions.

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A Trade History of the Mediterranean Through Thirteen Archives

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Chiara Marcheschi Prato States Archives

The Datini Archive (Prato, Italy)

The archive of Prato merchant Francesco di Marco Datini1 is a rich and wellorganised set of documents, with the characteristics of both a personal and a family archive. Besides being the archive of both the vast and sophisticated business conglomerate conceived and managed by Datini himself and each of its constituent companies, it has become the repository for documents on the activities of those individuals and companies who came into contact with Datini and his affairs. Consequently, it also restores voices which in many cases would have been dispersed or totally lost. The Datini Archive’s main assets are administrative documents and business correspondence, issued and received in the course of the different activities conducted by the Prato merchant, which included trade, manufacture and banking. They also relate to the management of his real estate assets. Then, there is also a section with more personal correspondence. Its present configuration is the result of interventions carried out in succession between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries by distinguished scholars and archivists. They established the current structure, which classifies the archive in three distinct parts, one dealing with corporate activities, another dealing with personal and private correspondence, and the last one consisting of fragments and sheets forming distinct and well-defined documentary typologies.2 The corporate part is divided into eight sections (fondaci) identified by the eight locations of Datini’s activities: Avignon, Prato, Pisa, Florence, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Majorca. Each fondaco is divided into two sections: libri contabili (account books of the Datini companies) and carteggio (correspondence sent to the Datini companies). The fondaci of Prato and Florence, seats of activities which were not exclusively trade- and credit-related, are in turn subdivided according to the different types of business, each of which are then subclassified 1   On Francesco di Marco Datini, see Federigo Melis, Aspetti della vita economica medievale, Francesco di Marco Datini. Studi nell’archivio Datini di Prato (Siena: Monte dei Paschi, 1962); Giampiero Nigro, ed., Francesco di Marco Datini. L’uomo il mercante (Prato: Firenze University Press, 2010); Paolo Nanni, Ragionare tra mercanti. Per una rilettura della personalità di Francesco di Marco Datini (ca.1335-1410) (Pisa: Pacini, 2010) and Jérôme Hayez and Diana Toccafondi, eds, Palazzo Datini. Una casa fatta per durare mille anni (Florence: Polistampa, 2012), 2 vols. 2   This includes, among several others, bills of exchange, warrants, memoranda, merchandise evaluations, bills of lading, maritime insurance, civil deeds, accounts, expenses, debit and credit items, debtors and creditors, notebooks of several sorts, repertories and ledgers.

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into account books and correspondence. The Datini company records count over 1,100, including registers and accounting documents, and about 132,000 letters received by the various Datini companies. To this figure we must add around 18,000 letters which can be categorised in part as belonging to the section of private correspondence, and in part to that of the more specialised sort of business letters. All in all the letters total about 150,000, which makes the Datini the most important medieval mercantile archive in the world, covering a chronological span that goes from the end of the 1360s to the second decade of the fifteenth century, geographically embracing Italy and the Mediterranean basin.3 The archives are the reflection of the commercial strategies of Francesco Datini, and to trace the history of their creation, we must necessarily retrace the intense life of the famous merchant from Prato. Francesco di Marco Datini was born in Prato, presumably in 1335. His father, Marco, a tavern keeper, his mother, Monna Vermiglia, and two of his siblings died during the plague of 1348. Francesco and his brother Stefano, the only survivors of the family, were entrusted to the guardianship of Piero di Giunta del Rosso and the care of a neighbour, Monna Piera Boschetti. Monna Piera was a fundamental figure in Francesco’s life, and their relationship was marked by a strong mutual affection. Piero di Giunta del Rosso remained a constant point of reference for the young merchant from Prato, until he became his partner in the Compagnia dell’Arte della Lana. After he started his training in the practice of trade, he moved to Avignon in 1351, which was at the time an important political centre and commercial hub; it is also where Francesco is thought to have started working as a shop employee. In 1363 he entered into partnership with Niccolò di Bernardo first, and subsequently with Tuccio Lambertucci and Toro di Berto di Tieri, until he finally opened his own company specialised in arms. Avignon was where it all started: there he acquired his early professional experience, and there he also established his fortune and built his vast network of professional relations, including his first company. In Avignon he also created his family through his marriage in 1376 to Margherita di Domenico Bandini, the young daughter of a prominent Florentine family.4 Upon his return to Prato early in 1383 he began planning the complex architecture of his company while also overseeing the construction of his palazzo. In the space of little more than a decade, between 1383 and 1395, he opened merchant banking companies in Pisa, Florence, Prato, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia and Majorca. His business was centred around locations which were fundamental for the conduct of trade with the markets of the western Mediterranean, which he used as stepping stones to reach the English and Flemish markets, all of which in close connection with the maritime and commercial routes of the entire Mediterranean basin and Europe. Diversification in investment led to the creation of manufacturing companies in Prato, the Compagnia della Lana and the Compagnia della Tinta, and to the brief but significant experiment of the Banco di Firenze (1398–1400) which acted as a holding company for all of Francesco di Marco Datini’s activities. This complex business structure called for skilled and reliable personnel, whose

3   On the Datini Archive and its structure, see Elena Cecchi Aste, ed., L’Archivio di Francesco di Marco Datini. Fondaco di Avignone, (Rome: Ministero per i Beni e le Attività culturali, Direzione generale per gli archivi, 2004), in particular 3–18; Jérôme Hayez, ‘L’Archivio Datini: de l’invention de 1870 à l’exploration d’un système d’écrits privées,’ Mélanges de l’École française de Rome. Moyen-Age 17, 1 (2005): 121–91, in particular 121–31; Diana Toccafondi, ‘Il mercante, l’archivio e la casa’ in Palazzo Datini, 245–55; also see the website curated by the Prato State Archives devoted to the Datini documents: Archivio di Stato di Prato, Fondo Datini on-line, http://datini.archiviodistato. prato.it/. 4   Melis, Aspetti della vita economica medievale, 135–72; Luciana Frangioni, ‘Avignone, l’origine di tutto,’ in Francesco di Marco Datini, 255–85 and Jérôme Hayez, ‘La correspondance de l’agence Datini d’Avignon (fin du s. XIVe). Caractérisation, rythme des flux et pluralité des fonctions,’ in Oralità, scrittura e potere. Sardegna e Mediterraneo tra antichità e medioevo, ed. Lorenzo Tanzini (Rome: Viella, 2020), 227–50.

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training started early on within Datini’s own companies and their branches.5 Francesco Datini’s business model was, moreover, a structure which by its very nature worked and thrived thanks to the constant and frequent circulation of information. Communication was, therefore, a fundamental aspect of the merchant’s routines, always mediated through the ceaseless and frenetic practice of writing. The letters of Francesco di Marco Datini and his correspondents, the expression of the merchant class, involved a shared prose style and graphic format , and the use of the vernacular in a particular cursive handwriting – the so-called mercantesca – that emerged in the fourteenth century. When the information that needed to be communicated was of a highly technical nature, the regular form of the letter was redefined, as in the case of bills of exchange or cheques, useful instruments for the circulation of value without the involvement of hard cash, always secured by a so-called authorised hand guaranteeing the authenticity of the document in question. Special documents could also be attached to the letters. These were also well defined and identifiable by their format and specific contents, such as important information on the official value of commodities in distant markets, or the nature and amount of goods loaded on ships. And in some cases, to avoid misunderstandings about the features of a requested supply, some letters included graphic representations of decorations or small samples of coloured woollen cloth. The dissemination of all this information by letter took place through Datini’s trade network in which the circulation of news created a dense concatenation of relational networks, geographically spreading information, for example on events that took place thousands of kilometres away. The Datini Archive contains a census of 4,402 senders and more than 400 places of origin of the letters. About 50% of them were sent from Italy, and the rest from abroad. The information was important and thus confidential. In short, the information could only be revealed to the addressee or circle of addressees identified by the sender as is evident from the way in which the letters were carefully folded over, closed with hemp twine and sealed. Moreover, strategies were used to ensure that the information would arrive at its destination, such as sending several letters with the same content along different routes, and using the well-organised postal system for long distances. The companies’ activities could only carry on if the information, in particular on the management of activities and commercial exchanges among the Datini companies, their customers and suppliers, arrived at its destination. Once received, this information was recorded within a sophisticated system of accounting records. Data regarding the same operation was recorded in different ways in separate registers, which were then cross-referenced. The records pertaining to the same accounting period were all identified by the same alphabetical letter. Each one was defined by its format and extrinsic characters, with a title specifying its function and clarifying whether it consisted of preparatory, elementary or analytical accounting records or final, systematic and summary accounting registers. The Datini companies kept the following accounting registers: generic notebooks (ricordanze), memoranda (memoriali), cash notebooks (quaderni di cassa), merchandise expenses notebooks (quaderni di spese di mercanzia), notebooks of receipts and balle bills (quaderni di ricordanze di ricevute e mandate di balle), giro operation notebooks (quaderni di cambi e dette), journals (giornali), main ledgers (libri grandi o mastri), merchandise notebooks (libri di mercanzia) and analytical accounts (quaderni di ragionamento), among others. 5   Jérôme Hayez, ‘Les correspondances Datini: un apport à l’étude des réseaux marchands toscans vers 1400,’ in Les échanges en Méditerranée médiévale. Marqueurs, réseaux, circulations, contacts, ed. Élisabeth Malamut and Mohamed Ouerfelli (Aix-en-Provence: Presses universitaires de Provence, 2012), 155–99, especially 173–82.

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All of these accounting registers were necessary to manage the companies and map their progress. What is more, they could be used as evidence in the event of legal disputes. To keep an eye on their investments, it was essential for merchant-entrepreneurs to carry out management control and to verify the transparency of the company systems as well as the legitimacy and reliability of their many partners and employees. The need to control the accounts and verify their legitimacy and transparency was exactly why, towards the end of the fourteenth century, it was requested that the documentation produced and received by certain Datini companies be sent to Tuscany. Thirteen account books were recalled from Avignon, precisely because of their probative value. They were sent to Florence in 1399 for close examination due to suspicions about one of the partners in the Avignon company, Boninsegna di Matteo. Once received in Florence, they were placed under the custody of the trade guild authorities, who were to examine them and adjudicate on the case. Other than the account books, Datini also revised the correspondence with Avignon in search of evidence for his case. The documentation, which by now had almost exhausted its informative and managerial function, moved towards the heart of the company system thanks to the exchange of letters which, at the same time, prompted the production of new writings and sedimentation of memories. In 1403, the account books and correspondence of the Datini companies in Barcelona and Majorca relating to past periods of operation were sent to the Florence company for verification and settlement of the accounts. A detailed description of all these documents and their shipping was recorded in the letters exchanged between the two companies, which the Florence company then registered in the memoranda (ricordanze) in Quadernuccio A. For example, the books from Majorca were requested because some perceived errors prevented the settlement of the accounts, which meant they had to be double-checked. The documents were differentiated by provenance into two bundles and boxes marked M for Majorca and B for Barcelona, and sent on a Catalan ship to the Ricci company in Genoa. The documentation sent from Barcelona included the account books marked D (financial year 1399–1400), E (financial year 1400–01) and F (financial years 1401–03) and the letters received ‘di poi ci siamo,’ that is, from the creation of the company in 1392 to 1401, ‘salvo il mazo de l’ano 1402,’ except for the folder for the year 1402, because it could still have been of use for the management of the company. The arrival of the letter from Barcelona to Florence on 11 July 1403 led to the immediate drafting of the relevant memorandum, or ricordanza, in Quadernuccio A. The books sent from Barcelona were listed in greater detail, indicating the title and the alphabetical letter corresponding to the period of operation, therefore they are intact and still easily identifiable (e.g., the Libro piccolo di cambi e dette segnato D). Owing to the huge amount of documentation produced and stored in his palazzo, Datini deemed it important to organise the records in order to be able to find information and retrieve data quickly and easily.

I want to rearrange all the records that have arrived here and those that were already here, which are in the chambers on the tables, and I want to reorganise them so that when I need a record, I don’t have to search through each and every one of them.

This is how Francesco expressed himself in a letter of 5 May 1397 written from Prato to his Florentine partner Stoldo di Lorenzo.6 Almost two years later, however, it 6   ‘piùe òe a ripore tutte le scritture che di chostà sono venute e e quelle che erano qui, che ssono nelle chamere su per le tavole, che le voglio ripore per modo che, quando io òe bisogno d’una scrittura, io non abia a razolare ogni iscrittura.’

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seems that his project had not been accomplished, when, reflecting on his old age and the impossibility of enjoying a well-deserved rest, he wrote:

This is the rest that I have in my old age, and it all happens to me because I was so poorly organised, that I wasted my time in building up [the palazzo], and created such a mass of documents that I explode under its weight, as each file piles up on top of the others.7

Francesco was about 64 years old and, having no male heirs, considered himself a merchant with no family. In 1395, he began to consider bequeathing his property to help the poor, moving from more traditional solutions, such as passing it to a religious institution, towards his plans to establish a secular charitable corporation in his name after his death. In his will of 31 July 1410, in addition to legacies to churches and religious institutions, family members and people close to him, the dispositions of the merchant from Prato established a bequest of 1,000 florins to create a hospital to care for abandoned children, the future Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence. He then laid down that all the remaining assets, to be cashed in also by selling off the companies in the Datini consortium, the palazzo and other real estate, were to be endowed to his Ceppo dei poveri charitable organisation. The final drafting of his will was assisted by the fundamental advice of his friend, the notary Ser Lapo Mazzei. Datini made his will on 27 June 1400, in the middle of another plague epidemic, just before he left for Bologna to escape death. This deed, drawn up by the same Ser Lapo Mazzei, set down the plans to create the Ceppo, alongside the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. Francesco Datini’s final will, with three codicils, is preserved in the Datini fonds under the code Datini 1193. Francesco’s death on 16 August 1410 triggered the process for the foundation of the Ceppo and with the gradual closure of the companies came the complete transfer of all his documents to Palazzo Datini in Prato, which had become the headquarters of the new charitable foundation. Francesco’s documents, and those of his companies, thus became a closed archive and were added to the archives involved in the process to build the Ceppo. While preserved in memory and glorification of the founder and legitimising the existence of the institution, this mass of documentation was nevertheless devoid of any actual interest or function for its own sake. There was only one intervention, in 1560, by the Prato scholar Alessandro Guardini, who in his own hand registered what appears to be an attempt to reorder and study the papers in the Avignon company’s quaderno segreto rosso. After 1545, following the reforms ordered by Cosimo I which affected all assistance and charitable institutions in Medicean Tuscany, the Ceppo di Francesco Datini, at this point known as the Ceppo Nuovo, was merged with what was known as the Ceppo Vecchio, founded in 1282 by the merchant banker Monte di Turingo Pugliesi. Hence a new institution came into being: the Ceppi Riuniti, which continued to be based in Palazzo Datini. Other closed documentary nuclei were stored and preserved in Palazzo Datini, without any catalogical apparatus for their description. Only in 1758 was an inventory compiled by Francesco Casini registering the different documentary fonds preserved in the institution: the Ceppo Vecchio archive , the Ceppo Nuovo archive, the Ceppi Riuniti archive and the Francesco di Marco Datini archive. The inventory opens with a brief and concise description of the Datini archive, with an indication of its location: the

ASPo, Datini, busta 700, fasc. 19, cod. 9291445. 7  ‘Questo è i· riposo che i’òè in mia vechitudine, e tutto m’adiviene per esermi mal ghovernato, che òe perduto il mio tenpo in murare ed ò fatto un sì gran fastello di scritture che ora vi schop[i]o sotto e lle face˂nd˃e venghono l’una sopra l’altra’. ASPo, Datini, busta 1087, fasc. 21, cod. 1402694.

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documents are visible, but distant and inaccessible, ‘above the cornice on the side of the door opposite the two windows’ in the archive rooms next to the scriptorium. The inventory drawn up in 1818, again dedicated to all the documentation of the Ceppi foundation, concludes by describing the Datini archive, locating it ‘in a room destined for the preservation of said books and sheets in the house of the storekeeper and custodian of these Ceppi.’ It also gave a summary of the types of documents and a precise indication of its size: ‘560 records and 2,600 bundles of letters are preserved in this room for the period between 1363 and 1410.’8 The Datini archive, despite its apparent total (or almost total) integrity, became even less visible and was moved to an area that was probably not easily accessible and was certainly in an outer part of the building. The documents were thus moved around the building and relocated to suit the practical needs of the institution. They were considered a mere symbolic artefact that stood for the founder, a bulky mass to be stored, not a documentary source to be put to good use. In the following inventory of 1858 all the documents of the institution were placed in two rooms used as archives: once again the Datini archive was moved and once again it was briefly described at the end of the first part of the inventory (where the description of the first room is found): according to this description it was placed on the shelf of Lettera H,9 which suggests that the shelf may have been in a compartment close to the condemned spiral staircase.10 The documents were still woefully hidden away not so much in material terms, as is traditionally believed, as in conceptual terms, because they were concealed in an undifferentiated mass, ‘only’ awaiting an initial ordering process in order to be put back into circulation. The Datini is certainly a many-layered archive, but it is also a well-articulated organic whole, each of whose separate sections are closely integrated with each other. Its carefully systematic organisation makes it possible to follow the stages of an economic transaction as well as the sequence of events and different episodes in the life of a correspondent, whether that person was a supplier, client, company employee, friend, relative, domestic servant, or anyone else who, despite not participating directly in producing documents for the company, was fully integrated in the environment of Francesco di Marco Datini. This also includes many communities and individuals who belonged to different cultures and languages.11

8  ASPo, Ceppi, 445. This inventory also describes the documents of the other archives in greater detail, again to facilitate retrieval. 9  ASPo, Ceppi, 445 bis. 10  Cesare Guasti, Ser Lapo Mazzei. Lettere di un notaro a un mercante del secolo XIV, con altre lettere e documenti, (Florence: Le Monnier, 1880; anastatic reprint, Sala Bolognese: Forni, 1979), t. I, III. The spiral staircase, where Cesare Guasti came across the merchant’s documentation stored in sacks about a decade later, connected the ground floor to the upper floors. It was interrupted during renovation of the building in the 1840s, when new rooms were created for rent on the upper floors and the ground floor space was reorganised. 11   The correspondence preserves the voices of the servants and slaves of Francesco Datini’s family and household. On this, see Chiara Marcheschi, ‘In Prato chon XXIII bocche in chasa. Le donne della famiglia domestica di Francesco e Margherita Datini’, in Palazzo Datini, 209–55. The Datini Archive also preserves eight different documents in Hebrew and Arabic, which the organisation of this exhibition and the preparation of its catalogue have cast light on for the first time. For this we owe a debt of gratitude to José María Pérez Fernández, and above all to José Ramón Ayaso Martínez, whose expert advice has provided useful information on the historical context for the Hebrew documents, their transcription and translation.

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Matteo Calcagni European University Institute

The Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive (Prato, Italy)

The Caccini Del Vernaccia archive, kept in the Roncioniana library in Prato, is only a part – albeit a large one – of the entire set of documents pertaining to the Florentine Caccini Del Vernaccia family, and others related to them. With the extinction of the main branch of the family, the papers were dispersed into three different groups. Indeed, in addition to the one preserved in Prato, another substantial nucleus of the archive is currently in Cortona, a town in the Arezzo countryside, while a third, smaller set is kept in the State Archives in Florence. In its entirety, the Caccini Del Vernaccia archive spans chronologically from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century. The oldest section concerns the documentation of the Florentine Caccini and Del Vernaccia families, which had an independent history until the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the last descendant of the Caccini family, Ortensia, married Giovanni Vincenzo Del Vernaccia, thus uniting their respective fortunes and archives. Later, the Del Vernaccia family also became extinct when the sole heir, Ortensia, married Marquis Vincenzo Riccardi in 1789, a member of the main line of the prominent Florentine family. Around the middle of the nineteenth century, this Riccardi line merged with the Ricci of Macerata, the family of the wellknown Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci. Consequently, the Caccini Del Vernaccia archive, which already included the Riccardi papers, was further enriched by the documentation of the Ricci family from Macerata. In addition to these groups of documents, the Caccini Del Vernaccia archive also contains the papers of many extinct families such as the Ferrantini, Busini, Da Sommaia and Brancacci. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the archive was undoubtedly still intact and was kept by the family’s heirs at the farm in Cintoia in the Chianti countryside, where the documents were taken after the sale of Palazzo Caccini in Borgo Pinti, Florence. After the family assets were divided in the 1920s, the farm in Cintoia was sold to Michelangelo Calamai who found most of the archives abandoned in the rooms of the villa and decided to donate them to the Roncioniana library in 1932. The part of the Caccini Del Vernaccia archive housed in the Roncioniana library in Prato consists of 1,029 units including registers and records, chronologically ranging from 1317 to 1895, as well as approximately 124,000 letters written in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. The collection was fully inventoried in 1983 and, following two major archival reorganisations in the early 1980s, 43


is now organised in three portions. The first part, made up of registers, consists of 1,026 units; the second, correspondence, is numbered from 1 to 155; while the third focuses on documentation relating to the Del Vernaccia family, and its bundles have been numbered from 156 to 251. The earliest documents are deeds concerning the Caccini family, whose members not only held important public offices in the republican and grand-ducal periods, but also established a flourishing business linked to the processing and trade of woollen cloth and timber. The management of family businesses is evidenced by the company’s books, journals and financial records. Beginning with Alessandro di Francesco Caccini, of whom only one account book from 1405 is preserved, there are a number of registers concerning the mercantile activities of Giovanni and Domenico Caccini. The family lineage continued through Domenico’s son Francesco, who married Ginevra Brancacci, and their sons Giovanni and Alessandro, 30 of whose registers remain. Alessandro di Francesco and his sons Matteo and Giovanni then took over the reins of the family business. A prominent part of the Caccini papers, about 30 registers, concerns the offspring – Matteo and Cosimo – of Giovanni di Alessandro, that is to say Senator Alessandro, general administrator of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In particular, the two – Cosimo, who later became a Dominican friar and took the name Tommaso, and Matteo – were linked to the events of Galileo Galilei: the first contributed to the scientist’s inquisition in 1616, while the second was his friend and admirer, even going against his brother’s position. The archival material concerning the Del Vernaccia family, on the other hand, is much more conspicuous than the 137 archival units relating to the Caccini family, although chronologically it only begins in the sixteenth century with the sons of Michele di Filippo di Piero Del Vernaccia, Piero and Ugolino (1513–83). Piero and Ugolino then came to head the two branches whose documents are preserved in the Roncioniana library. The Del Vernaccia family traces its roots back to the Middle Ages. Its founder was Vernaccio, who lived in the thirteenth century, followed by Ugolino and another Vernaccio, who were alive in 1360. Little is known about the political activities of the first members of this family, but we do have the family tree, certainly composed at the end of the eighteenth century, after the family’s fortunes had taken on considerable proportions through the activities of Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Engaged in commerce and currency exchange, thanks to a flourishing company dedicated above all to the production and fabrication of silk, the Del Vernaccia family invested much of its earnings in landed estates scattered throughout various parts of Tuscany, such as Borro, Cintoia and Castagno, where they established numerous farms. There is ample evidence of all these entrepreneurial activities, both as regards the mercantile and banking aspects, and as regards land administration, giving an interesting example of farm management in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. From the branch of Ugolino di Michele Del Vernaccia descended his sons Piero and Michele, and then Ugolino di Michele, the most prominent member of the family, who transformed the family business into an international holding company, whose management is attested by very important correspondence. Ugolino Del Vernaccia was born in Florence on 23 July 1612 and was appointed magistrate of infants (a role instituted by the Florentine Republic at the end of the fourteenth century to protect minors and the incapacitated), as well as Florentine senator from 14 August 1682. As mentioned, he is the most prominent figure in the archives rediscovered in the Roncioniana library, a true revelation of resourcefulness, business sense and, undoubtedly, fortune. A member of the Florentine aristocracy, Ugolino Del Vernaccia was orphaned of his parents in his early teens. 44


As soon as he turned 18, he transferred the last remaining money – 900 scudi – in his and his brothers’ tutelary administration from the Banca Bolsi to the Banca Capponi, using this sum to negotiate the investment. In just a few years, his business developed to an exceptional extent. The patrimonial fortune earned by Ugolino marked the culmination of the social and political rise of his family. Ugolino invested much of his income from trade in landed property and the acquisition of a prestigious new family seat in Florence, Palazzo Mondragone, the symbol of the new family status, while maintaining the ancestral seat in Borgo Pinti inherited from the Caccini. Ugolino Del Vernaccia traded in a wide range of fields: in wool and cotton fabrics, cochineal, velvet, grains, wine and oil, sugar, wax from the Levant, spices and salt; he also did a great deal of banking and foreign exchange. He achieved excellent results in this impressive activity, which involved skilful organisation of the company’s network and in-depth knowledge of the main trading venues. This extraordinary and vast economic and financial organisation of the trading company was reflected in the incoming correspondence to the Compagnia Del Vernaccia. The letters, some 124,000 in number, dating from 1630 to 1702, have all been sorted into fascicles and distinguished according to their place of origin. The company was structured on the distribution of branches in the most important Italian and European cities, which maintained contacts with the major local companies. Ugolino Del Vernaccia’s correspondence consists of 88,715 letters from various foreign locations, such as Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Vienna, Innsbruck, Prague, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Brussels, Barcelona, Madrid, Krakow, London, Malta, Smyrna and Tripoli. As far as Italy is concerned, the main trading bases were Venice, with 10,000 letters, Livorno with 13,281 letters, then Naples, Genoa, Ancona, Bologna and Rome. This correspondence constitutes one of the largest sets of documents from the seventeenth century, and is comparable, due to its size and international importance, to other similar sources, albeit from different periods, such as the correspondence of Francesco Datini held in the Prato State Archive or the over 50,000 letters referring to the Spanish merchant Simon Ruiz, kept in Medina del Campo. Indeed, the letters sent to Ugolino Del Vernaccia, apart from being characterised by their economic interest, which constitutes the main theme, offer an extraordinary testimony regarding political, social and religious events. They also contain extremely interesting, and often unpublished details regarding the states where the Del Vernaccia company operated through its intermediaries, using a rapid system of communication that ran parallel to the official channels of communication through the commercial companies linked to the Florentine main branch. The correspondence in the Caccini Del Vernaccia archive held in the Roncioniana library primarily develops the subject of trade, which consisted of requests and offers of goods, prices of goods to be agreed upon, terms of delivery, means of transport and insurance, and calculations of sea risks. It then moves onto an informative review of the events in the market squares and the political news from the cities. In particular, information was given on the risks of shipping and wars. Many of the letters in the collection contain the names of the most important traders and information on market trends. These were useful pieces of information that bounced from state to state through individual traders or trading companies as news quickly spread outside the trade centres. A letter could take about 30 days from London to Florence, 22 from Spain and 18 from France. These letters, like those in the archives of Francesco Datini three centuries earlier, contain not only commercial information, as is typical of this type of letter, but also all sorts of news, ranging from religious and political events with a particular focus on wars, through currency values, to discussing the tastes of customers for certain fashion items. 45


The bulk of the documentation belonging to the merchant correspondence is associated with an equally large quantity of administrative and patrimonial papers produced by the Del Vernaccia family. In this regard, the archive consists of 590 account books and registers, dating from 1587 to 1839, and 95 folders with various other types of economic documents. The registers include expense journals and ledgers, memoirs, trial and inheritance records, inventories, debtors’ and creditors’ ledgers, trade fair scrapbooks, expense reports, balance sheets, receipt books, bills of lading, tract books, ledgers, farm balances, and papers relating to the trade and production of cloth and silk and the sale of cocoa, sugar and cinnamon. Of particular interest are the series of records and registers belonging to the activity of the Compagnia di Banco Del Vernaccia, in Florence, namely the journal and maestro books. Also due to Ugolino Del Vernaccia and his heirs are the 117 ‘scartafacci di fiera,’ that is, accounts of the four annual Apparition, Easter, August and All Saints’ Day fairs. These fairs were held in cities such as Piacenza, Novi Ligure and Besançon. In his scratch pads, Ugolino Del Vernaccia compiled the acceptance balance, in other words the list of accepted letters of exchange, adding the exchange prices for connections between the fairs and markets of Antwerp, Ancona, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Seville, Lyon, Frankfurt, Milan, Mantua, Bologna, Florence, Lucca, Rome, Naples, Messina, Palermo and Venice. Finally, a very rare printed volume was found among the papers of Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Written by economist Matteo Mainardi in 1700, it seems to be a reference text on the exchange rate system.

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Matteo Calcagni European University Institute

The Adami-Lami Archive

(Florence, Italy)

Hidden for over a century inside the only neo-Egyptian gallery in Florence, designed in 1802 by Giovanni de Baillou, the Adami-Lami archive was brought back to light in December 2014, after a long restoration of the room where it had been left by the last heirs of the family at the beginning of the twentieth century. At the time of discovery, the papers no longer had a proper order, despite having to hand two late eighteenth-century inventories, and cataloguing took over 13 months under the constant supervision of the Archival Superintendency of Tuscany. Today, the Adami-Lami archive consists of more than 800 archival units, totalling hundreds of thousands of valuable documents, and includes the papers of the Adami family, whose best-known exponent is Senator Anton Filippo Adami, lieutenant of Pontremoli in Lunigiana and first translator of Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man in 1765, the Lami family (who took the surname Adami from 1799) and the Matraini family. The papers that now compose the Adami-Lami archive housed in Florence’s Palazzo Adami were written over three centuries, from 1650 to 1950, and collected between Empoli, Livorno, Florence and the Levant. The Adami family, originally from the Emilian Apennines, arrived in Empoli in the second half of the sixteenth century and began their business activities by running a tavern on behalf of the Passerini family of Florence. In the seventeenth century, the family activities changed aspect. Through a progressive social rise, based on a scrupulous matrimonial policy, the Adamis began to concentrate on trade, especially in wine, and the occupation of increasingly prestigious public offices. The family became extinct with Senator Alessandro Gaetano Adami (1714–99), director of the Livorno customs authority, who in 1799 left his considerable family patrimony and archives to his distant relative Giovan Lorenzo Lami, a Sienese nobleman who took the surname Adami. He was the patron of the Neo-Egyptian gallery and it was here that he brought together the Adami book collection and the Adami and Lami archives. In the mid-nineteenth century, the family experienced some financial turbulence, eventually disposing of the book collection, part of Anton Filippo Adami’s documentation (now preserved in the Moreniana library and the State Archive of Florence) and the stunning Taddei picture gallery, which Senator Alessandro Gaetano Adami had purchased from Gaetano Taddei, the last member of the family who patronised Raphael’s artistic activities, in 1789. As a result of this process of disposal of the family assets, the Adami-Lami archives underwent a new division in the late nineteenth century, the largest part of the archive 47


passing to Elisabetta Priora, widow of the last Adami of the cadet branch, while a residual part of the documents ended up in the hands of Alessandro Adami, the last heir of the eldest branch. Upon the death of Elisabetta Priora in 1926, the Adami-Lami archive was reunited in Palazzo Adami on Lungarno Guicciardini in Florence, where it was finally discovered in 2014. The oldest documents preserved in the Adami-Lami archive date back to 1650 and refer to the two branches of the family that originated from the brothers Jacopo (1618–76) and Antonio (1626–1709) Adami, who sought to enrich their finances by grasping the opportunities offered by the grand ducal administrative posts along the Livornese coast. Indeed, Jacopo was appointed ‘camerlengo’ (treasurer) of Portoferraio, on the island of Elba, while his younger brother Antonio, after an initial experience as a soldier in the military company La Colonnella in Livorno, where he took over the management of the Chantina del Porticciuolo, the tavern where the soldiers usually ate, later became a wine merchant and salt contractor in the Medicean port. Jacopo’s son, Giovanni Battista Adami (1671–1739), law graduate from Pisa, was charged with freeing the English merchant and pirate William Plowman after he violated the neutrality of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany during the Nine Years’ War (1688–97) and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). He was then appointed commissioner of Monte San Savino, near Arezzo, and left a conspicuous testimony of his political activities. However, the member of the family to have left the largest amount of documentation is probably notary Pierfilippo (1739), the third-born son of Antonio Adami, bequeathing some 15,000 documents. He was a grand-ducal civil servant active between Livorno and Florence, head of the Gabella del sale office, which meant he was in charge of the civil and criminal jurisdiction of salt taxes. Above all, in 1706 Pierfilippo Adami married Giulia Caterina Matraini, daughter and sole heir of the Lucchese merchant Antonio Matraini, one of Livorno’s leading wine merchants with extensive connections in England. In his business activities, Antonio Matraini had established commercial relations with the main wine producers of the Medicean state. Through this marriage, the social position of the Adamis rose rapidly. Antonio Matraini bought the palazzo in Florence on the Lungarno Guicciardini for his daughter, and left the lands he had bought in San Miniato, in the Pisa countryside, and on the hill of Bellosguardo, close to Florence. In addition, following this marriage, the Matraini family papers, consisting of an important correspondence of about 5,000 letters and numerous registers and economic documents, were united with those of the Adami family. Most importantly, the Adami-Lami archive is an essential source for investigating Italian economic relations in the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the seventeenth century because it conserves the documentation of Francesco (1654–1702) and Domenico (1655–1715) Adami, two of Antonio Adami’s sons who became first intermediaries and then merchants along the Levantine coast. The Adami brothers are the ones who left the greatest variety of documentation in the archival collection. These 20,000 or so papers attest for the first time to the stable presence of Tuscan merchants in the Levant between the Morean War (1684–99) and the War of the Spanish Succession, as well as the interactions they had with English, French and Arab merchants across the Mediterranean. Francesco Adami was the eldest son of Antonio Adami, and in 1674 he trained in Francesco Terriesi’s bank in London. However, his real experience as an economic emigrant began in 1686, when he left Livorno for Venice. Here he met Bartolomeo Morelli, the most influential merchant on the Venetian market, whom Adami had met during his stay in England 12 years earlier. Then, through an opportunity offered by his father’s contacts, the Sologni company in Venice, Adami sailed for 48


Cyprus to work for Philippe Touche in Larnaca. From 1689, Francesco Adami worked for the Levant Company as a warehouseman and factor in the shadow of ‘Turkey merchants’ Paul Priaulx and the Vernon brothers, between Tripoli of Syria, Aleppo and Acre in Palestine. Here he founded his firm Adami & Gras, a small trading house, the only one run by an Italian and a Franco-Palestinian merchant in a port completely in the hands of the Commerce de Marseilles. It was also here that Adami, who was even appointed first vice-consul of the English nation in Palestine by Consul Henry Hastings in 1699, died of the plague in 1702. Domenico Adami, the younger brother, had a different working experience from his elder brother. He completed his traineeship in a trading firm in Livorno, then joined his brother in Palestine in 1698 to seek his fortune. His quest for business led him to work for Jean Chaloub, an Arab merchant in Rameh, to learn Arabic and methods for negotiating with local merchants. Then, Domenico moved to Aleppo to work for the English company DesBouverie & Harley, which he left in 1706 to found his own company Adami & Niccodemi together with Livornese merchant Pietro Niccodemi. At the end of the partnership, Domenico continued to serve as a broker in Aleppo, until a privateer plundered the ship on which he had loaded many of his valuable goods. Domenico then moved to France for four years to follow the trial which resulted from this piratical action. Finally, he returned to Aleppo, where he ended his life in 1715. The Adami’s experience in Ottoman Syria is evidenced by a vast and multifarious collection, ranging from scrapbooks, letter-books, ship registers and warehouse inventories to, among others, economic documents such as insurance policies, bills of lading, invoices, price lists of goods and, above all, incoming and outgoing letters. The correspondence of the Adami brothers consists of approximately 6,000 letters in at least five idioms, written by more than 230 correspondents from various commercial and political centres such as Aleppo, Livorno, Sidon, Paris, Lebanon Tripoli, Jerusalem, Venice and Marseilles. This substantial correspondence is obviously centred on the subject of trade, so in the Adami letters one can find requests and offers of goods, prices of goods to be agreed upon, terms of delivery, means of transport and insurance, and navigational risk estimation that they or their commercial partners required in order to send goods to their respective trading posts. In addition, the correspondence consists of an informative overview of the events in a specific harbour and the political news of a specific country. In particular, the Adami brothers and their interlocutors informed each other about the risks of navigation caused by piracy and wars in the Mediterranean at the end of the seventeenth century. The Adami correspondence provides the names of major English, French, Jewish and Arab traders, as well as information on the development of the textile market and the circulation of Peruvian silver currency in the Levant. These are useful pieces of information that bounced from port to port via seafarers, tradesmen or commercial firms, as news quickly spread outside trade centres via boats, caravans or couriers. A letter could take about 32 days from Livorno to Aleppo, 21 from Larnaca in Cyprus to Acre, and 18 from Aleppo to Acre. These letters, like those kept in the Datini and Ruiz archives, contain not only commercial information, typical of this type of missive, but also all kinds of news, ranging from religious and political events, with a particular focus on the Arab revolts and the value of goods purchased with Spanish silver, to comments on the weather conditions in Palestine affecting the cotton harvest. Also discovered in the Adami-Lami archive were 52 documents written primarily in Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew and Armenian. This selection of ‘Levantine’ documents effectively reveals the interactions that the Adami brothers had with the local population during their stay in the Levant, allowing us to reconsider the connections between foreign and local trading communities 49


in Ottoman Syria at the turn of the eighteenth century. These Levantine documents include 22 receipts, 14 teschiere (deeds or bonds reimbursable with customs duties), 6 letters, 3 promises of payment, 2 house and shop rental contracts in Aleppo, 1 fatwa from the mufti of Aleppo, an Italian-Syrian glossary written by Pietro Niccodemi, and finally a document of the qadi of Aleppo. This last document, dated June 1700, is extremely important because it testifies to the legal recognition by the Ottoman administration of the appointment of Francesco Adami as the first vice-consul of the English Nation in Palestine. In 1699, the English consul Henry Hastings had appointed Francesco Adami as his representative in southern Syria but this was perceived by the local French trading community as a hostile action, a sort of English commercial expansion strategy in Palestine. Hence, they did not accept the appointment, opening a diplomatic crisis that was resolved by this document of the qadi of Aleppo. The Adami brothers represent a rare case, both because of the completeness of the sources, consisting of economic documents and a substantial amount of mercantile correspondence, and because it allows us to understand the daily dimension of Mediterranean trade. Their case opens up a number of potential historiographical questions, such as the relationship between Livorno, as essential port for maritime traffic, and Levantine trade, and hence leads to a reconsideration of the economic encounters in the early modern Mediterranean. Indeed, in the first half of the seventeenth century, over 3,000 vessels arrived in Livorno from the ports of the Levant. The Adami brothers, like other small Italian economic operators, had emigrated to the Ottoman Empire in the hope of becoming privileged interlocutors for the merchants based in the great ports of the Western Mediterranean.

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Francesca Gallori Director of Biblioteca Riccardiana

A Small Library: The Riccardiana Library in Florence and its Collections

The Biblioteca Riccardiana may be the smallest of the four state libraries in Florence in terms of the number of its books but certainly not in terms of their quality and importance. Its collection of manuscripts and printed books has the merit and uniqueness of still being housed on the shelves made by the Riccardi, from whom the library takes its name, in the same position in which they were left by their former owners. The library is, therefore, to quote the famous words of one of its illustrious directors, Guido Biagi (1855–1925), ‘the only example of what was a patrician library in a sumptuous palace.’ The palace itself – once the home of the Medici who commissioned Michelozzo to design it in 1444 and bought by the Riccardi at the height of their economic power in 1659 – has the vocation of a treasure trove of books. Filarete, in his Treatise on Architecture, describes Piero dei Medici’s library, which has now disappeared, and how books brought him comfort even during his attacks of gout. The location has sometimes influenced the Riccardi’s collecting choices: for example, in a splendid Virgil (Ricc. 492), illuminated by Apollonio di Giovanni, the events of Aeneas and the fall of Troy are set against the backdrop of the construction phases of the palazzo itself. Moreover, the abacus book by Filippo Calandri (Ricc. 2669), displayed on occasion of this exhibition (doc. 67), is not a casual presence in the Riccardi collections. The richly illuminated book was commissioned by Lorenzo de’ Medici, a former inhabitant of the palazzo, for his son Giuliano, the future Duke of Nemours, and was purchased by Gabriello Riccardi, who in the manuscript catalogue of his library had it described simply as ‘Aritmetica - eleganter picturatus.’ Its decorative apparatus, sumptuous in some parts and unusual for its scenes of daily life in others, is attributed partly to the school of Boccardino the Elder and partly to Gherardo di Giovanni and Pedro Berruguete. The collections of the Biblioteca Riccardiana are the result of an intense bibliophilia on the part of all the members of the Riccardi family, starting with the fifteenth-century tailor Anichino, founder of the family, with his 15 books, then sixteenth-century Riccardo Romolo and his library in the palazzo in Via Valfonda, which contained 500 books, and finally Gabriello, whose personal library, as we shall see, exceeded the family’s in the eighteenth century. 51


The first substantial increase in the family library was due to Vincenzo Capponi (1605–88) and his books. Capponi was an important figure in the intellectual life of seventeenth-century Florence: an Academician of the Crusca, he was a writer and poet, and naturally also a senator. Marquis Francesco (1648–1719) married his daughter Cassandra in 1669, who inherited more than 5,000 of her father’s books in 1688. Vincenzo Capponi’s library was vast in terms of its sheer size and also included a great variety of prestigious titles in many different disciplines. Antonio Magliabechi (1633–1714), the eponymous hero of today’s Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence, judged that Capponi’s books were ‘more for pomp than for study.’ The 1706 inventory of the Riccardiana library, compiled by priest Filippo Modesto Landi (now at the Florence State Archive, Riccardi, 271), listed 6,477 books, as well as 142 manuscripts. The incorporation of Capponi’s books – not yet recorded in Landi’s inventory – doubled the size of the Riccardiana collections. It was at this time that Francesco Riccardi had the idea of organising a library that, although still private, would be open to the public. By drafting Alcune regole per fondare una libreria pubblica (Ricc. 2112), Francesco Riccardi established the sums needed to buy books, pay the librarians and custodians, and set up suitable desks and shelves. The incunabulum displayed here (St.10245, doc. 51) with Luca Pacioli’s Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità in its 1494 edition in fact comes from Vincenzo Capponi’s library. It is profusely annotated by a sixteenth-century hand, which would be interesting to identify. Pacioli is also present in the Riccardi collections with two copies of his De divina proportione in the Venetian edition of 1509. One of these two copies (Ed. rare 120) belonged to Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511–92), who bound it with his manuscript notebook of sketches and drawings. Gabriello Riccardi (1705–98), whose paternal grandfather was Marquis Francesco, continued to acquire books on his own, while at the same time ensuring that the family library did not fall into the hands of creditors, who in the course of the eighteenth century began to make increasing demands on the Riccardi estate. It was thanks to him that the family library, housed in what is now the reading room, was combined with his own – very large, even larger in number – library, and with that of other family members. The result of this union led him to enlarge the spaces allocated to the book collections, setting up shelving in the apartment that had belonged to his mother Giulia Spada, now the Sala Esposizioni, and in the room – the current director’s office – obtained from the purchase of the palazzo adjacent to the original Palazzo Medici Riccardi. One of the books on display, the Tavole delle Tariffe mercantili del Levante (Ricc. 2523, doc. 19) was purchased by Gabriello Riccardi, who had it recorded in the Bullettone, the catalogue of his personal library, as a Tariffa riguardante le mercanzie di Soria per Venezia. The date on f. 1r is 1534, but the tariff updates on f. 64v and 66r are dated 1551, which is probably the date of the manuscript. We do not know how the Trattatello di Geografìa e Statistica (Ricc. 2386, doc. 20) and the edition of Della mercatura et del mercante perfetto by Cotrugli (St. 16852, doc. 69) came to the library, but it is probable that they were both acquired by Gabriello to slot into the small but significant section with manuscript and printed books on mercantile matters. Among the manuscripts, in particular, we find the trade books of the Peruzzi company (Ricc. 2414–2417), whose bankruptcy dates back to 1343; the Libro delle gabelle (Ricc. 2526), dating from the mid-fourteenth century and decorated with vignettes dedicated to different trades; and La pratica della mercatura by Francesco Balducci Pegolotti (Ricc. 2441), copied by Filippo Frescobaldi in 1471. After all, and in spite of the noble title of marquis bought in 1629, the Riccardi owed their financial fortune to trade and financial investments, and it was precisely their abandonment of these activities, once they had achieved social 52


prestige, that led to their ruin at the end of the eighteenth century. The documents that survived the family’s fall, most of which are kept in the State Archives in Florence – except for a small section still in the library – make it possible to trace the remote origins of the manuscripts and printed books purchased by Gabriello. Indeed, old lists of books and purchase receipts have survived, which have challenged a number of scholars, but most of all Guglielmo Bartoletti, who devoted a number of writings to the subject, later included in his monographic study on Gabriello Riccardi’s library. Among the most significant provenances are those of Giovan Battista Doni (1594–1647), with 530 manuscripts identified out of the 939 listed in his inventory, and those of illustrious Florentine families such as the Macinghi, Davanzati, Quaratesi and Strozzi. In 1735 Gabriello acquired the library of Anton Maria Salvini (1653–1729), which contained 3,349 both manuscript and printed books; in 1742 it was the turn of the autographs of Giovan Battista Fagiuoli (1660–1742), Florentine author, satirical poet and playwright. In 1748, the Romanesque liturgical codices from the monastery of Santa Marta in Montughi arrived in his library, few in number but of extraordinary importance. In order to understand the nature of this extraordinary collection, one must consider that the Riccardi salvaged as many books as possible from the wrecks of the Florentine families that had fallen before them. They, in turn, had inherited not just books penned by important figures such as Giovanni Boccaccio, Marsilio Ficino, Cristoforo Landino, Poggio Bracciolini and many other giants of Florentine humanism, but also copies that had belonged to some of these same names. The strength of the Riccardi library collections lies on the more than 4,000 manuscripts, the oldest of which, Pliny Ricc. 488, dates back to the tenth century. Contrary to what usually happens in other libraries, where it is possible to follow the successive acquisitions through the fonds that have been gradually created, in the Biblioteca Riccardiana there is a single fond and the manuscripts, like the printed books, are arranged in a single numerical series. The choice of this arrangement reflects the moment when the library was put up for auction in 1810, following the family’s complete financial ruin. The books were arranged in increasing numerical order and by thematic areas (Greeks, Arabs, Latin classics, Dante and so on). Sporadic traces of the previous arrangements are preserved in old shelf markings, but it is mainly thanks to individual studies on provenance that it has been possible to reconstruct traces of the acquisitions made over time, especially by Gabriello, as mentioned earlier. The manuscripts are mostly in the vernacular and Latin, but there are also 120 Greek manuscripts and 56 manuscripts in Arabic script (Arabic, Turkish and Persian). Standing out among the vernacular manuscripts is the set of Dante’s manuscripts – counting over 40 – including Ricc. 1005 (Rb in Petrocchi’s edition of the Commedia), otherwise known as the Riccardiano-Braidense, and the Commedia copied by Giovanni Boccaccio (Ricc. 1035). The groups of Greek and Arabic manuscripts are both mainly acquisitions by Gabriello, who reconciled his collecting with his own study needs, at least for the Greek codices: he had in fact begun studying Greek in 1730. Lorenzo Mehus (1717–1802), his procurer of books and perhaps also his librarian, regularly recorded his acquisitions in his Spogli. One of the most famous Greek manuscripts is Ricc. 46, which is one of the two oldest copies of Aristotle’s Poetics. Standing out among the Arabic manuscripts, all of which deal with literary or religious subjects, is the oldest known Latin-Arabic dictionary, Richard 217. The first catalogue describing them is preserved in cc. 157–169 of Ricc. 3822; it was prepared by some Coptic priests who had been hired by house librarian Giovanni Lami, and described 30 of them, all owned by Gabriello. In 1741 another catalogue was compiled by Stefano Evodio Assemani (1711–82), Maronite archbishop of Apamea, although it was never published (now 53


Ricc. 3580). A fresh catalogue of Arabic manuscripts (excluding the Turkish and Persian codices) was recently compiled by Sara Fani in collaboration with the University of Florence. The Riccardi were also collectors of beautiful art objects and were certainly fascinated by miniatures. Unlike contemporary collectors, however, they preferred to acquire books in their entirety rather than individual miniatures. And alongside a set of books of hours we see various illuminated manuscripts, with a clear preference for fifteenth-century illuminators, such as Mariano del Buono and Apollonio di Giovanni, Francesco di Antonio del Chierico and Cola Rapicano, without forgetting masterpieces such as Frederick II’s psalter (Ricc. 323) or the Parisian psalter (Ricc. 309), both from the end of the thirteenth century. The golden age of the Riccardi family’s bibliomania ended with the death of Gabriello in 1794 and the subsequent auction of the entire library in 1810. An Inventario e stima della Libreria Riccardi. Manoscritti e edizioni del sec.15 was drawn up for the occasion, which gives us a general snapshot of the state and contents of the library at that date: 3,590 manuscripts, 617 incunabula and 18,257 printed books. The skilful management of librarian Francesco Fontani, who ensured that the library was not dismembered and dispersed, and the movement of opinion that arose in the city against this eventuality, led a group of Florentine booksellers to purchase the library wholesale and then sell it to the City of Florence, which was then under French rule. With the Restoration, the library passed to the state and was opened to the public. Since then, it has continued to gradually increase its collections, which have maintained their ability to tell ever-changing stories.

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Armando Antonelli Mauro Carboni Pietro Delcorno Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli Centro studi sui Monti di Pietà e sul credito solidaristico, Bologna

The Monte di Pietà of Bologna and its Archive: Paper, Credit and Solidarity The first Monti di Pietà (mounts of piety) date back to the 1460s. They consisted of newly founded institutions, which we could define as civic or ‘public.’ When they came into being, they offered pawn loans with considerably lower rates than the ‘market,’ designed to be accessible to the less wealthy. It is assumed that the first mount was created in Perugia in 1462. Around ten years later, in 1473, the Sacred Mount of Piety of Bologna, whose documents this exhibition displays (docs 78, 92 and 93), opened its doors. The pious mounts offered a similar service to that provided by banks of pawn credit, institutions active since the thirteenth century in almost every Italian city, mainly managed by Jewish bankers. It is worth noting that the invention of agreed-upon loans with Jews, through condotte – contracts signed between private lenders and the city to guarantee and regulate their presence – in the communal period was courageous and successful. One of the key differences between private banks – whether managed by Jews or not – and the pious mounts is that the latter were public from the outset. In fact, the mounts put the credit to the service of the community instead of seeking individual enrichment. The goal of these institutions was to provide for the economic needs of the lower classes, offering them a service pertaining to the goals of city welfare. For the less wealthy, pawn loans represented a simple and quick way to access small sums of money, by temporarily pawning objects that guaranteed the debtors’ solvency. Thus, each mount that operated by ‘asking for pawns to provide to those in need, prevented others from abusing of similar operations.’ Another distinguishing feature of the mounts was the desire to privilege the paupere pinguiores, that is, the ‘less poor of the poor,’ as its potential clients. The lower economic segments of society, who practised modest artisanal and commercial activities, but did not benefit from corporative protection, were the mounts’ natural users. They were the target of a credit service offered at the sole 55


cost of reimbursing managing expenses, charging a modest interest, called denarino (literally, a coin of little value), often equivalent to 5% per year, a percentage clearly lower than the one requested by private bankers. These policies were not designed to permanently eradicate poverty among a great part of the population, but instead served to contrast negative circumstances. They intended to alleviate the conditions of the less wealthy segments of society in moments of temporary economic difficulty, preventing them from falling into a state of structural deprivation which could force them into constantly asking for alms. The real innovation in the services offered by the mounts consisted of their solidaristic nature and their assistance aims, goals that the institution achieved by granting loans and boosting the number of initiatives designed to support citizens in case of need. Credit, thus, gained an ethical dimension and started being recognised as an indispensable service that the city should guarantee. In order to give life to this new institution, it was necessary to convince the authorities and the population to provide it with a location and the required initial capital, but, most importantly, to accept the logic of the payment of a small interest rate. This interest was justified by the need to cover expenses without compromising the institutional capital, but this explanation did not suffice to avoid traditional prohibitions and vivid ideological repulsion, as it became perceived as a hidden form of usury. The Observant friars played a crucial role in defeating this resistance, and in convincing, not only of the benefits, but of the necessity of such an institution and system. Drawing from their previous experiences, these Franciscan friars knew how to provide efficient explanations (often by strongly attacking the Jewish moneylenders) to the population gathered in the squares where they used to preach. Apart from their strong words and personal charisma, these friars were capable of exploring the alluring power of images to found the pious mounts. The mounts of piety constituted a paradigmatic example of a new model, which also managed to bring about a definite update in visual strategies. These institutions were, on the one hand, firmly rooted in local communities, but, on the other hand, they adhered to a common matrix and made use of the same iconographical apparatus. There are two main images of reference. The first one includes the representation of a mount, understood both as a pile of resources earmarked for solidaristic loans, and as Calvary, the place symbolising the redemptive suffering of Christ. The second presents Christ as the Man of Sorrows, the ‘most virtuous thing’ that could be represented, the imago pietatis. Doubtless, Christ in Piety is the image that appears the most in the sources (docs 78 and 93): on the cover of the statutes of the mounts, on alms chests, in the institutes’ entrance lunettes (including the one in Bologna), on banners that were paraded in processions promoted to gather funds. These processions – sometimes organised under skilful directorship – marked the passage from possibility to action and were crucial moments of devotion and fundraising. Once they gathered the initial capital (the ‘mount’ of resources) – also achieved thanks to the attractive role of moving images that convinced the people – the mounts could start their operations. The Christ in Piety that presided over the money collected for the mounts also served as a guarantee of this powerful transformation. This image distinguished buildings and places that hosted the activities of the mounts, which became ‘holy receptacles of credit.’ These places were recognisable everywhere, thanks to the use of a shared symbology – one could speak of a veritable ‘logo’ – and their location, quite often close to prestigious buildings and spaces in towns and cities. Their sacrality, together with the civic dimension, helped to reinforce the publica fides. The mount of piety statutes continued to put forth the image of Christ in Piety over the years. It was a way to highlight both loyalty to the original inspiration and to reinforce the identity of the institution. The statutes emblematically 56


synthesised the institution’s desire to last in time and remain consistent with the original project. Therefore, these texts are of central importance for the life of the mount. Their magnificent exterior and careful conservation attest to the importance given to them. The statutes (sixteenth to seventeenth centuries) of the Mount of Bologna, approved in 1514 and reformed in 1576 (doc. 92), possess a precious wooden binding from the sixteenth century, covered in leather and metal upholstery nails. The splendid composition contains, apart from the statutory norms, copies of documents of vital importance for the mount: privileges, notary briefs and papal bulls. The statutes contained the rules governing each mount. Once again, we find similar matrices, adapted, however, to the reality in which each mount operated, since each institution depended on and was connected to the community that had founded it. These documents allow us to reconstruct the original idea of the founders and provide us with knowledge of specific urban realities. Rules were often revised, updated and modified to respond to changing times and conditions. We can obtain important information by comparing different versions of these texts and the norms promulgated in different cities. These pages thus talk to us and do so also through their images. The representation of Christ in Piety also appears in the Breve Compendio et Regola del Signor Priore del sacro Monte della Pietà di Bologna, written in the seventeenth century (doc. 93). It consists of a paper register that recorded the activities to perform each month and the norms of the prior (a position held by the twelve presidents of the Mount of Piety of Bologna for one month each) should respect. The goal was to ensure the proper management of the institute according to the statutes and deliberations of the congregation of presidents. This register also provides us with the tasks performed by each minister of the mount. The representation of Christ in Piety does not only appear on books of norms, that is, the statutes, but also on expense records. This is the case of the Campione or Libro Mastro (2 January 1606 to 30 December 1609) of the Mount of Bologna (doc. 78). It consists of a paper register, bound in stiff leather, reinforced by a binding of five straps and labelled with the letter ‘P.’ On the upper cut of the register appears an embellished representation of Christ in Piety. Under the responsibility of the campioniere maggiore, the register gathered the accounting evidence of the mount of piety operations, divided into allotted accounts. Each account is composed of opposing sections of ‘debit’ and ’credit,’ according to double-entry trading rules. Each Libro Mastro was preserved in the Archivio del Monte di Pietà, and identified by a letter of the alphabet inscribed in the upper cut of the register. Each Mastro was connected to a Libro Giornale, in which all of the accounting operations appeared chronologically. The Giornale also contains the same alphabetic letter of identification, for the same timeframe. Entries in the Giornale refer to other accounting books, such as the Quaderni di Cassa, which list all cash flows in chronological order and are marked by the same letter of reference. The image of the Mons Pietatis was new and traditional at the same time. The innovation, however, mainly lay in the systematic use of this image to provoke emotions and to deeply root the mounts in the original idea. The idea was for a large amount of resources, as high as a mount, to lend to the poor and in this way help them. It also consisted of a particularly commendable form of support for those who gave their assets, because it guaranteed lasting outcomes, as friar Bernardino da Feltre highlighted: if you gave to the mount, you supported your own person. The idea to act rationally and professionally to aid those in need of loans, but who could not afford the high interest rates of private moneylenders, was also a success. The mounts acted rationally in the sense that competent and trustworthy people were involved in the institution: this congregation should 57


be placed in good hands, recommended the same Bernardino da Feltre, preaching at the monte at Pavia on 15 April 1493. Trustworthy hands had to gather the pawns, value and keep them, hand over the money and carefully note every action involved. Hence the suggestion and, as we would argue, the duty to keep many written records: to write down and account for everything. Bernardino da Feltre supported and founded many mounts in the last ten years of his life (he died in 1494). In one of his sermons on this theme he upheld the necessity to write down everything concerning the life of the mount. According to him, there had to be a safe house to preserve all of the pawns as well as a book and many written documents etc., an officer to serve and to write everything down etc., who, if he wanted, could serve for free in the name of the Lord: if not, who was to pay? (sermon 55, p. 186). Much reflection is required on the old question concerning the request for the reimbursement of expenses, criticised by many who considered it a form of usury, but this is not the place to explore the debates and controversies that emerged around this. Our goal is to highlight the documentation of the mounts, the written materials requested and produced, their significance and the consequences of this practice. The abundance of written sources suggests several meanings. The mounts were public institutions, governed by rules described in the statutes, documents that were carefully preserved, periodically updated, publicised and rendered available for consultation. All gatherings of those responsible for the mounts produced written minutes: thus, creating another type of written source. Notaries registered all of the operations executed and carefully described all of the pawns received. The mounts produced many written documents and this indicates the desire to publicise the actions of those involved, rendering them verifiable. The Mount of Imola offers a clear example of the acknowledgement of the public role of the mounts and the consequent desire for absolutely transparent management, a transparency imposed by their role of serving the poor. In the middle of the sixteenth century, the Mount of Imola commissioned a series of precious tables, displayed inside the institute, which publicly accounted for all the money handled, its uses and all those who helped finance it. Since the origins of the mounts, the statutes determined that they should all keep a diverse number of books – from one to seven – a variety testifying how these institutions were similar, but at the same time quite different. In Assisi the mount only kept one book, and the same was done in Sansepolcro, where all the money received ‘should be registered in an authentic book produced for this purpose, which separated revenues and expenses, according the good and legal trading manner.’ The formulary used is interesting because it demonstrates how the composers of this register acknowledged the necessity for rational and efficient action to be applied to the field of solidaristic credit. A single book was also in use in Spoleto, where it had to be kept in a money chest. In this book, the city chancellor also had to account for all the money deposited in the mount, the cash left for the institution, the amount reserved in the cashier and the sums available for loans, with general indications concerning clients. This source demonstrates an important collaboration between the city and its mount, since the communal chancellor was in charge of the mount’s written registers. One also notices that the written documents were considered as precious as the money itself, so much so that both had to be kept locked in the same chest. The Mount of Cesena possessed two books. While the first, the book of pawns, had to be kept by the receiver – an officer of the mount – the second belonged to a notary responsible for every publicly written document of the institution who had to write down all of its income. More than one mount had to have three books according to their statutes: this was the case of the Mount of Faenza and that of Piacenza. In Faenza one of these books served to write down all of the money and properties received 58


by the mount. When these notes survive time and are available for consultation, they allow us to reconstruct the assets of these institutes, and also to identify the benefactors, who are not seldom portrayed in drawings kept inside the mounts. To destine resources to a mount brought fame to donors, thus the importance of writing down their identity. It served to remember who they were and to encourage others to act likewise. Again according to the statutes, every notary was to remind whoever wrote a will to leave something to the mounts. Therefore, the study of testaments could also provide us with information regarding the institution: thus, providing us with many more talking documents. In Fabriano, the statutes of the mount of 1470 stated: ‘in the chest called the money chest there should always be four books.’ One of these books had to contain all of the revenues: who gave what, how and when. Another one, also regarding revenues, contained registrations of the loans and their respective duration. To lend or deposit money in the mounts was an important practice which boosted their actions. To deposit sums in the mounts allowed the institute to possess assets useful to develop its initiatives, but it was also useful for depositors, who – apart from the promised spiritual benefits – obtained the safekeeping of their resources, and after the sixteenth century, interest on what they deposited. A third book accounted for all expenses, indicating how much money the officer in charge used for each loan. The fourth book contained records of the return of the sums borrowed. The statutes of Pistoia required five or more books in which all operations had to be registered, and these books served as legal evidence in court in cases of disputes. In Reggio Emilia, there were as many as seven books. The notary of the so-called Provvisioni – registrations of all of the measures taken and to be taken – kept one of these volumes, while the treasurer and the guardian had two books (one for revenues: cash, donations, bequests, and another for all money received for the running of the institute, which had to be given to the massaro, a sort of manager). The massaro kept four books: one for the money lent and the pawns accepted, a second for the money received from the treasurer and earmarked for loans, a third where he wrote all of the pawns collected by the communal nuncii, and a fourth containing smaller expenses. The contents of the third book attest to active collaboration between the commune and the mount, way beyond the assistance the latter institution provided to the ‘less poor.’ The massaro’s fourth book regarded the proper management of the institution. For the Mount of Bologna, we possess the first Libro Giornale. It is the oldest accounting register of the mount preserved from the period 1473–1519. The first ‘governor’ of the mount, the merchant Giovanni Bolognini, summarised in the first page of the Giornale the mission of the sacer Mons: ‘to help as much as possible … the poor and the miserable.’ In reality, this book functioned as a mould for an impressive archival corpus, developed through the centuries and significantly organised and described since 1705. Apart from the valuable accounting documentation, which allows us to understand the institute’s intense and multiple financial operations, the Archivio del Monte preserved valuable, rare and varied documents. There are collections of acts and norms, which defined the juridical physiognomy and managing structure of the mount. There are written documents produced by the mount’s ministers themselves in their bureaucratic and administrative tasks, such as the Verbali. These registers offer a glimpse into the operations of the mount, through the detailed documentation of its internal life, discussions, affairs and the resolutions made. The words of preachers, particularly those we know of Bernardino da Feltre (1439– 94), who ‘specialised’ in making propositions to found pious mounts, had to impress, involve, but also disturb. This efficient preacher delivered more than 3,600 sermons in his lifetime, for a total of almost 7,000/10,000 hours of 59


preaching, walking by foot almost 17,000 km from 1471 – the year of his first cycle of Lenten preaching – to 1494 – the year of his death. Almost 6,000 of these hours were concentrated in his last five years, the period of his most intense involvement in favour of the mounts. While Bernardino physically walked to spread the idea, it continued to spread much further by itself: indeed, new mounts were still being founded all over Italy over a century later. From 1462 to 1562, almost 215 were created. Mounts appeared outside Italy, in France and Spain, the Netherlands and even the New World, such as the institution still present in Mexico. In the Mediterranean area, we find them in Malta, Istria and Dalmatia. In Greek territories under Venetian rule, mounts were established early on and in Rhodes a mount operated from 1505 to 1552, when the island fell into the hands of the Ottomans. The first mount in Crete was created in 1613 and from there these institutions spread to the rest of the Venetian Domains of the Sea in the East. What is more, the idea continues to flourish in times closer to our own if we think that microcredit presents many similarities to the intuitions and initiatives of the Middle Ages. One of the most fruitful forward-looking intuitions was the idea to give credit an ethical and public dimension, and to equip the mounts with powerful images of reference, which connected the institution to the city and its needs, its founder, and values such as the necessity to take care – also financially – of those in greater difficulty.

Selected bibliography A. Antonelli (ed.), I primi statuti del Monte di pietà di Bologna (1514-1576) (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2015); M. Carboni, Il credito disciplinato. Il Monte di pietà di Bologna in età barocca (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2014); M. Carboni and M. Fornasari, ‘Learning from Others’ Failure: The Rise of the Monte di Pietà in Early Modern Bologna,’ in The History of Bankruptcy. Economic, Social and Cultural Implications in Early Modern Europe (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 108–25; P. Delcorno and I. Zavattero (eds), Credito e Monti di pietà tra medioevo e età moderna: un bilancio striografico (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2020); C. B. Menning, Charity and State in Late Renaissance Italy: The Monte di Pietà of Florence (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993); M. G. Muzzarelli, ‘Pawn Broking Between Theory and Practice in Observant Socio-Economic Thought,’ in B. Roest and J. Mixson, A Companion to Observant Reform in the Late Middle Ages and Beyond (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 204–29; M. G. Muzzarelli, Il denaro e la salvezza: l’invenzione del Monte di pietà (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2001); M. G. Muzzarelli and M. Carboni, I conti dei Monti. Teoria e pratica amministrativa nei Monti di pietà fra Medioevo ed età moderna (Venice: Marsilio, 2008).

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Nelly Hanna American University in Cairo

Court Records of Cairo as a Source for the Activity of European Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Egypt

The three court cases presented here (docs 4 to 6) are taken from the court records of Cairo and date roughly from the early decades of the seventeenth century. This is a period of important changes in commercial patterns worldwide. Empires were being formed and expanding. The Ottoman Empire had, in the course of the sixteenth century, conquered most of the Arab lands. The Safavid Empire was established in Persia. The French, English and Dutch European empires were spreading their control in America and Asia. With this came an expansion in trade and a high level of competition between the different players. It was at times armed competition, as for instance between the Ottomans and the Portuguese who on many occasions raided Red Sea ports, or the pirates active in the Mediterranean ports, ready to loot ships carrying merchandise. The competition was also evident among the merchants passing through or residing permanently in important commercial towns. For centuries, Egypt maintained an important place in the trade between East and West, long after the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope. As Hermann Kellenbenz shows, in 1600 the Fuggers of Ausburg, one of the richest merchant families in Europe, were purchasing pepper from Alexandria.1 The pepper and other spices from the East, and later the coffee bought in Egypt, were diffused to many destinations. During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Venetians were the principal actors in the spice trade. Many court cases attest to the volume of their activity.2 Their relationship with the authorities was regulated by treatises, at first with the Mamluk sultans (1250–1517) and subsequently, as many of the regions they dealt with fell under Ottoman rule, with the Ottoman sultans. By signing such treatises they obtained privileges that protected their trade and their merchants. Venice had about 20 such treatises with Mamluk sultans.3 1  Hermann Kellenbenz, ‘Autour de 1600: le commerce du poivre des Fugger et le marché international du poivre,’ Annales. Economies, sociétés, civilisations 11, no. 1 (1956): 1–28. 2   Some examples in the court registers of Cairo: Bab Ali register 28, case 264 dated 975/1567 p. 84; Bab Ali register 37 case 292 dated 983/1575 p. 77. 3   John Wansbrough, ‘A Mamluk Ambassador to Venice in 913/1507,’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 26, no. 3 (1963): 503–30. See also Frédéric Bauden and Malika Dekkiche (eds), Mamluk Cairo, A Crossroads

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In fact, it was able to obtain special privileges that merchants from other places often aspired to. Immediately after the Ottomans conquered Egypt and Syria in 1516–17, the Venetians made another treaty with the new Ottoman rulers. By the early seventeenth century, more competitors were appearing on the commercial scene and slowly ousting the Venetians from their dominant position in East-West trade, with other nations, especially the French, gradually gaining a larger portion. In addition to these treatises undertaken at a state level between the Venetian authorities and the Ottoman Sultan, there were also some documents written by locally based Venetian consuls or merchants located in Egypt, which Alessio Sopracasa calls ‘tariff deeds.’ These elaborate procedures and formalities of the Mamluk system were put in writing in order to help merchants undertake their trade.4 In other words, at the top level of this hierarchy of trade were the treatises between official authorities. Then there were the local deeds or the ‘tariff deeds’ elaborated locally by Venetian merchants. Court records, which contain the daily dealings that took place under the supervision of a judge (qadi), contain much information on the commercial dealings of the merchant community, both that of local merchants, and to a lesser extent that of European merchants: to a lesser extent because many of them undertook their dealings either in an informal fashion or within the confines of their consuls. Many of these consular deals are either lost or are scattered in various European archives. As far as the court archives in Cairo or in other commercial towns and cities of the Ottoman Empire are concerned, these remain a major source of information regarding merchants and trade. The litigations merchants had among themselves or with others can tell us a lot about the way that business was carried on, who the business partners were that they dealt with, and the kind and volume of their merchandise. Their partnerships, their debts and the merchandise they dealt with were often recorded in the presence of a qadi so the court records provide a lot of information on trade.5 The court cases presented here show another dimension, which goes beyond these formal or official arrangements to deal with some aspects of the lives of these merchants, some of them permanent residents in Cairo, familiar with the social set-up, possibly familiar with the language, in the course of their daily lives, dealing with those around them. Some of the court cases refer to business dealings (doc. 4); others refer to more private matters (see doc. 6). Together they shed light on various aspects of the daily lives of some of the European merchants in Cairo; the persons that they dealt with, their relationships with other merchants or their consuls and so on. One can point to some of the salient points in these three cases. First is the fact that although European merchants had their own institutions that they resorted to, namely their consuls, here we are dealing with persons who had to, or chose to, take their cases to a Muslim qadi, in which case the law applied was Islamic law, according to the school of law of the qadi in question. Another relevant point in these cases is the strong presence of Venetians in for Embassies: Studies on Diplomacy and Diplomatics (Leiden: Brill, 2019). Maria Pia Pedani, ‘The Mamluk Documents of the Venetian State Archives: Historical Survey,’ Quaderni di Studi Arabi 20–21 (2002–03): 133–46. 4   Alessio Sopracasa, ‘Venetian Merchants and Alexandrian Officials (End of the Fifteenth–Beginning of the Sixteenth Century),’ MSR 19 (2016): 91–100. Francisco Apellániz, ‘Venetian Trading Networks in the Medieval Mediterranean,’ Journal of Interdisciplinary History 44, no. 2 (Autumn 2013): 157–79 deals with lower-ranking traders in Alexandria in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 5   Nelly Hanna, Making Big Money in 1600, the Life and Times of Ismail Abu Taqiyya, Egyptian Merchant (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1998).

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the sixteenth and early part of the seventeenth century. It was frequently stated that after the fifteenth century, their role in eastern trade was disappearing.6 In reality, the court cases show that in the sixteenth century, the presence of Venetian merchants was strong, and their activities were varied. They evidently maintained good relationships with the Ottoman authorities, as can be seen by the fact that, whereas their consuls had been operating from Alexandria in 1552, the Ottoman Pasha allowed them to open a new consulate in Cairo, thus giving them wider opportunities to deal with their trading partners. This is understandable in view of the fact that in the sixteenth century their competitors had not yet formulated strong ties with the Ottoman rulers, nor had the trading companies been formed as yet. It was only in the early seventeenth century that French merchants appeared as major competitors to the Venetians. Other merchants, Flemish as in the case presented here and Portuguese merchants in some cases, emerge as competitors but are unable to replace the Venetians, who were involved in the most important and most lucrative commercial activities of the time, namely the spice trade. They were also involved in trading numerous other goods. These often consisted of highly luxurious commodities like the carpets made in Cairo, called ‘mamluk carpets,’ which they shipped to Venice and from there to other destinations.7 A further relevant point is the presence of consuls in court. Their role was varied, and they could perform multiple acts for the merchants of their community. In one of the cases, the consul had guaranteed the loan of a merchant and when the loan was unpaid, he had to answer to the court (doc. 4). In the second case, the consul was representing a merchant in a divorce case. We note in this case (doc. 6) the fact that the two partners, husband and wife, were non-Muslim. There was no apparent obligation for this case to be taken to a Muslim qadi. It was a matter of choice, possibly because by virtue of taking their case to the qadi, Islamic divorce law was applied and consequently divorcing was easier. The intermarriage of European merchants with Cairenes brings up another point. European merchants might be passing through the city on an occasional or transitory basis; some merchants resided there for extended periods, possibly years, to keep their business going. Their relationship with their social surroundings would be formed accordingly. The ones who married local wives were probably long-term residents; possibly some of them spoke the language. In other words, they had a level of familiarity with local conditions and could make alliances and relationships of various kinds with members of the community. Particularly relevant to the present project is case no. 2 dated 1023/1614 because it deals with a case of litigation about the sale of Venetian paper (doc. 5). The case involves the Venetian consul who was also the seller of this paper to two Jewish individuals and the head of the guild of paper sellers. It also involves two economic modes: that of the guild, as expressed by the head of the guild, which aimed to protect its members and therefore opted for a fair division of raw material to the paper sellers; and that of the two Jewish traders who purchased the paper from the Venetian merchant, who opted for a free market sale. The qadi was expected to make a difficult decision since both sides had valid reasons to support their case. He opted for the free market. This case also shows the variety of activities that Venetian merchants were involved in. These cases and the many others in the Cairo court records of this period shed light on the daily life and dealings of European traders and merchants and the economic climate that pervaded Cairo during the period in question. 6  Benjamin Arbel, ‘The Last Decades of Venice’s Trade with the Mamluks: Importations into Egypt and Syria,’ Mamluk Studies Review 8, no. 2 (2004): 37–86. 7   Giovanni Curatola, ‘A Sixteenth-Century Quarrel about Carpets,’ Muqarnas 21 (2004): 129–37.

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Antonio Sánchez del Barrio Director of the Museo de las Ferias Foundation and the Simón Ruiz Archive

The Simón Ruiz Archive (Medina del Campo, Spain)

I The archive of merchant-banker Simón Ruiz Envito (Belorado, 1525–Medina del Campo, 1597) is undoubtedly a unique collection of documents as it is the only archive of an important sixteenth-century businessman to have been preserved in Spain. It has been compared to the archive of the Italian Francesco di Marco Datini in Prato, which preserves documents from the second half of the fourteenth and the early decades of the fifteenth century, and to that of the Fuggers, the great bankers of Augsburg, which boasts materials from the sixteenth century to the present day. Simón Ruiz established himself in Medina del Campo around 1550 as a cloth merchant, trading wholesale in imported goods from Nantes and all over Brittany. He made a considerable fortune that allowed him to begin a second professional phase during which he also embarked on large financial operations, with interests throughout Europe and America, including loans to the Crown. From 1591 he devoted himself almost exclusively to the construction of a large hospital, his last work of patronage. The Hospital General was built between 1592 and 1619 according to the design of Jesuit Friar Juan de Tolosa, clearly showing the influence of classicist Italian models in combination with the architectural patterns of the Counter-Reformation (especially those of the so-called ‘Jesuit style’) and the close and powerful El Escorial. Simón Ruiz’s personal documents and those of his business activities were kept here, in the General Hospital. This documentary repository was greatly expanded by the transfer of additional documents from the archives of Cosme Ruiz, the founder’s nephew and heir. The resulting mass of documents was preserved under the custody of the Hospital’s administrators for more than 300 years, between 1632 and 1947. The documents were then moved to the Provincial and University Historical Archive of Valladolid, where a series of renowned archivists inventoried them over the decades. On 27 September 2013, the Board of Trustees of the Simón Ruiz Foundation decided to deposit the historical, artistic and documentary heritage that was still dispersed in the headquarters of the Fundación Museo de las Ferias in Medina del Campo. The aim was to bring together the founder’s entire legacy in a single 64


space with all the guarantees of custody and specialised management. Between 2015 and 2018, the archive’s collections were digitised in their entirety thanks to an agreement signed with the Spanish Ministry of Culture. Then they were transferred to the Museo de las Ferias Foundation where, together with the rest of Simón Ruiz’s patrimonial heritage, they are now available to researchers and those interested in the history of commerce in general. Their administration is regulated in accordance with the agreement signed on 12 June 2015 between both foundations based in Medina del Campo. The figures speak for themselves when it comes to the quantity and quality of this collection of documents, which provides insights into many of the key aspects of the trade, banking and financial exchanges of the time throughout Europe. As an approximation, we offer the following data extracted from its inventory, which is constantly being revised, on documentation of a commercial and financial nature. The collection contains 184 account books (1551–1617), including general ledgers or fair ledgers, with their corresponding alphabets; daily (or ‘manual’) books of both genres; fair notebooks and drafts, all of which bound – with just a few exceptions – in portfolio parchment. It holds correspondence with Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Flemish cities, as well as the Americas, amounting to nearly 58,000 letters which circulated between 1554 and 1624; of these, 23,366 contained pre-printed postmarks. In terms of volume (in approximate figures), this correspondence can be broken down into the following figures: Valladolid (15,000), Madrid (10,000), Burgos (4,000), Seville and America (3,400), Bilbao (3,200), Toledo (2,000), Salamanca (1,000), Lisbon (6,000), Antwerp (4,000), Lyon (3,000), Florence (1,300), Rome and Nantes (1,200), Elvas (1,000), Genoa (650), Rouen (600), Paris and Oporto (500), Piacenza (450), and Cologne, Milan, Venice and Malta (100). The amount of bills of exchange preserved in the archive is also exceptional: around 23,000 original bills drawn between 1553 and 1606, issued by 45 different European financial centres; of these, those of Antwerp, Lyon, Lisbon, Piacenza, Florence, Rome and Rouen stand out for their numbers (alongside those of Medina del Campo). In addition to these, the archive contains around 20,000 documents of a commercial nature, including letters of payment, powers of attorney, bonds, marine insurance policies, bills of lading, customs notes, shipwreck certificates, balance sheets, promissory notes, invoices, receipts and listini. With regard to the documentation of the General Hospital founded by Simón Ruiz, more than 200 boxes of information and some 30 parchments are preserved, which record in great detail the history of this charitable institution from the moment of its creation to the present day. Indeed, the hospital still continues to provide assistance for disabled individuals. On 28 December 2017, the Simón Ruiz Archive was declared a Bien de Interés Cultural by the Junta de Castilla y León regional authorities. This declaration, the first for an archive in this region, provides it with maximum official protection. Since 2017, the Simón Ruiz Archive has been included in the Censo Guía de Archivos de España e Iberoamérica, which can be accessed via the following link: http://censoarchivos.mcu.es/CensoGuia/archivodetail.htm?id=1722827. Similarly, since 2018, it has been part of Archives Portal Europe, which can be accessed at: http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/es/directory/-/dir/ai/code/ ES-00001722827.

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On 23 June 2021, the digital archive (Portal de Archivos) of the Museo de las Ferias Foundation was publicly presented. This digital repository provides free and universal online access to all the documentary collections it manages, including those of the Simón Ruiz Archive. Of the latter, the following are currently available online: the complete collections of 184 account books (1551–1617), 210 listini of currency quotations (1579–99) and 31 parchments in addition to 2,069 bills of exchange dated between 1553 and 1580 (https://archivos.museoferias.net/index.php/ archivo-simon-ruiz-2).

II For the present occasion, we have selected a series of documents that illustrate the diversity and quality of the collections that make up the Simón Ruiz Archive. These include samples of account books, a basic set of documents necessary for proper record-keeping in any commercial company. Hence, the same entry, which records the purchase of a barrel of aniseed at the Medina del Campo May fair in 1579, passes through different records (doc. 73): the draft, the journal or ‘manual’ and finally the general or ‘cash’ books. It thus evolves from a simple note taken in pen and ink at the time of purchase to an accounting entry reflected both in the daily accounts and the final accounts recorded – by double entry – in the ‘debit’ and ‘credit’ sections of the general ledger. Besides these there were also other sorts of books which recorded specific commercial operations, such as draft books of bills of exchange, brokerage books, notebooks of ‘memoirs and accounts of what was spent,’ books and notebooks of fairs, and even books of ‘the sale of licences on the asientos of slaves.’ Two of these specific types have been selected: the first is a ‘fair notebook,’ specifically the oldest in the Simón Ruiz Archive, which registers in double-entry format the clearing of bills of exchange that were negotiated during the final days of the fairs, in this case those of Medina del Campo between June 1584 and August 1586 (doc. 32). The other one is a book entitled De las licencias que Pedro Gomes Reynel vende en Lisboa sobre el asiento de esclavos que se llevan para las Indias de Castilla, namely, a record of the sale of licences for the slave trade with the Americas (doc. 86). These were royal licences granted to private individuals: in this particular case, this sort of trade would lead to the bankruptcy and imprisonment of Cosme Ruiz, heir to the founder Simón Ruiz, who appeared in the role of guarantor of the Portuguese contractor who traded in these licences. The Simón Ruiz Archive holds one of the most remarkable collections of sixteenth-century bills of exchange in Europe. As a unique example of this collection, we have selected a bill of exchange issued in Antwerp in January 1582 and payable in Medina (doc. 82), in which the drawee and the beneficiary are one and the same person, in accordance with the formula ‘your mercy will pay to yourself.’ This surprising financial operation – in fact a credit operation – is reflected in the ‘debit’ and ‘credit’ sections of the corresponding ledger, in this case the Libro Mayor de Ferias of 1556–59, a documentary piece also selected for this occasion. The other selected bill of exchange reminds us of the important trade in sugar from Brazil to European ports, under the control of Portuguese merchants, and the circumstances suffered by the vessels that transported it, in this case the recovery of goods ‘arrested’ in England. The section of commercial correspondence is undoubtedly the most valu66


able collection of documents in the Simón Ruiz Archive, not only because of the thousands of items of business news contained in its more than 58,000 letters, but also because of the wealth of information of all sorts that the letters provide. One of the documents we display is a letter with information on financial news and currency exchange rates that also reports the death of Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma, and the disruption this caused on the Antwerp financial market (doc. 82). Other exceptional testimonies found in this collection of letters include a report of the victory of the Holy League in the battle of Lepanto in October 1571, with details of the casualties, prisoners and captives (doc. 56). Another letter informs of the frustrated attack of the Turkish armada in Calabria in August 1576. Both cases illustrate how important it was for an international businessman to be properly informed about developments that could in any way affect the markets. Another letter in the collection, dating from 1591, tells of the arrival of luxury goods from India and China, not by the usual route of the ‘Manila Galleon’ used by the Spanish markets, but via the ‘Carreira da India,’ run by the Portuguese (doc. 27). Another interesting type of document of a mercantile nature is the ‘asiento,’ that is, loan contracts with the Crown, in which only consortiums of businessmen or powerful bankers who handled enough capital could afford to participate, generally through the use of bills of exchange. The document selected for this occasion is a letter of payment for 50,000 golden Spanish escudos (out of a total of 100,000 escudos) to meet the expenses incurred by the armies of Flanders commanded by Alessandro Farnese (doc. 49). Another of our documents is a royal decree signed by the Infanta Juana of Austria, at the time acting regent of Castile in Philip II’s absence (doc. 28). Here she exceptionally authorises Simón Ruiz to do business with France despite a recent court ruling against him after the merchant was found guilty of a case of illegal ‘saca de moneda’ which contravened a royal decree against the export of hard currency. The document proves Simón Ruiz’s powerful contacts at court and how he was able to use them to forward his commercial and financial interests. Finally, we have selected a document relating to maritime insurance, an essential instrument in mercantile practice to prevent the very real dangers of long-distance transportation. In this specific case, we are dealing with witness statements of complaints to the Consulate of the Sea in Pisa which accredit the owners of goods lost after the shipwreck of a vessel near Livorno (doc. 50). In short, this is a representative selection of different documentary typologies from a private commercial archive of a great Castilian businessman who traded with the whole of Europe and the Americas during the second half of the sixteenth century.

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Maroma Camilleri National Library of Malta, Deputy Librarian

The National Library of Malta and its Collections The National Library of Malta, generally known as the Bibliotheca, is an imposing edifice situated in the heart of Malta’s capital city Valletta. It forms part of the Malta Libraries entity which also includes the public libraries network comprising regional and branch libraries operating all over the Maltese islands. The mission of Malta Libraries is to ‘ensure the collection and conservation of Malta’s documentary heritage for present and future generations, to maintain and develop the libraries regulated under the Malta Libraries Act, and to encourage reading for study, research, self-development and lifelong-learning information and leisure purposes.’1 The national library achieves this aim by collecting and preserving all possible library material whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form. In just over 465 years since its inception, a fine national collection of books, manuscripts, newspapers, maps, engravings and other material spanning almost a thousand years has been built. The national library is constantly committed to acquiring, assembling and preserving for posterity the nation’s written and printed heritage, and making it accessible to scholars, researchers and the general public.

01 Façade of the National Library of Malta designed by Stefano Ittar (1724–90) (Credit: Malta Libraries) 02 The reading room (Credit: Joseph Borg)

The idea of the formation of a library by the ruling Hospitaller Knights of St John originated in 1555 with the issue of a decree by the grand master of the Order, Fra Claude de la Sengle, whereby all books in the legacies of deceased knights were to pass to the Common Treasury of the Order.2 However, the history of the Bibliotheca as we know it today goes back to the 1760s and was very closely linked with two prominent members of the Order of St John – Fra Louis Guérin de Tencin (1702–66), a bailiff grand cross of the Order belonging to the langue of Provence, and Cardinal Fra Joaquìn Portocarrero (1681–1760) who upon his death left a collection of 5,570 volumes as well as a number of mathematical instruments. On the cardinal’s death, de Tencin purchased his collection from the treasury of the Order and amalgamated it with his own 9,700-strong collection as well as with that of Knight-Commander Fra Charles Fassion de St Jay. He then donated them to the Order on condition that they form part of a public library which was to be built for the purpose in a suitable place. Meanwhile, he rented a large palace known as the Forfantone situated on the main street of Valletta, and it was there that the nucleus of the Bibliotheca began to grow, under the watchful eye of the Gozitan erudite scholar, Giovanni Pietro Francesco Agius 1   Malta Libraries Act (Act no. VII of 2011), para. 4(i). 2   N[ational] L[ibrary of] M[alta], A[rchives of the] O[rder of] M[alta] 288, f. 12v.

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de Soldanis, appointed by de Tencin to be the first librarian. De Tencin, himself a meticulous collector of books, in the introduction to the manuscript catalogue of his personal collection lamented the total lack of awareness of the importance of knowledge and education both within the ruling class of Malta as well as among the Maltese population.3 De Tencin died in 1766 and ten years later Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan decreed the formal foundation of a Bibliotheca Publica, expressly so that the Order may have ‘religiosi utili, ed atti al di lei servizio, e Vassalli istruiti dei loro doveri.’4 This was the original raison d’être behind the foundation of the public library. De Tencin had lived long enough to see his scheme through the initial difficulties and though he did not live to see the formal recognition of his work, he is rightly considered to be the founder of the Malta Public Library. The present building of the Bibliotheca, erected between 1786 and 1796, was the last major architectural work of the Knights of St John before their expulsion from Malta by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798. The architect responsible for the design was Stefano Ittar (1724–90), a Polish-born architect residing in Italy. Although the construction was completed before the departure of the Order, it was left unoccupied until the year 1812 when the British civil commissioner, Sir Hildebrand Oakes, realising the need to utilise this new building built expressly to house the Bibliotheca, ordered the transfer of the existing books, which by then had dwindled from about 80,000 to 30,000, from the Forfantone to the new premises. From then on, the Malta Public Library, as it was then called, continued to flourish with a number of new acquisitions. In 1925, the library acquired its ‘legal deposit’ status by an act of parliament and 11 years later was granted the prefix ‘royal’ by King George V.5 In 1976, the Bibliotheca was officially designated as the National Library of Malta and became solely a research and reference library. The National Library of Malta’s main attraction lies in the historic collection of books belonging to the Knights of St John as well as their archives spanning the years 1107–1798. The impressive collection of printed material includes several first editions and very rare works, such as a 1566 edition of the Propheties of Nostradamus and early sixteenth-century editions of Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia. The collection also comprises a considerable number of works produced 3   NLM, Libr[ary] M[anu]S[cript] 265, f. iiir–v. 4   NLM, AOM 309, ff. 102–103v. 5   Malta Government Gazette, Supplement no. VIII, Act no. II of 1925 (20 March 1925) and Govt Notice no. 50 of 1936 respectively.

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by the Venetian printing house of Aldus Manutius (1449–1515). These rare Aldine editions include Aesop’s fables printed in 1505 and Plato’s complete works printed in 1513. Within the library’s vast collection of pre-nineteenth century books is also a smaller collection of rare bindings, notably those donated to de Tencin ex typographia regia by King Louis XV of France. De Tencin himself brought over to Malta from France several French bookbinders to bind books in his collection, and this can be seen in the tooling found on the book spines.

03 NLM, Plans Collection V11B: Plan of the Valletta waterfront showing the Pinto Stores (Credit: Malta Libraries) 04 NLM, Libr. Codex I: Illuminated manuscript depicting the life of St Anthony the Hermit (Credit: Malta Libraries)

The Archives of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, referred to as AOM, only found a suitable abode at the Bibliotheca in 1937 when the librarian, Hannibal Scicluna, requested to have them transferred from the public registry. This substantial corpus of documents consists of the papers produced and received by the Chancery of the Order since its origins until the end of its rule in Malta in 1798. The archives contain the title-deeds, privileges, correspondence and other documents concerning the central authority of the Order, that is, the grand master and his council, the chapter general, the priories, the commanderies and individual knights. The earliest document, dated 1107, is a charter issued by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem confirming the donation of property to the religious of San Salvator de Monte Tabor. The property was transferred to the Hospital of St John in the thirteenth century. However, the most precious document in the archives is undoubtedly the Piae Postulatio Voluntatis, a papal privilege dated 1113, whereby Pope Paschal II officially recognised the Hospital of St John (later to become the Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta) as an operative and militant part of the Roman Catholic Church. Moreover, he granted it papal protection and confirmed its properties in Europe and Asia. Although the script on the document is now considerably faded and the parchment torn and repaired in two places, it is in quite a satisfactory state of conservation, considering its 900 years of existence. Also worth mentioning is the deed of donation issued by Emperor Charles V and his mother Ioanna in the town of Castelfranco in 1530, granting the Maltese islands and Tripoli as a fief to the Order of St John following their expulsion from Rhodes. The official archives of the Order in Malta come to an abrupt halt with the end of its rule in

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Malta in 1798. The post-1798 documents are conserved in the magistral archives in the Grand Magistry in Rome. A separate archival group composed of the records of the treasury of the Order of Malta (Treas.) consists of 555 volumes divided into three series. These constitute the financial records formerly preserved in the government treasury. The ‘Treasury A’ section is a miscellanea of documents produced both by the Order of St. John and by the Università dei Giurati of Mdina. The ‘Treasury B’ documents consist of the registers, journals of income and expenditure, libri esigenziali and cabrei of several foundations. The recently discovered ‘Treasury C’ series comprises the ledger books of two institutions, namely the Massa Frumentaria during the time of the knights until 1805, and the government treasury during the British Protectorate of Malta between 1800 and 1813. Another archival group which is of particular interest to Maltese social historians is the Univ. fonds which is composed of volumes pertaining to the medieval Università dei Giurati of Mdina and Valletta. The rich documentation found in these archives sheds light on the powers and activities of the Consiglio Popolare and the Maltese giurati from the time of the Aragonese rule in Malta until 1818, when the Consiglio Popolare was suppressed by the British. The earliest records date from the fourteenth century. By its very nature and mission, the National Library of Malta specialises in the collection of Melitensia, namely published material by Maltese authors or on any subject relating to the Maltese islands, in the form of books, pamphlets, newspapers, journals and single-sheet items, as well as audio and visual recordings. In accordance with legal deposit legislation, the Malta Libraries’ national bibliographic office conserves a copy of every locally published work which is deposited by the publisher or author free of charge. Another copy is delivered to the Gozo National Library. Additional copies of such material are purchased by the national library in order to facilitate access and consultation. The rich collection of Melitensia includes some rare and important items, such as several editions of Gio. Francesco Abela’s Descrittione di Malta first printed in Malta in 1647, Mikiel Anton Vassalli’s Mylsen Phoenico-Punicum (Rome, 1791) and his Lexicon Melitensis or Ktŷb yl Klŷm Mâlti (Rome, 1796). Also worthy of note is the immense collection of pamphlets and ephemera mostly bound in volumes entitled Miscellanea. A considerable part of the national library’s Melitensia collection is made up of newspapers and other periodical literature, either published locally or abroad but of direct interest to Maltese affairs. Among the latter are to be found a number of newspapers published by Maltese emigrant communities in various countries. The earliest material dates back to 1798, when the newly established French administration in Malta published the first local newspaper, the Journal de Malte. Ten issues of this short-lived gazette are known to have been published, only some of which are available at the national library. From 1813 onwards, the local administration started publishing the Gazzetta del Governo di Malta. This has continued to be published, with some changes in its title and format, down to the present day. A fundamentally important development in Maltese journalism came with the granting of freedom of the press, by Ordinance IV of 15 March 1839. This was to result in the publication of a large number of newspapers in Italian, English and Maltese. Since that date, a vast number of periodical titles have been published, covering practically all aspects of Maltese social, political, cultural and economic life. The National Library of Malta possesses a small but important collection of 62 incunabula, that is, books printed before 1500. Among them is Ptolemy’s Cosmographia. printed by Petrus de Turre in Rome in 1490. The collection has grown over the years by means of donations and purchases. When printing was introduced in the mid-fifteenth century, printers produced mostly ancient texts. Thus, the texts of the incunabula present at the national library may be roughly 72


divided into the classics, that is, works by Roman and Greek authors such as Plato, Aristoteles, Plautus and Seneca; and early religious works by, for example, St Augustine, St Albert the Great and Pope St Gregory the Great. The collection features two works by Guillaume Caoursin, chancellor of the Order of St John in the fifteenth century. These are the Obsidionis Rhodiae urbis descriptio (Venice, 1480) and the well-known Rhodiorum Historia (Ulm, 1496) which belonged to the knight Fra Sabba di Castiglione who died in 1554. The book bears Fra Sabba’s signature as well as an autograph note by the historiographer Fra Giacomo Bosio.

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05 NLM, AOM 6: The 1113 Pie Postulatio Voluntatis papal privilege (Credit: Malta Libraries)

The national library’s manuscript collection features significantly in this exhibition. The initial section of the collection is composed of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century codices. The provenance of most of the 23 codices is unfortunately undocumented, although we do know that some of them formed part of the outstanding collection of Fra Jacques-Laure Le Tonnellier, bailli de Breteüil (1723– 85), a French knight and keen collector of manuscripts and rare books. He was the owner of Cod. VI and Cod. VIII, two exquisite books of hours carrying miniature illuminations. The first item in the collection is the precious manuscript depicting the life of St Anthony the Hermit in 196 miniature paintings, produced in 1426. This beautifully illuminated manuscript on parchment, which came to belong to the library through the merger between the library of the French Order of St Antoine de Viennois and that of the Order of St John in 1776, is undoubtedly one of the national library’s most treasured possessions. Another outstanding item of the collection is the Libro de l’arte dela mercatura, a fifteenth-century treatise on commerce and accounts by Benedetto de Cotrugli, which features in this exhibition (doc. 68). The volumes belonging to the manuscript collection have been acquired by the library over the years through donations, bequests or purchase. These manuscripts in general concern the most diverse topics, ranging from literature, music, art, history and geography to mathematics, physics, chemistry, geometry and accountancy. As is to be expected in a country so historically rich as Malta, more than half of the national library manuscripts deal with history, which can be divided into two principal categories – Melitensia and Hierosolymitana.6 A close study of the collection shows that the works dealing with Maltese history treat ecclesiastical and civil/political topics. By far the most prolific writer of Melitensia present in the collection is Ignazio Saverio Mifsud whose Stromata occupy no less than 24 manuscript volumes. Another outstanding Maltese historian 6   A term coined by Giovanni Bonello to refer to the study and appreciation of everything pertaining to the image, history and culture of the Order of St John.

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whose writings about Malta and its language and history feature prominently in the collection is the abovementioned G. P. F Agius de Soldanis whose well-known four-volume dictionary Damma tal Kliem Kartaginis features words in Italian, Latin and Punico-Maltese. His most celebrated work, Gozo Antico-Moderno, includes a very detailed manuscript map of Gozo. With regard to ecclesiastical or religious history, worthy of mention is the well-known report of Mgr Pietro Dusina, apostolic visitor to Malta in 1574–75, of which four copies are found in the collection. The rich and chequered history of the Order of St John occupies an important place in the collection, the reason being that most of the writings were produced during the order’s 268-year rule. The volumes include a number of diaries as well as the catalogues of the original collections of Cardinal Portocarrero and Bailiff de Tencin, which formed the nucleus of the Bibliotheca. Another manuscript boasts of two original ink-and-wash drawings by Calabrian artist Fra Mattia Preti, himself a knight of Malta, as its frontispieces. One also finds manuscripts written by such prominent knights as Fra Romano Carapecchia and Fra Christian Osterhausen. The more modern section of the collection includes two volumes of watercolours depicting views of Malta by Danish artist Charles Frederick de Brocktorff as well as handwritten drafts or typescripts of later-published works by prominent Maltese literary figures such as Anton Buttigieg, Ninu Cremona and Ġużè Aquilina. The library manuscript collection continues to grow thanks to the acquisition of new manuscripts from various sources. The same may be said of the library’s sizeable photographic and postcard collection which is augmented regularly by means of purchases and donations. The national library also houses a small collection of maps and plans ranging from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. The manuscript designs and plans encompass the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and mostly depict the fortifications that surround the harbour cities and other important areas of the Maltese islands. This significant and unique collection is of exceptional value since it documents the progress of the fortifications in Malta and Gozo in their various phases of development as the massive walls grew to achieve the grandiose and majestic proportions we see today. The collection of maps dates back to the sixteenth century and includes some rare items, among them Great Siege maps by sixteenth-century Italian engravers Domenico Zenoi and Tommaso Barlacchi, as well as maps of Malta and the city of Valletta by such eminent cartographers as Antonio Lafreri, Abraham Ortelius, Nicolas de Fer, Frederik de Wit, Pieter van der Aa and A. F. G. Palmeus. Since the National Library of Malta possesses such a great wealth of documents and rare books, the need has been felt over the past years to render this prestigious material more accessible to the public. Thus, a number of initiatives and projects have been undertaken by the library to promote its priceless holdings. Apart from the ongoing process of digitisation of the library collections, an ambitious programme of theme-based public lectures was embarked upon in 2018–19 with great success. The 2019–20 series had to be suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, an alternative was found and the lectures were offered in the form of filmed documentary features which were uploaded on the national library’s Facebook page and Youtube channel. The 2020–21 series has also been highly successful and the organisation of the 2021–22 series of features is currently underway. Such a measure not only increases the awareness and appreciation of the national library collections but further supports knowledge and ensures inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

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Charles J. Farrugia National Archives of Malta

Archival Insights from Malta

Introduction In proportion to their size, Malta and Gozo must house some of the vastest archives in the world. The long history of the island and its location along the main trade routes has produced a distinctively rich and diverse range of evidence, ranging from fossils to bits, testifying to and depicting the cultural, religious, political, economic and social aspects of life in Malta. The earliest archives The earliest archival records that relate to Malta date back to the fifteenth century. A wealth of information lies in foreign territories, primarily in nearby Sicily. In his study about medieval Malta, extensively researched in the State Archives of Palermo, professor Stanley Fiorini highlights the case of Leonardus Calavà. In the fifteenth century, Calavà occupied various positions including that of notary to the captain’s court and archivist to the same. He petitioned the viceroy that his son Raynerius be jointly appointed with him in these offices so that, whoever of them died first would be succeeded by the other, for life, in these offices. This request was acceded to.1 The pre-1530 documents held locally are kept in the National Library in Valletta (with records starting from 1107), the Notarial Archives in Valletta (from the mid-fifteenth century on) and the Cathedral Museum in Mdina, whose minutes of the cathedral chapter date back to 1419.2 Of particular importance from this period are the records of the university which acted as the Malta Town Council. The arrival in Malta of the Knights of St John in 1530 brought new methods of administration and new ways of life. Although historians rightly resist the notion of rapid changes in society, for practicality, documents pre-dating 1530 are often labelled as relating to medieval Malta.

1   Stanley Fiorini, Documentary Sources of Maltese History, Part II (Documents of the State Archives of Palermo), no. 3 (Cancelleria Regia 1460–1485) (Msida, Malta: University of Malta, 1996), 267. 2   Notum Sit Omnibus … A Selection of Documents from Public and Private Archives in Malta and Gozo (Malta: Department of Libraries and Archives, 2002).

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The last years of the order’s rule in Malta were characterized by decadence and a lack of purpose at almost all levels of the hierarchy of the monastic order. This attitude paved the way for Napoleon to take possession of Malta in June 1798. Eager to destroy all evidence supporting claims of nobility and other possessions, the French administration issued an order instructing that all those documents not considered useful to the state be destroyed. However, luckily enough, through the delaying tactics of uditore Gaetano Bruno, ex-secretary of the Chancery, most of the records were preserved. The uprising of the Maltese against the French, and the subsequent blockade meant that Malta’s archival records were saved. The September 1798 uprising against the French led to a status quo in which the French were blockaded in Valletta and the Maltese ruled the countryside. The aid of the British was solicited by the Maltese, enabling Britain to take rule of Malta not as a colonizer winning over the territory, but taking over the administration of the island in conformity with the wishes of the local population. One of the first moves aimed at centralising the government archives during the British rule was to set up a ‘records room’ in the office of the chief secretary to government in 1851. A government notice was issued by Henry Lushington on 27 June 1851 instructing that the books and documents of the Order of St John of Jerusalem and the suppressed universities of Malta were to be moved to the new records room. Dr Luigi Vella, government archivist and notary, took charge of the archives and was authorised to attest and authenticate all copies and extracts for public use.3 In 1921 Malta was granted the Self-Government Constitution. This meant that the office of head of ministry and various departments and ministries were set up. Each ministry had its own registry filing system. This practice continued up to 1933 when Crown colony government was reintroduced. The Second World War severely undermined the social fabric of Maltese society, and the country had to be rebuilt physically, economically and politically. At this juncture, the Maltese archives sector benefitted from the visit to Malta of Sir Hilary Jenkinson (1882– 1961), one of the most renowned and leading British theorists in archival science. He arrived in Malta on 6 May 1944, visited a number of public archives, and presented a report which was later discussed by the local authorities.4 In his report Jenkinson discussed Maltese archives under two broad categories: a) governmental, semi-public and private; and b) ecclesiastic. Apart from the detailed analysis of the main archival collections, he made a series of 11 recommendations, advocating amongst others the building of a national archive, the appointment of a head archivist and collaboration with the University of Malta.5 Towards a national archive for Malta A renewed interest in Maltese national identity followed Malta’s independence from Great Britain on 21 September 1964. The efforts made to strengthen the history department of the University of Malta were such a by-product. In March 1971, the history department of the Royal University of Malta organised a conference to examine the related problems of teaching and writing history in Malta and the preservation of source materials on Maltese history.6 Two of the sessions were 3   Malta Government Gazette (MGG), 27 June 1851, no. 1715. 4   National Archives of Malta (NAM), CSG1/1400/1944. 5   The full recommendations are reproduced in Maltese in Charles J. Farrugia, L-Arkviji ta’ Malta (Malta: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza, 2006), 33. The recommendations in English are listed in the State of Archives Report 2008, which also includes comments on the current state of progress on each recommendation. 6   Anna Williams and Roger Vella Bonavita, eds, Maltese History: What Future? Proceedings of the Conference Held at the Royal University of Malta on 19th and 20th March 1971 ([Valletta, Malta]: Royal University of Malta, 1974).

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focused on ‘public records in Malta’ and ‘local and private records’. The question was debated as to why Malta lacked a national archive or at least a centralised archive service despite the presence of centuries-old institutions with a certain degree of autonomy. While introducing Adelaide Baviera, director of the State Archives of Palermo, professor Andrew Vella expressed his concern that the lack of a centralised archive in Malta was creating researchers considerable trouble.7 In her lecture ‘La conservazione e la valorizazzione del patrimonio archivistico’ (Preserving and Enriching the Archival Heritage), Dr Baviera looked into the reasons why the concept of a national archive had hitherto not developed in Malta. She argued that in Malta there were: neither the politico-juridical conditions nor the necessary schools of thought, found in other countries between the mid-eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century, leading to state archives as the main institutions where past and present documentary evidence is concentrated in line with modern archival theory. 8

A strong proponent of a national archive for Malta was lawyer and collector Albert Ganado. Ganado argued that while Malta was a British colony it may not have been in the interest of the coloniser to preserve and centralise certain government records. However, after Malta attained self-government in 1921, the Maltese ‘did not care to make use of’ the opportunities that arose, and repeated the same mistake after independence in 1964.9 He outlined his vision of a Maltese public record office serving two main purposes: to bring all government records under one roof and subject to the control and superintendence of trained expert staff and to select and appraise the public records. In October 1972, Michael Ellul, an architect with the antiquities unit of the Public Works Department, was entrusted with the custody and maintenance of a collection of public records.10 By the end of 1972 all the court records of the Knights of Malta had been transferred from the old law courts to Casa Leone.11 In 1974 the collection was moved from Casa Leone to the palace in Valletta. Thus, the records collection found itself back in the same premises where the 1851 records room was originally located. These initial efforts were followed by legislation. A bill to set up a national archive for Malta was introduced in parliament by Honourable Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, MP, Minister of Education, and read for the first time at the sitting of 10 April 1989.12 It was discussed at the first reading, committee stage and third reading over seven sittings and approved on 23 January 1990.13 It received presi-

7   Dr Baviera was not in Malta for the conference as she had to cancel her participation due to ill health but visited a few months later and gave a lecture at the Aula Magna of the University in Valletta. Her lecture was published with the proceedings. 8   Williams and Vella Bonavita, eds, Maltese History: What Future?, 78. The original was in Italian: ‘né le condizioni politico-giuridiche né le correnti di pensiero, né quell’insieme di spinte che negli altri paesi condussero tra la seconda metà del sec. XVIII e la prima metà del XIX alla istituzione degli archivi centrali di Stato come organi nei quali avrebbero dovuto essere concentrate secondo i canoni della nascente dottrina archivistica, le testimonianze documentarie del passato e quelle che via via andavano formandosi’. 9   Ibid., p. 116. 10   NAM, OPM/937/72. Letter of appointment to Mr Michael Ellul, 14 October 1972. 11   NAM, MJPA/128/72. Letter from J. Bonello to M. Ellul dated 5 January 1973. 12   MGG, 23 October 1989, number 15, 193, Section C. 13   The sessions in parliament were held during sessions 315/316 (4 December) and 317 (5 December 1989), 332 (15 January), 333 (16 January), 335 (22 January) and 336 (23 January 1990).

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dential assent on 30 January 1990.14 After a decade, the same institution started lobbying for another legal reform. In its meeting held on 26 July 2004, the cabinet approved the draft bill to reform the National Archives.15 This development paved the way to the debate in parliament, and on 16 September 2004 the minister requested to have the bill presented to parliament for the first reading.16 The bill was discussed in parliament over 13 sittings spanning from October 2004 to May 2005.17 This legislation is the one under which the entity still functions today. It separated the domain from the libraries sector, established an institution with a distinct legal persona and for the first time appointed the office of national archivist. This legislation enabled specialisation and gave a more tangible contribution towards fostering an archival profession for Malta. Amongst the records treasured by this institution there are two fonds that have been chosen for the collaboration of this exhibition. These are the Consolato del Mare and the Magna Curia Castellania. The remaining part of this article introduces both fonds and their relevance to historians and the archival community. Consolato del Mare The Consolato del Mare of Malta (1697–1814) was a key institution in the development of Malta as a centre of excellence in trade and maritime affairs. It was established to provide swift justice to merchants and mariners as a tribunal made up of their peers. By the late seventeenth century, Malta was relatively safe from Turkish marauders, and the Valletta harbour had grown into a key Mediterranean shipping hub. Messina was the closest port with a functioning consolato tribunal, but Malta’s geopolitical position was even better. Apart from Maltese shipping, the Maltese consolato evolved into an international adjudicating tribunal that was respected by European Christian states for its efficiency and level of neutrality. This mercantile tribunal was founded in 1697 by Grand Master Ramon Perellos de Rocaful in response to the merchants and seafarers’ need to better condition their dealings and resolve their disputes. It was modelled on the consolato of Messina, which was based on that of Genoa. The Consolato del Mare (CDM) records held in the National Archives of Malta records the whole span from its inception until its dissolution in the early years of British rule. The collection is made up of 473 items, 220 of which in bundles preserved in archival boxes and the rest bound volumes. It is in reasonably good condition but requires attention in order to be preserved for posterity. These records bear witness to the interaction between Malta and the major European centres of international trade and commerce, demonstrating how different customs and habits travelled with these sailors, while also shedding light on the development of international commercial and contractual law. This collection documents business practices such as insurance, freight, financing, purchasing, trade networks and many other aspects of mercantile life. 14   MGG, 30 January 1990, no. 15, 2333. 15   The discussion was on Memo 63, ‘Reforming the National Archives – A New Law.’ 16   Request to parliament by Hon. Louis Galea, 16 September 2004. 17   The sittings were 171 (12 October), 172 (13 October), 173 (18 October), 174 (19 October), 181 (3 November), 195 (29 November), 240 (22 February), 247 (9 March), 254 (13 April), 255 (18 April), 256 (19 April), 258 (15 April) and 265 (10 May).

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The records include crew and equipment lists, bills of lading in various harbours including Malta, France, Messina, Trieste and others; inventories of wares, sailors’ wages, lists of spending, harbour spending, appraisals, accounts, testimonials against insurance agents, chartering of vessels, agreements concluded by captains, sailors and merchants, judicial spending, and lists of debtors and creditors. Most of the litigation involved shipwrecks or vessel damage. Calculations of damage, inventories of wares lost or recovered, witness declarations and insurance disputes can all be found in these fonds. The basic languages of the Consolato del Mare are Italian and Latin; however, the ‘Testimoniali’ series includes several other European languages, including French, Spanish, English, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Armenian and Turkish. These documents contain the names of merchants and captains from all over Europe and the Mediterranean. They come from Malta, Italy (Genoa, Venice and Veneto, the Kingdom of Naples, Kingdom of Sicily and Tuscany), France (Marseilles, Martigues in Provence, Cassis, Saint Tropez, Toulouse and Agde in the Languedoc), Spain (primarily from Barcelona and Minorca), England (London and Norfolk), Ireland, Denmark, Sweden (mostly from Stockholm and Gothenburg) and Holland (Amsterdam and Rotterdam). During the eighteenth century, trading was also conducted in the Americas, in cities such as New Orleans, Havana, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Lima in Peru. The Magna Curia Castellania The Magna Curia Castellania was the main secular tribunal (1530–1798) during the Knights of St John’s rule in Malta. The institution was established for the first time in Palestine in 1186, then in Rhodes as the Pragmaticæ Rhodiæ, and it remained active there until the Order was expelled from the island in 1522. It was founded in Malta following the arrival of the Order on 5 September 1533, during the magistracy of Grand Master Philippe de L’Isle-Adam. The tribunal is also sometimes referred to as the Magnæ Curiæ Caſtellaniæ Melitensis. It was one of the first institutions found to require reform. The task of drafting the first set of laws for Malta – later established by the grand master – was assigned to Johannes Quintinus. The institution followed the Sicilian legal system, known as the Ritus Magnæ Curiæ Siciliæ. The institution was composed of the castellano, a knight of the Order and two judges; one for the civil court and one for the criminal court. It also included an exchequer, a vice-exchequer, two notaries and several clerks. In the event of an appeal, the case was referred to the appellate court, a different tribunal in the castellania, which was presided over by one judge. The judges of the castellania were native Maltese and dealt with cases that took place in the district of Valletta, Floriana and the Three Harbour Cities. The fiscal prosecutor presented cases to the judges three days per week. The institution’s decisions were coordinated by a head notary. The cancelliere was in charge of receiving and preserving judicial acts, registering the sentences handed down by the judges and supervising the other court employees. There was a gran visconte who coordinated the police, and the capitani di notte who implemented the sentences. Other employees included a prison official who ensured that prisoners were treated fairly, archive officials and legal aid advocates. 79


The advocates were generally Italian-speaking Maltese, as most of the knights and foreigners considered the position for the lower ranks. A weekly report was written and sent to the grand master’s palace, informing him of events presented to the castellania. The castellania originally had authority over all aspects of life, including public morality and religion, but after a visit to the islands by a Holy See official in the sixteenth century and the discovery of a lack of religious enforcement by the knights, an inquisition was established. The Holy See regarded Malta as a colony with the presence of an inquisition, but the Order maintained strict control and sovereignty over Malta through the castellania. Though the inquisition had the authority to impose the death penalty in religious cases such as heresy, fornication and sodomy, the decision was generally left to the discretion of the castellania. Religious monks, including the bishop of Malta, were not to be subject to castellania’s decisions, but exceptions had to be made in cases of offence to the state. In the military context, knights were not subject to the castellania. Instead, they were prosecuted at the military tribunal (tribunale militare), which received assistance from the castellania’s higher members, such as the judge of the criminal court. The grand master issued a bando, which amended the law. Special bandi governed the procedures for treating a seriously injured person, in which the castellania had to be notified by medical practitioners within a day of receiving assistance. The castellania was the supreme court of justice of the islands, hence it was called the ‘gran corte’ or other variants in legal documents. The Magna Curia Castellania was abolished by the French domination in 1798. More than 200 metres of shelving house the documents of the Magna Curia Castellania while 1,141 volumes of the Acta Originalia have been digitized by the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library and the Malta Study Centre. Conclusion This collaboration is noble in the sense that it preserves the spirit of communication and voyages conveyed by the same records on display. Although the modes of transport and movement of people may have been rather rudimentary, the need to trade, commute and connect has always been an indispensable characteristic of human nature. These instances are well documented in archives all over Europe. This collaboration has given us the opportunity to showcase some of the rich archival heritage we safeguard and to shed some light on two fonds from our holdings as well as the national institution that preserves them.

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Claudia Grossi and Gloria Guida The Banco di Napoli Historical Archives

The Historical Archive of the Fondazione Banco di Napoli

The historical archive of the Fondazione Banco di Napoli and its foundation are located in Via Tribunali in the sixteenth-century Palazzo Ricca, which in 1616 became the seat of the Monte e Banco dei Poveri. By a decree of 29 November 1819, Ferdinand I of Bourbon assigned this building to the general archives (later to become the historical archives) of the ancient Neapolitan public banks, in consideration of the documentation value of the accounting records. The approximately 300 rooms that house the archive preserve millions of documents, making it the most important economic archive in the world. The impressive collection of documents, about 100 kilometres in length, is the result of putting together the records of the eight Neapolitan public banks: the Monte e Banco della Pietà (1539); the Sacro Monte e Banco dei Poveri (1563); the Banco dell’Annunziata (1587);1 the Banco di S. Maria del Popolo (1589); the Banco dello Spirito Santo (1590); the Banco di Sant’Eligio (1592); the Banco di S. Giacomo e Vittoria (1597) and the Banco del Santissimo Salvatore (1640). After various transformations and mergers, they first changed their shared name to Banco delle Due Sicilie (1809) and then Banco di Napoli (1861). Until 1898, the accounting system of these banks involved the issuing of bancali (bills of credit and policies, transferable by endorsement, with which the depositor could avail of the credited sum), comparable to modern bankers’ drafts and current account cheques, bearing the reason for payment. As a result, they indicated the concept behind the various transactions between the holder of the banknote and the payee. Hence, the great importance of the bancali for historians, since through them it is possible to investigate new aspects of the social, economic and artistic life of southern Italy, Europe and sometimes the Americas. The records can be divided into two main categories: patrimoniali and apodissari. The former refer to the management of the banks’ interest-bearing assets and their joint accounting (i.e., the banks’ internal management); the latter concern the activity of collecting deposits and issuing the bancali. Awareness of the role played by the bancali and the need to store them care1   We should add that recent research would suggest that the activity of the ‘Cassa Depositi’ of the Casa Santa e Banco dates back to 1463, making it the oldest deposit bank of its kind.

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fully and allow the original title to be easily found at any time led to the adoption of a special system of entries for the apodissario service (an archive which served as legal proof of clients’ individual transactions). The keystone was the pandette, an index of the bank’s customers in alphabetical order of their first name, followed by their surname and a number corresponding to the page of the main book (libro maggiore) where the account in the customer’s name was recorded. The accounts were divided into ‘avere’ (credit), with an entry of the fedi di credito (certificates of credit) issued and subsequent payments, and ‘dare’ (‘debit’), with an entry of the certificates that had been liquidated (fedi estinte) or the bills that had been notate (meaning registered and duly covered by a cash deposit) with their respective dates of liquidation. The date of liquidation, which could be noted in the ledger, made it possible to trace the original bill. In fact, the bancali were kept in order by date of liquidation and threaded through a hemp string fitted with an iron pincer (punteruolo). The bundles thus formed were suspended from wooden pegs fixed to the ceiling beams of the archive rooms. In order to make the search easier and faster, the certificates (fedi) and policies (polizze) that had been extinguished were scrupulously transcribed in the copy papers (giornali copiapolizze). The banks’ current accounts were kept in ducats, tari and grana. The ducat and the tari were silver coins; the grana was a copper coin. However, upon unification of the country, the Italian lira was introduced: the Neapolitan ducat disappeared and was exchanged for 4.25 gold lire. The recent and detailed inventories and catalogues of the different collections of the Fondazione Banco di Napoli historical archive provide access to a significant amount of information on the period from the fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, in realms and disciplines as diverse as economic and art history, cultural studies, or sociology. The archive holds a large amount and significant variety of records that document the importance of cultural and financial exchanges between the Kingdom of Naples and other communities around the Mediterranean. For this exhibition we have sampled transactions that illustrate several different commercial and cultural exchanges with foreign markets, including bills of exchange, the release of slaves, and the purchase of a range of goods and services – including art and book printing. One of the main operations of the Neapolitan public banks was pawn loans, which could be of two types: a loan with interest and free loan. The goods accepted in pledge were valuable objects or cloth. Gold, silver and jewellery belonged to the first category; linen, wool and silk cloth to the second. Interest, collected in arrears at the time of redemption (disimpegno), was usually 6 per cent per annum and did not start until after four or six days’ clearance (franchigia). The duration of the operation could not exceed six months for pawns of wool (the most perishable), two and a half years for pawns of linen and silk, and three years for pawns of gold, silver and jewellery. When someone went to the bank to pawn gold, silver or cloth, the goldsmith or appraiser would examine the quality of the item and determine its value. The goldsmith or appraiser would then fill out two forms and give them to the cashier and the customer respectively. On the front was the payment order to the cashier; on the back was the description of the pawn, the estimated value, the weight and other useful information for its identification. At the moment of restitution of the anticipated sum, the client handed over the form to the cashier, who, after having carried out the necessary operations, cancelled it and passed it on to the archivist who kept it with the credit instruments and the extinguished bills. If the pawn was not withdrawn, the bank proceeded to sell it, recouping the capital advanced and the interest accrued. Any excess amount was returned to the customer. When the pawn expired, renewal of the operation was allowed, subject to payment of the accrued interest and a new valuation of the pawn. The sale of expired pawns was carried out by an incantatore, at public auction, with prior notice 82


to the debtors. If the pawn could still be kept without danger of deterioration and if it was worth more than the sum loaned and the interest, it was not sold because it was advantageous to the bank. For the exhibition we have selected a pawn form of some foreign currency to the Banco di San Giacomo dating from 1686 (doc. 91) For many centuries, the population around the Mediterranean was troubled by piracy. Those who were captured were enslaved and taken to places like Tunis, Algiers and Tripoli. The Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Aragonese built coastal defences, but it was difficult to guard them all. Not even the Spanish or Austrian viceroys who ruled for about 250 years were able to prevent pirate raids. It was only with the peace treaty of 1740 between the Kingdom of Naples and the Ottoman Empire that an attempt was made to boost trade and eliminate piracy. In spite of this, however, pirates continued to operate undisturbed in the Western Mediterranean until the early nineteenth century. Since the slaves were mostly poor, they could have never been freed without the contribution of these public banks and other charitable institutions. The banks, therefore, included the ransoming of slaves among their philanthropic activities. We have included a document from 1715 by means of which the Consul of France ransomed a Neapolitan slave who was prisoner in Tunis (doc. 88). The documents kept in the historical archives include receipts from local or foreign artists and printers of renown who worked in the kingdom. Therefore, this documentation is an extremely valuable source for the history of art. These financial documents testify to the goods or services provided in exchange for the payment, as well as the conditions to which this payment could be subject. In one particular case, they also reveal the exact year in which certain works by the Flemish painter Louis Croys, who received a payment for some paintings depicting members of the Austrian nobility, were created (doc. 63). These sources also inform about the costs involved in the printing of an illustrated book on Catalonia in Spanish by a Neapolitan printer (doc. 64). The bill of exchange is a credit instrument introduced in the twelfth century by Genoese moneychangers who used it to transfer funds without having to physically transport the money. There were four agents involved in the operation: the person who wanted to pay a sum to a person in another city (numerante) gave the money to a merchant or banker in his own city, obtaining a bill of exchange in return. The intermediary – the drawer (traente) or issuer (emittente) – contacted the drawee (trattario) in the beneficiary’s city and gave instructions to make the payment in favour of the latter. The endorsement (girata), which made it a negotiable security, appeared in Italy in the fifteenth century, but did not become widespread until the end of the sixteenth century. In the eighteenth century, the bill of exchange was gradually replaced by the cheque (sconto or assegno). Gaspar Roomer, an important art dealer of Belgian origin, received a letter of exchange from Amsterdam via the Banco dello Spirito Santo (doc. 65). So general and widespread was the custom of making payments by banker’s drafts (bancali) that, alongside important commercial negotiations, and solemn affairs of state, one also finds common everyday transactions. In 1668, the governors of the Royal Customs House in Naples received payment for export duties on dyed silks, drapes and other silk products coming from Torre del Greco and meant for export (doc. 26). The names of established trading houses specialising in the sale of various other articles, such as trinkets, drapes, oil, or pasta, can also be found. In another document, the governors of the Monte e Banco dei Poveri pay their official stationery supplier for the purchase of account books, pens, ink and, above all, 100 reams of Genoa paper to be used for printing no fewer than 50,000 bills of credit (fedi di credito) (doc. 39).

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Roger Lee de Jesus University of Coimbra, Centro de História da Sociedade e da Cultura

Notes on Information and Paper in Motion Across the Portuguese Empire

The voyage of Vasco da Gama between 1497–99 marked the beginning of the Portuguese Empire in Asia. After some years of apprenticeship of the Asian commercial routes and the different political realities,1 King Manuel I named D. Francisco de Almeida the first viceroy of the Estado da Índia in 1505. With this nomination, the monarch gave this area of the empire a certain autonomy. His successor, Afonso de Albuquerque (governor between 1509 and 1515), managed to expand the Portuguese presence in the Indian Ocean with the conquest of Goa (1510), Melaka (1511) and Hormuz (1515). Commerce, warfare and diplomacy were central elements of this empire which, at its maximum extension, stretched from the eastern coast of Africa to Japan and from the Persian Gulf to Timor, and was formally known as the Estado da Índia (State of India) from the 1540s onwards.2 The logistical needs to administrate this imperial space were considerable but are scarcely known and studied. To understand this problem, it is necessary to recognise the difficulties caused by the dimension of this presence in Asia and by the relation between distance and time that separated Europe from the other side of the globe. For example, the annual connection between Lisbon and India called the Carreira da Índia (India Run) relied on a voyage of approximately 15 months, three of which were spent in India and the rest at sea. This reality required careful and thorough planning of the administrative, financial and military activities since news of the annual voyage would only arrive more than a year after its departure and was naturally outdated by months. With space as ‘public enemy number one’ (as Fernand Braudel put it),3 the Portuguese kings had to overcome these problems by replicating administrative institutions throughout the empire and naming officials to manage and maintain its always outnumbered presence. This practice was nothing new, as expansion towards North Africa and the colonisation of the Atlantic archipelagos in the fifteenth century led to an increasingly bureaucratic 1   About this idea of apprenticeship see Jean Aubin, ‘L’apprentissage de l’Inde. Cochin 1503-1504,’ in Le Latin et l’Astrobe. Recherches sur le Portugal de la Renaissance, son expansion en Asie et les relations internationales (Lisbon: CCCB/CNCDP, 1996), 1:49–110. 2   For an overview of the history of the Portuguese Empire: Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500–1700: A Political and Economic History (2nd ed., Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) and A. R. Disney, A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). 3   Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (London: Collins, 1972), 1:355; about the translation of the expression into English, see Geoffrey Parker, Emperor. A New Life of Charles V (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), 653, note 25.

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system built to regulate the new commercial flows. An empire built upon these conditions relied primarily on gathering knowledge and information. Not only information about its current standing, but also wider intelligence about the regions in which it operated. The process of discovery (from a European point of view) of the maritime route to Asia was only possible through intelligence gathering regarding the place of arrival. For instance, in 1488, Pêro da Covilhã and Afonso de Paiva were sent to India to gather information about the region. They used the traditional land route, passing from Egypt to the Red Sea. However, they had limited success due to the death of one of them after visiting Ethiopia, and historians still debate if their information actually arrived back in Portugal at all. Despite the information that may have been gathered by this mission, Vasco da Gama knew little about the religious world of the Indian Ocean. Indeed, the fleet returned convinced that they had found Christians in India – hence the curious description regarding their arrival and prayers in a Hindu temple in Calicut, believing that they were in a Christian church, but noting that some saints had too many arms.4 The Portuguese Crown never ceased to collect information. For example, in the first viceroy’s instructions, in 1505, the monarch reminded him that he should ‘send out men on discovery not only in Melaka but also in those regions that are not so well known, and send them with some merchandise by the ships of the land that go to such parts, but only if this can be done in safety, and those whom you send shall be men well versed in business.’5 This interest can also be seen in the works of Tomé Pires and Duarte Barbosa, both royal officials, who wrote extensive descriptions of the Asian realms, populations and way of life in the 1510s. In Europe, this kind of information was highly sought after, leading to the formation of a new image of India and Asia, outside the classical canon, at the same time as the exploration of North and South America was contributing to a new idea of the world.6 The publication of Giovanni Battista Ramusio’s work in 1550, the first volume of Delle Navigationi, brought together more than 20 texts, including many of Portuguese origin.7 It should be noted that the Portuguese gathered intelligence locally, by interviewing and questioning pilots, sailors, merchants and other agents circulating in these regions. The first voyage of Vasco da Gama is, again, full of references to these contacts. Arriving in Malindi (Kenya), the Portuguese got a local pilot, probably from Gujarat (North India), to guide them from the eastern coast of Africa to Calicut. During the journey, he told them that ‘in this bay (the Arabic Sea) there are many cities of Christians and Moors, including one called Cambay, and six hundred known islands, and within it the Red Sea and the house of Mecca.’8 This new data would help them sketch a broad idea of the commercial world of the Indian Ocean. During the return voyage to Portugal, the anonymous 4   About the preparation, voyage and period of Vasco da Gama, the best study is still his biography by Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997). 5   Antonio da Silva Rego, Documentos sobre os Portugueses em Moçambique e na África Central. Documents on the Portuguese in Mozambique and Central Africa (1497–1840) (Lisbon: Centro de Estudos Históricos Ultramarinos/ National Archives of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1962), 1:247. 6   On this interest and curiosity about Asia see Luís Filipe Barreto, ‘Apre(e)nder a Ásia (séculos XVI e XVII),’ in O Orientalismo em Portugal: séculos XVI-XX (Lisbon: Comissão Nacional para as Comemorações dos Descobrimentos Portugueses, 1999), 59–70; Joan-Pau Rubies, Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance South India through European Eyes, 1250–1625 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Ângela Barreto Xavier and Ines G. Županov, Catholic Orientalism. Portuguese Empire, Indian Knowledge (16th-18th Centuries) (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015), 3–44. The classic work of Donald Lach is still very useful: Asia in the Making of Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965–70), vols I (books 1 and 2) and II (books 1 to 3). 7   George B. Parks, ‘The Contents and Sources of Ramusio’s Navigationi,’ in Navigationi et Viaggi (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum ltd, 1970), 3:1–37. 8   Glenn J. Ames, Em nome de Deus: The Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama to India, 1497–1499 (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 69.

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author of the journal got to collect information, probably from the hostages taken from Kerala (South India). He collected a broad vocabulary of Malayalam words, titled This is the Language of Calicut (doc. 45). The list was compiled through personal interaction, translating single words of common use during the voyage, probably by signalling objects and ideas.9 This is why the text has words from standard gestures (such as to drink, to go away, to throw, to fall), body parts (head, nose, hand, etc.) and everyday words (man, woman, sun, moon, sky, boat, house, etc.). Nautical data was also collected during this period to understand trade routes and their geographical conditions. The best example is the cartographical depiction of the Indian Ocean in the so-called Cantino planisphere, dating from 1502, where part of the information was obtained from local pilots.10 This local information was sometimes directly recorded by these agents, without any filter. For instance, during the 1530s and 40s, the Persian merchant Khwâjè Pir Qoli (Coje Percolim, in the Portuguese sources) was an active intermediary in Goa, representing the Portuguese next to local rulers on several occasions.11 Around 1548 he wrote a brief description of Persia (doc. 47) where he indicates routes and distances between cities and gives a short overview of the conflicts between the Persian ruler and his neighbours. The description is part of a collection of 25 texts, collected during the government of D. João de Castro (1545– 48), to assist his rule and military operations.12 In a certain sense, this preparation and commands were similar to what would later be called guerre du cabinet. This type of information was valuable to the Estado da Índia since it was used to better understand the political, cultural and economic situation in the region. Language was obviously a natural barrier to this exchange of information, so the use of interpreters, called línguas, was vital.13 From the arrival of the Portuguese in Asia, their role was essential for an effective European presence since it was the only way to communicate with rulers, merchants or any other community. As a result, dozens of them were on the payroll, as seen on a budget of the Estado for the year 1581. Twenty línguas are identified there, serving captains or other administrative services, the highest paid of whom was the one in the direct service of the viceroy (doc. 46). Written records were overwhelmingly the work of scribes, whom historiography tends to forget. However, their effort was the backbone of any record-keeping institution.14 As Paul M. Dover put it, ‘more and more time was dedicated to what we would call “paperwork,” which moved to the center of European life: in the everyday rhythms of commerce, in the working of the state, in the lives of scholars and virtuoso naturalists, in distance-busting communication 9   The most complete study of this text is by Franz Hümmerich, published in Portuguese in Diário da viagem de Vasco da Gama (Porto: Livraria Civilização, 1945), 2:191–230. 10   Luís de Albuquerque and José Lopes Tavares, ‘Algumas observações sobre o planisfério “Cantino” (1502),’ Agrupamento de Estudos de Cartografia Antiga, Separata 2 (Coimbra: Junta de Investigações do Ultramar, 1967); Joaquim Alves Gaspar, ‘Blunders, Errors and Entanglements: Scrutinizing the Cantino Planisphere with a Cartometric Eye,’ Imago Mundi: The International Journal for the History of Cartography 64:2 (2012): 181–200. 11   Luís Filipe F. R. Thomaz, ‘Hwaje Pir Qoli et sa brève relation de la Perse,’ Eurasian Studies V, 1–2 (2006): 357–69. 12   The collection was published by Adelino de Almeida Calado, ‘Livro que trata das cousas da India e do Japão,’ Boletim da Biblioteca da Universidade de Coimbra XXIV (1960): 1–138. 13   See, for instance, Geneviève Bouchon, ‘Pionniers oubliés. Les interprètes portugais en Asia dans les premières années du XVIe siècle,’ in Inde découverte, Inde retrouvée, 1498-1630. Études d’histoire indo-portugaise (Lisbon/Paris: CCCG/CNCDP, 1999), 303–10; Dejanirah Couto, ‘The Role of Interpreters, or Linguas, in the Portuguese Empire During the 16th Century,’ e-Journal of Portuguese History 1.2 (Winter 2003). 14   See for instance Alexandra Pelúcia, ‘Funcionários Administrativos do Estado da Índia na Época de D. Manuel I - Notas sobre os Escrivães,’ in O Reino, as Ilhas e o Mar Oceano: Estudos de Homenagem a Artur Teodoro de Matos, ed. Avelino de Freitas de Meneses and João Paulo Oliveira e Costa (Lisbon: Centro de História de AlémMar, 2007), 2:657–67; Isabel Cid, ‘O ofício de escrivão no Estado da Índia na 1.ª metade do século XVII,’ in Encontro sobre Portugal e a Índia (Lisbon: Fundação Oriente, 2000), 67–83.

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services, even in the quotidian rhythms of burghers and artisans.’15 The register shown in this catalogue is a single example of a payment made in 1515 to one of these men, Belchior Carvalho, acting as a scribe at the factory of Calicut (doc. 36). He arrived in India in 1512, in the armada captained by Jorge de Melo, and was later appointed the scribe of the new fortress-factory of Calicut, built in 1513.16 Like other officials in Asia, his career extended over various fortresses, and we find him, for instance, as a scribe at the factory of Cochin in 1518.17 In the sixteenthcentury Estado da Índia, it is possible to count the nomination of around 540 scribes during the reign of King João III (1521–57), 134 for King Sebastião (1557–78) and King Henrique (1578–80), and 120 for King Philip II (1580–98),18 which shows the dimension and importance of these men in the administration of the empire. Collecting intelligence and running an empire required one important item: paper. Paper sheets voyaged across the Portuguese empire in every armada. When the Portuguese led by Pedro Álvares Cabral landed in Brazil in 1500, scribe Pero Vaz de Caminha recorded that some natives exchanged bows for sheets of paper since they did not know the material.19 In Portugal, as in Europe, paper gained particular importance in the royal administration from the fifteenth century onwards. However, at the end of that century, King Manuel I ordered a reform of the central records, copying and updating the old charts but still using parchment, due undoubtedly to its preservation qualities. All the same, at the time, ‘paper became a good and steadily selling product in Europe, as paper was increasingly used in more and more individual and public contexts including education, administration, correspondence, arts, transport, and of course within the burgeoning printing industries in Europe.’20 Without a doubt ‘early modern Europe became a culture of paper.’21 The need for paper brought a new logistical problem since Portuguese production was insufficient for the empire’s high consumption rates. Not surprisingly, the old Mediterranean routes provided the solution. Several sources show that Bartolomeo Marchionni, one of the most active Florentine agents in Lisbon in the second half of the fifteenth century, imported paper from Tuscany, selling it to the Portuguese royal institutions. In 1476 he imported 124 bales of paper (620,000 sheets) to Lisbon.22 The register of 1505 (doc. 40) refers to D. Martinho de Castelo Branco, comptroller of the royal treasury, buying from him 50 bales of paper, that is, 250,000 sheets of paper,23 to be used in the Casa da Índia (the royal counting house for all imperial commerce, in Lisbon) and also 15   Paul M. Dover, The Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), 2. 16   Henrique Lopes de Mendonça, Cartas de Afonso de Albuquerque (Lisbon: Academia das Sciências de Lisboa, 1915), 6:245. 17   Geneviève Bouchon, Navires et cargaisons retour de l’Inde en 1518 (Paris: Société d’Histoire de l’Orient, 1977), 5, 21 and 43. 18   Luis Fernando de Carvalho Dias, ’O Ultramar Português nas Chancelarias Régias,’ Anais da Junta das Investigações do Ultramar XI, no. 1 (1956). 19   Charles David Ley, Portuguese Voyages, 1498-1663 (London: Phoenix Press, 1947), 52 20   Daniel Bellingradt, ‘The Paper Trade in Early Modern Europe, an Introduction,’ in The Paper Trade in Early Modern Europe. Practices, Materials, Networks, ed. Daniel Bellingradt and Anna Reynolds (Leiden: Brill, 2021), 2. 21   Dover, The Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe, 40. 22   Francesco Guidi Bruscoli, Bartolomeo Marchionni, ‘homem de grossa fazenda’ (ca. 1450-1530). Un mercante fiorentino a Lisbona e l’impero portoghese (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2014), 84–85. 23   The purchase was worth 100,000 reais, that is, 2,000 reais for each bale, or 200 for each ream, and 0.40 per sheet; the price per ream is close to the registers of 1506 (at 180 reais, data from the project Prices, Wages and Rents in Portugal 1300–1910, data files: Miscellaneous Prices Lisbon, http://pwr-portugal.ics.ul.pt), 1521 and 1534–35 (Paulo Drumond Braga, ‘Fornecimentos de pergaminhos, papel e tinta a diversos serviços da administração (Fevereiro de 1521),’ Revista Portuguesa de História XXIX (1994): 215); however, the lack of studies about the paper price in Portugal prevents any further considerations about these values.

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to be sent to Cantor (in present-day Gambia), Sofala (in Mozambique) and all factories in the Indian Ocean. In 1552, a description of Lisbon noted that this paper trade was also connected to France and Venice and was worth 20,000 cruzados24 each year.25 At the same time, Portuguese and foreign printers were also allowed to import paper to their press, as some scarce records show.26 As mentioned in the above document, paper was distributed to the empire through Lisbon. Four selected documents show this transoceanic flow. In 1513, the auditor of the fortress of Tangier ordered the local purchase of one ream (500 sheets, for 320 reais) to be used in the contos (exchequer) of the city (doc. 41). A similar record is the one of 1535, still in North Africa, in which the auditor of Azamor orders the purchase of one ream of paper and one canada (around 1.5 litres) of good ink (doc. 42).27 Crossing to the other side of the globe, on 30 October in Sofala, the tax officer responsible for provisions, Afonso Ribeiro, signed a receipt confirming that he had received one ream of paper and half a canada of ink, delivered by the fortress’s factor (doc. 40). Furthermore, passing to India, an interesting reference arises from the inventory of the factory of Cochin, when Lourenço Moreno started as a factor in 1511 (doc. 44). Beyond the existence of 9 reams of different-sized paper, the document mentions one and a half reams of local paper (papel da terra) and 21 blank notebooks (livros de papel limpo), 16 from Portugal and 5 made locally (‘que se fizeram na terra’). Did the Portuguese produce this local paper? Or was it brought there as part of the Indian paper trade?28 These are questions that cannot be answered now since no reference has been found to the paper production or trade in the Estado da Índia, at this time. However, this subject should be looked at in order to understand the empire’s administrative efforts. Finally, the symbolic importance of the written word and its supporting material cannot be forgotten. As Pérez Fernandez put it, ‘paper is nothing without the semiotic performance that it serves to materialise or the formal protocols that facilitate the communication of the information recorded on it.’29 The succession patents (vias de sucessão), created in 1524 to secure the succession of governors or viceroys of the Estado, are a clear example of the power and authority of a document that had the king’s signature and royal seal on it. These documents were kept in a vault, guarded by the comptroller-general of the royal treasury, only to be opened in case of the death of the governor or viceroy.30 They were opened in front of noblemen and officials in Goa, in a ceremony that effectively appointed the highest representative of the Portuguese Crown in the whole of Asia. The symbolic significance of these paper sheets was proportional to the authority from which 24   Gold currency that weighs 3.5 grams with around 23 carats (almost pure gold), equivalent to the Venetian ducats. 25   João Brandão (de Buarcos), Grandeza e abastança de Lisboa em 1552 (Lisbon: Livros Horizonte, 1990), 63; see also María del Carmen Hidalgo Brinquis, ‘El uso del papel en los asentamientos civiles y religiosos ibéricos de la Índia: confrontación de dos culturas,’ in Encontro sobre Portugal e a Índia (Lisbon: Fundação Oriente, 2000), 127–36. 26   Venâncio Deslandes, Documentos para a historia da typographia portugueza nos seculos XVI e XVII (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1888), 42–45 and 72–73; also mentioned by Sousa Viterbo, ‘Artes industriaes e industrias portuguezas: o papel,’ O Instituto 50 (1903): 562. 27   Despite the very notable watermark on this document, we were unable to identify its provenance by finding a match in the well-known watermark database (Bernstein, Briquet, Picard and Filigranas Hispánicas). 28   About the paper trade in medieval India see S. A. K. Ghori and A. Rahman, ‘Paper Technology in Medieval India,’ Indian Journal of History of Science 1, no. 2 (1966): 133–49; Sita Ramaseshan, ‘The History of Paper in India up to 1948,’ Indian Journal of History of Science 24, no. 2 (1989): 103–21; Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi, ‘Paper Manufacture in Medieval India,’ Studies in People’s History 1 (2014): 43–48. 29   José María Pérez Fernández, ‘Paper in Motion: Communication, Knowledge and Power. Case Studies for an Interdisciplinary Approach,’ Cromohs 23 (2020): 83. 30   On this system of sucession see Ana Cláudia Joaquim, As vias de sucessão no estado português da Índia (15241581) (MA thesis, New University of Lisbon, 2014).

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they came (the monarch) and their importance in regulating the political structure and military command. Therefore, these patents were the representation of the king’s voice in Asia and a validation of his power. On another level, the Portuguese conducted their day-to-day affairs with local rulers through the written word and paper, be it for trade or political dealings. Their diplomatic activity was always fragile, conditioned by their scarce presence but partially supported by their military power. Nevertheless, diplomatic treaties and alliances were central to maintaining an empire in a region where other authorities jostled for power. The last selected document sends us to a different location to exemplify this issue: seventeenth-century Angola (doc. 85). The subjugation of local populations and their transformation into vassals of the king was recorded in dozens of different types of documentation. This document contains two registers of tributes (baculamentos) paid by local landlords (sobas) to the Portuguese Crown.31 In January 1621, two of these men went to the fortress of Cambambe (North Angola), and made a written oath that they and their descendants would offer several tributes each year (such as cereals, goats and slaves). These sources show us the symbolic dominance of paper and the written word, even in places where its use was not so widespread. Part of the history of the Portuguese Empire can only be analysed and known thanks to an administration that kept a record of all areas of its governance, as shown by this small but representative selection of documents, held in various Portuguese archives, from the Torre do Tombo State Archive in Lisbon to the municipal libraries of Porto and Elvas, and the public library of Évora. Despite the lack of studies about the logistics and organisation of the everyday administration of the Portuguese Empire, it is important to note that paper, alongside information gathering, played a crucial role in it.

31   About this source see: Aida Freudenthal and Selma Pantoja (eds), Livro dos Baculamentos que os Sobas deste Reino de Angola pagam a Sua Majestade: 1630 (Luanda: Ministério da Cultura, Arquivo Nacional de Angola, 2013), 15–23.

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Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón Leiden University & Amsterdam City Archives

The Future of the Past: Unlocking the Mediterranean in the Amsterdam Notarial Archives

On 8 January 1676 we first meet Anthoine de Lespaul in Amsterdam, on his way to the altar with his bride Marguerite.1 Hailing from Roubaix, nestled on the present-day border between Belgium and France, we can only presume that he counts among the many Huguenots that made their way north to the Dutch Republic to escape religious persecution in France. His world would only grow from there as he expanded his family and his business. Over the next two decades, we find him embroiled in court cases against Armenian merchants, testifying on convoys, coins and capital in the Levant (doc. 22), and, finally, identifying a prime – or so it seemed – business opportunity in the late seventeenth-century Ottoman empire: wool manufacturing in Turkey.2 For this purpose, in 1692, he sent youngster Jan Brouwer on his way to Constantinople. As fond as Lespaul was of doing business in this part of the Mediterranean, there was still a sliver of doubt: he slipped Brouwer 1,000 guilders, to insure and protect himself against the surely rampant ‘bandits and barbarians’ that would be roaming there (doc. 25).3 Whereas Dutch-Ottoman trade in the late seventeenth century had passed its peak due to increased English and French competition, evidently Lespaul’s wider business strategy paid off and he and his descendants were among the hundred richest individuals in the early modern Dutch Republic.4 There was money to be made in Amsterdam, in the Mediterranean and, especially, in both of them together. Whereas Amsterdam was geographically outside the Mediterranean, it was connected to it in countless ways through demographic diasporas, flows of capital and goods, and cultural admiration.

1   NL-SAA, 5001, Archief van de Burgerlijke Stand: doop-, trouw- en begraafboeken van Amsterdam (retroacta van de Burgerlijke Stand), inv. no. 502, scan no. 169: marital registration of Antonio de Lespaul and Margrita de la Court, 8 January 1676. 2   NL-SAA, 5075, Archief van de Notarissen der Standplaats Amsterdam, inv. no. 4124, scan no. 10: acquittance, 2 November 1686; inv. no. 4123, scan no. 23: witness testimony, 5 September 1686; M. Bulut, Ottoman-Dutch Economic Relations in the Early Modern Period 1571–1699 (Hilversum: Verloren, 2001), 192–95. 3   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 5844, scan no. 4: contract, 1 August 1692. 4   K. Zandvliet, De 500 Rijksten van de Republiek: Rijkdom, geloof, macht en cultuur (Zutphen: Walburg, 2018), 335.

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Historical background The Low Countries were quite prosperous in the late medieval era, boasting a relatively high degree of urbanisation, cheap capital and innovative agriculture. Nevertheless, the focal point of European trade and banking at the time laid with the city states of Northern Italy, which continued to profit from the long-standing trade relations with the Levant and other parts of the Mediterranean. However, this focal point started moving northwards over the Alps and eventually further towards the Low Countries in roughly the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries due to a multitude of factors; among others, Italy being continuously plagued by war and pestilence, a silver boom in Germany and the increasing forays into the New World via the Atlantic ports. These and other new economic and financial opportunities aided the development of sophisticated institutions and instruments to support them, such as joint-stock enterprises (and dedicated bourses to exchange stock), a central bank (the wisselbank) and more. Whereas Antwerp initially functioned as the commercial centre of the Low Countries, its 1585 fall to the Spaniards during the Dutch Revolt (1568–1648) shifted the centre to Amsterdam. Compared to the economic and demographic development of other towns in the Low Countries, Amsterdam was a latecomer, but its growth would be spectacular. Aided by the capital and expertise of the fleeing Antwerp merchant elite, as well as housing the staple market for Baltic grain, Amsterdam quickly amassed commercial and financial primacy in the Low Countries in the early seventeenth century – a primacy which, according to some, extended to Europe and, perhaps, the world. In the later seventeenth century and into the eighteenth, its fortune stagnated at a relatively high level, ultimately pushing the new centre of financial gravity even further west, to London, at the dawn of the 1800s.5 Introduction to the (notarial) archives of Amsterdam In the seventeenth century, Amsterdam was a spider in a set of interwoven webs – some local, some regional and some global. Its resources were sent to and carted in from all directions; perhaps the most poignant were those generated through the exploitation of its colonial empire, and the empire of other European states. The global and cosmopolitan nature of early modern Amsterdam is mirrored in its archival deposits. Far from ending at the city bounds, the people, subjects, languages and alphabets arrived from all over the world. But not everyone was as willing to look beyond Europe. For some, the Mediterranean was exotic enough. The aforementioned Anthoine de Lespaul found his fortune in this particular web, as did many like him. Armed with contracts, insurance policies, passports, banknotes and bills of exchange, Amsterdam-based businessmen made their way south. It is this paper trail, too, that we can minutely and now effortlessly trace in the Amsterdam City Archives (ACA). The wide variety of archival collections held by the ACA offer insight into early modern international commerce. Examples are family deposits, diplomatic correspondence and the burgomasters’ archive. However, few collections can compete in size and utility with the notarial archives of Amsterdam.6 Ranging from 1578 to 1915, this collective labour of 731 notaries encompasses 3.5 kilometres of shelf space. It is estimated that the protocols contain approximately 5 million

5   J. I. Israel, Nederland als centrum van de wereldhandel 1585–1740 (Franeker: van Wijnen, 1991), 71–78, 90–95; P. Dehing, Geld in Amsterdam. Wisselbank en wisselkoersen, 1650–1725 (Hilversum: Verloren, 2012), 38–42; J. de Vries and A. van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500–1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 131–32; A. M. Carlos and L. Neal, ‘Amsterdam and London as Financial Centers in the Eighteenth Century,’ Financial History Review 18, no. 1 (2011): 21–46; Y. Cassis, Capitals of Capital. A History of International Financial Centres 1780– 2005 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 9–24. 6   NL-SAA, 5075, Archief van de Notarissen der Standplaats Amsterdam.

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deeds on 20 million pages.7 The gargantuan size of the archive is explained by the fact that notaries and notarial deeds were utilised for a much wider range of transactions in the early modern era compared to today. We do not only find ‘standard’ contracts related to monetary loans, prenuptial agreements or real estate, but many other types of deed. For example, it was also common to record any and all types of witness testimonies in front of a notary, usually as a precursor to judicial action. Aside from lively tales of social incidents or sleazy behaviour, testimony on business operations and especially shipping abound: where are French privateers lurking?8 How did a ship’s crew in Smyrna circumvent quarantine?9 Who found himself enslaved and rowing in a galley in Algiers?10 It is because of the broad range of information typically required and recorded by early modern notaries that their deeds grant unique and unprecedented insights into the relationship between Amsterdam, and, in this case, the Mediterranean. With a near-infinite number of viewpoints – from affluent business tycoons, through Greek monks, to mothers of enslaved sons – a multitude of different aspects of this relationship can be elucidated. The relationship illustrated The selected deeds represent several of the best known interactions, circuits or exchanges between Amsterdam and the Mediterranean. Though most of them appear to contain just a very small nugget of isolated information, they can instantly be connected to the larger historical processes at play. For example, notary Hendrick Schaef duly noted that Pieter Barentsz was in possession of ‘four books on Italian accounting’ upon the latter’s death in 164011 (doc. 71) – symptomatic, as it turns out, of the enduring popularity of and regard for the ‘modern’ accounting methods developed in late medieval Italy. Naturally, documentation on trade (of goods, capital or the occasional human) between Amsterdam and the Mediterranean abounds in these archives. A business operation spanning this geographic range required quite a lengthy chain of people and transactions to set it in motion and, ultimately, to successfully execute it. Usually, several notarial deeds were needed at different stages to accomplish this. The labour agreement (doc. 25) contracted between Anthoine de Lespaul and his young apprentice Jan Brouwer, for example, outlined the aims of Brouwer’s mission to Turkey. Brouwer was to become acquainted with the wool-working industry, and, if the auspices appeared right, set up a legitimate Amsterdam-Constantinople firm in which the profits would be split accordingly.12 This is an example of a notarial deed brokered before the actual ‘business trip’ to the Mediterranean. At least as common, however, are deeds drafted after the arrival of the partner and/or the merchandise in Amsterdam. Sometimes, this was just to officially confirm receipt. In 1668, the Amsterdam-based Armenian merchant Wartabiet confirmed (doc. 38) in front of the notary that he had received 200 reams of paper from fellow merchants Lucas van Coppenol and Fredrick Schulerus, and added details regarding the amount he paid for each respective type of paper in the batch. An additional confirmation of receipt, identifying the next buyer in the chain, is found in a small postscript in Armenian script: evidentially, Wartabiet sold the paper to the Armenian priest Voskan, and charged 872 guilders for it.13 7   E. Fleurbaay et al., Programma- en projectplan Alle Amsterdamse Akten (Amsterdam: Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 2015), 4, accessed 2 September 2021, https://www.amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief/organisatie/projecten/alle-amsterdamse/. 8   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 10244, scan no. 1135: ship’s crew testimony, 28 June 1748. 9   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 10158, scan no. 14: ship’s crew testimony, 4 January 1759. 10   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 1624, scan no. 312: witness testimony, 18 November 1639. 11   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 1281, scan no. 10: estate inventory, 11 January 1640. 12   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 5844, scan no. 4: contract, 1 August 1692. 13   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 3606, scan no. 94: witness testimony, 25 February 1668; our gratitude is due to His Excellency Tigran Balayan, Armenian ambassador to the Netherlands, for his translation (accessed 2 September 2021, https://twitter.com/tbalayan/status/1384861933795516420).

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However, not all merchandise was as worth as much money as Wartabiet’s paper. In 1631, the Jewish merchant Jacob Bueno was much less content with the textiles he had received from Constantinople. Calling upon the notary to accompany him to the Amsterdam port to inspect the goods (doc. 24), they found that they had been stored in the ship’s hold right underneath some profusely leaking barrels of wine. The wine had caused the textiles to rot, which could not be remedied even with a thorough wash. Having lost their beauty, as Bueno put it, these Turkish textiles were regrettably, irreversibly and completely unsellable in Amsterdam.14 The appearance of Armenians Wartabiet and Voskan, and Sephardic Jew Bueno describes the extensive multicultural scene that constituted Amsterdam trade in the seventeenth century, and the share of participants hailing from different corners of the Mediterranean. Whereas Armenian dealings in Amsterdam have enjoyed increased exposure in recent historiography,15 and deeds entirely in Armenian script occasionally surface in the notarial archives (doc. 11),16 it is the Jewish population – Ashkenazi, but especially Sephardic – that has traditionally been featured as the prime group of ‘outsiders’ in the Amsterdam commercial and financial circuits. Driven out of (principally) Iberia through persecutions in the centuries and decades before the seventeenth century, many Sephardic Jews chose to settle in Amsterdam, where the religious climate was perceived to be temperate – and to some extent, it was, as they were allowed to build synagogues to worship, and cemeteries to lay their dead to rest. Merchantry and finance were attractive undertakings for the Sephardic population, as they were prohibited by Amsterdam law from running shops or joining guilds, whereas Christian/ Catholic distaste for (high) interests and usury left them a free rein.17 Merchants and financiers of Sephardic origin got involved in business all over the globe, including in their ancestral home of Mediterranean Iberia. This, too, is extensively reported in the notarial records. For example, hundreds of thousands of (protested) bills of exchange survive in the archive, and were used to transfer capital to and from Amsterdam and Iberia by Jews and non-Jews alike.18 In 1632, testimony by ‘Portuguese’ (=Sephardic) merchant Manuel Lopo de Leon (doc. 13) details how drawing a bill of exchange from Amsterdam to Lisbon worked, and at the same time demonstrates the solid Sephardic network that they could count on in these transnational exchanges: on behalf of Pedro Home Coronel and Joan de Leon he expected to receive 550 cruzados from Gaspar Nunez Rodriguez.19 He mentions correspondence between them, and ultimately testifies in Spanish, an indication that this deed was intended to circulate among Spanish-speaking business partners. The wide range of cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds found in Amsterdam’s notarial clients is clear to see. However, whereas with the Sephardic diaspora their connections with the Mediterranean are somewhat self-evident, this is less the case with the Ashkenazi population of Amsterdam, who originated from Germany and Eastern Europe. Yet on occasion the Ashkenazi were also culturally and linguistically represented in Mediterranean-oriented transactions in Amsterdam. Late in the seventeenth century, in 1694, we find notary Joan Hoekeback providing a service that was common for multilingual clientele: the issue of 14   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 941, scan no. 33: witness testimony, 9 January 1631. 15   See, for example, the works of S. D. Aslanian, such as From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011); for a more popular example, see F. Deen, ‘1743 Armeniër trouwt met Amsterdamse,’ Amsterdam municipality website, 10 May 2021, accessed 2 September 2021, https://www.amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief/themasites/amsterdam-migratiestad/1743-armenier-trouwt-amsterdamse/. 16   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 956B, scan no. 96: accord, 1 January 1640. 17   F. Trivellato, The Familiarity of Strangers. The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 48; De Vries and van der Woude, The First Modern Economy, 151, 370; J. I. Israel, The Dutch Republic. Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477– 1806 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 1025. 18   F. Trivellato, The Promise and Peril of Credit. What a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells Us about the Making of European Commercial Society (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019), 1–18. 19   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 941, scan no. 503: witness testimony, 20 April 1632.

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a deed (doc. 14) wherein the authenticity of a document in an exotic language, and more importantly, its translation, is verified. In this case, the language in question is Hebrew, and the document contains the consent of the widow, son and cousin of hakham rabbi Ephraim Abrams Cohen for his Amsterdam-based nephew Isak to examine and take into his custody Cohen’s assets and estate in Barbary. The original Hebrew document was drawn up in Lithuania, and Isak required its translation into Dutch, presumably to facilitate the Amsterdam leg of the organisation of his executory task in Barbary.20 Several regions of Europe are connected in this single deed: evidently, Amsterdam was a hub between the Baltic and the Mediterranean, and Hebrew and Dutch were the languages that connected them. The Barbary coast, in turn, was the central heartland of the so-called Barbary slave trade, with officially Ottoman, though in practice semi-sovereign cities such as Algiers or Tripoli thriving on the labours and trade of enslaved European sailors and other captives, including many from Amsterdam. Though the notarial deeds of Amsterdam contain many intimate insights into this particular type of slavery, they are still awaiting comprehensive analysis. Much more work has been done on the transatlantic slave trade. This institution, a key feature of early modern history, exemplifies the functioning of the Mediterranean as a sub-circuit in a much larger global system. Around the 1670s and 1680s, when Dutch parties were involved in asientos (contracts to supply enslaved labour to the Spanish Americas), we find a range of expansive and complex notarial deeds arranging the execution of these slave-trading expeditions, the first leg of which consisted of contracts between Amsterdam and Iberia, involving firms, monopoly companies, diplomats and civil servants.21 One of these notarised contracts (doc. 87), drafted in 1685, contains the stipulations regarding the enslavement and trafficking of 1,200 Africans to the Americas. Special attention is granted to the infrastructure regarding the procurement of payments in the Spanish and Dutch colonies, Amsterdam and Spain.22 In all, contracts such as these feature Amsterdam-Mediterranean transactions are only one part of a larger, and arguably terrible, system. Unlocking the Mediterranean anew All of the aforementioned larger historical processes and phenomena are not necessarily historiographically obscure; indeed, there is a vast wealth of historical data contained in the notarial archives in question. Using the notarial deeds, these large historical themes are suddenly enriched by millions of little pieces of information, many of which derived from highly original and previously unknown perspectives. However, the fundamental problem in using this archival collection, which prevented its large-scale utilisation until quite recently, is its sheer size. Without highly concrete clues in other sources on where to look in the notarial deeds, for who and when, it was challenging to find the information one was looking for. Earlier generations of Amsterdam archivists, ever aware of the historical wealth on their shelves, attempted to improve accessibility with the means at their disposal. An honourable attempt was made by municipal archivist Simon Hart and his team in the mid-twentieth century, and though they managed to produce an impressive amount of index cards (approx. 2 million), small-scale manual labour was no match for the size of the archive, and years of work covered no more than ca. 8% of the total data. 23 However, two factors have breathed new life into the ambition to unlock the 20   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 5847, scan no. 44: witness testimony, 13 January 1694. 21   A. García Montón, ‘The Cost of the Asiento: Private Merchants, Royal Monopolies, and the Making of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the Spanish Empire,’ in Mechanisms of Global Empire Building, ed. A. Polónia and C. Antunes (Porto: CITCEM, 2017), 11–34; G. Scelle, La traite négrière aux Indes de Castille. Contrats et traités d’assiento (Paris: Ancienne Maison L. Larose & Forcel, 1906). 22   NL-SAA, 5075, inv. no. 4771, scan no. 338: contract, 10 April 1685. 23   Fleurbaay et al., Programma- en projectplan Alle Amsterdamse Akten, 5.

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notarial archives of Amsterdam. Firstly, the rapid and ongoing development of digital archiving tools, such as digital indexing and large-scale, high-definition scanning of documents, has dramatically reduced labour requirements. The successful building, generation and publicising of digital indexes of other collections of the Amsterdam City Archives, such as the marital, baptismal and burial registers,24 has generated the interest and confidence to tackle its largest project yet. Secondly, a generous amount of public and private funding was and still is available for the purpose, in recognition of the expected value that full searchability of the archive will offer for the history of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the world. This sense of importance was further strengthened and recognised when the archive was placed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2017.25 Currently, two projects centred around improving the accessibility of the notarial collection are simultaneously being conducted at the Amsterdam City Archives. The first, Alle Amsterdamse Akten (‘All Amsterdam Acts’; AAA), was initiated in 2016.26 It strives to provide a (digital) index – names, places, dates and occasionally subjects – of the entire notarial archives, though priority is given to the early modern records (until approximately 1811). This is being accomplished via crowdsourcing on the VeleHanden platform: volunteers are allocated scans of a deed and tasked with extracting indexable data. This input is subsequently cross-checked and, if necessary, corrected by experts.27 With five years under its belt, AAA has proven a success in improving the accessibility of the archive. With over 3 million indexed names, extracted out of 600,000 notarial deeds by 1,238 (at the time of writing) members of the ‘crowd,’ approximately 10% of the deeds are currently searchable in a user-friendly, digital environment, with production increasing rapidly on a yearly basis.28 Serendipitous, relevant or otherwise interesting finds are frequently shared on social and traditional media platforms, bringing the newly revealed historical data to popular, professional and academic audiences. Whereas AAA focuses more on ‘traditional’ indexation, which focuses primarily on finding people or places (and is thus welcomed by genealogists, for example), a second project titled Crowd Leert Computer Lezen (‘Crowd Teaches Computer to Read’; CLCL) is helping to develop what has come to be regarded as a game-changing feature in future historical and archival research, namely Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR).29 The aim of HTR is to develop computer-based models which are able to scan, decipher and generate transcripts of (early modern) script. In the 2010s, pilots were conducted at several archives in Europe to experiment with the technology and now it is in the refinement stage.30 As scripts in the early modern era were by no means uniform, it is as 24   The search engine for the collective indices of the Amsterdam City Archives can be found at https:// archief.amsterdam/indexen/persons (accessed 2 September 2021). 25   ‘Notarieel Archief Werelderfgoed,’ Alle Amsterdamse Akten website, 30 October 2017, accessed 2 September 2021, https://alleamsterdamseakten.nl/artikel/1342/notarieel-archief-werelderfgoed/; ‘International Memory of the World Register. Recommended Nominations List 2016-2017,’ UNESCO website, 30 October 2017, accessed 2 September 2021, https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/mow_recommended_nominations_ list_2016-2017.pdf. 26   ‘Alle Amsterdamse Akten,’ Amsterdam municipal website, 28 April 2021, accessed 2 September 2021, https://www.amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief/organisatie/projecten/alle-amsterdamse/; Alle Amsterdamse Akten project website, accessed 2 September 2021, https://alleamsterdamseakten.nl/. 27   Alle Amsterdamse Akten VeleHanden crowdsourcing platform, accessed 2 September 2021, https://velehanden.nl/projecten/bekijk/details/project/amsterdam notarieel_2. 28   Index to the Notarial Archives of Amsterdam, accessed 2 September 2021, https://archief.amsterdam/indexen/persons?f=%7B%22search_s_register_type_title%22:%7B%22v%22:%22Notari%C3%ABle%20 archieven%22%7D%7D. 29   ‘Crowd leert computer lezen,’ Amsterdam municipal website, 25 September 2019, accessed 2 September 2021, https://www.amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief/organisatie/projecten/crowd-leert-computer-lezen/; ‘Crowd leert computer lezen,’ VeleHanden crowdsourcing platform, accessed 2 September 2021, https://velehanden.nl/ projecten/bekijk/details/project/amsterdam_correct_notarieel_transkribus. 30   G. Muehlberger et al., ‘Transforming Scholarship in the Archives Through Handwritten Text Recognition. Transkribus as a Case Study,’ Journal of Documentation 75, no. 5 (2019): 954–76.

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of yet difficult to develop a one-size-fits-all model. Hence, a model needs to be developed for each individual/similar-looking hand. Within CLCL, the computer is fed scans of notarial deeds and produces a transcription of them; any mistakes in the transcriptions are corrected by a member of the crowd, and fed back into the computer, which thus continuously refines its skill in ‘reading’ a certain script and ameliorates the quality of its subsequent transcriptions. The accuracy of ‘trained’ transcriptions in the early 2020s hovers around 95%. The quality and applicability of transcription models is expected to increase in the near future and will have a profound effect on the accessibility of archives and archival research in several ways. Firstly, documents in difficult (often older, pre-humanistic) script will become accessible to read for researchers with fewer palaeographic skills. Secondly, the time and effort required for large-scale, quantitatively oriented archival research will be cut drastically, as entering a keyword in a search engine will render any and all results in a completely transcribed series, without having to manually leaf through any paper at all. Thirdly, it is not only quantitative research that profits – imagine a world in which all archival documents are digitised and transcribed, and ‘googling through history’ suddenly becomes a reality. Though this reality is still some time away, a tentative start has been made in the Amsterdam notarial archives, and the ability to ‘google’ through the transcriptions of half a million deeds (and counting) is very much here.31 Conclusion Perhaps Amsterdam and its archives are not the first place one would think of to look for pieces of Mediterranean history. However, the extensive historical connections between Amsterdam and the Mediterranean, especially in demographics, business and trade, have left their traces, with the notarial archives of Amsterdam leading the charge. Traditionally held back in accessibility and usability through sheer size, thanks to two projects geared towards improving digital access to the archives, a wealth of new historical data on the Amsterdam-Mediterranean relationship is continuously being uncovered. With cutting-edge tools at our disposal, this is only the beginning: the future of the past is here.

31   Search engine for the CLCL-generated transcriptions of the Amsterdam Notarial Archives, accessed 2 September 2021, https://transkribus.eu/r/amsterdam-city-archives/#/.

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Franz Karg Fugger Archive, archivist 1983–2021

Fürstlich und Gräflich Fuggersches Familienund Stiftungsarchiv (The Fugger Family and Foundation Archive)

The Fugger Archive is one of the leading trade archives of the early modern period, with its origins in the sixteenth century. In 1877, it was newly founded in Augsburg and assigned to the Fugger Foundations. In the 1940s it was evacuated in time before Augsburg was bombed in February 1944. In 1956, it found a new home in modern buildings in Dillingen a. d. Donau. The full name of the archive says it all: Family and Foundation Archive. The largest part of the archive is taken up by the documents of the Fugger real estate and manors, followed by the holdings of the various foundations. The archives continue to be supplemented by the families and their modern administrations as well as by the foundations. The trade archive is the best known and at the same time the smallest part. It was completed as the Fuggers ceased trading in the middle of the seventeenth century. It is divided into four independent parts: the ‘Common Trade’ and the Tyrolean, Hungarian and Spanish Trade sections. The Fugger Family Seniorat, which decides on matters concerning the entire family and above all the nine Fugger foundations, has been promoting research into the history of the Fuggers for about 100 years. This research was begun in chronological order and currently stands at 1560, the year of Anton Fugger’s death. It has also been accompanied by several series of publications since 1907, beginning with the ‘Studien zur Fuggergeschichte’ studies on the family history. In recent years, the archive’s central holdings have been scanned for security purposes. Parts are available to researchers offline as digital copies in the archive’s reading room. The focus of these central holdings is on trade and the family, selected estates and especially their extensive series of accounts from the sixteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The intention is to promote research into the history of the estates in particular and to satisfy the increased demand in the field of cultural history. 97


Two research projects are currently underway, funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation): one on the new approach to resilience research, which aims to clarify, on the basis of the accounting records, how the Fuggers’ company was able to be successful over such a long period of time. The second project deals with the Schneidhaus Foundation in Augsburg, an early European surgical institution. The objects selected for the publication all date from the sixteenth century. They are all linked by the figure of Matthäus Schwarz, the Fuggers’ well-known chief accountant. The objects document his activities in trade with Tyrol, Hungary, Italy and Spain: on the one hand, correspondence, calculations and audits, on the other hand, preparation of the accounts through supervision of the factors and employees working in each of the Fuggers’ different European branches or Faktoreien. Finally, the document dating from 1557 incorporates the connection with Philip II, silver from America and the effects of the first state bankruptcy. Although European trade archives before 1550 are for the most part incomplete and fragmentary, bringing some of them together in a volume of this sort, which samples significant documents from each of them, contributes to provide the public with a wider and more comprehensive picture.

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0 Literature and data on the Fugger Archive: Literature: Heinz Friedrich Deininger, ‘Zur Geschichte des fürstlich und gräflich Fuggerschen Familienund Stiftungs-Archives zu Augsburg,’ Archivalische Zeitschrift 37 (1928): 162–83. Minerva-Handbücher, Archive im deutschsprachigen Raum (Berlin-New York2: 1974), 200. Hermann Kellenbenz, ‘Das Fugger-Archiv,’ Archiv und Wirtschaft 12 (1979): 39–42, updated in: Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Dillingen 87 (1985): 110–18. Franz Karg, ‘“Damit nichts davon kome, noch vertragen oder verloren werdt”. Das Handelsarchiv der Fugger,’ in Archiv und Wirtschaft 27 (1994): 69–74.

Overview of the Fugger Archive’s holdings: https://www.gda.bayern.de/archive-in-bayern/show/25748/ (the contact details are no longer up to date)

Series: Studien zur Fugger-Geschichte, since 1952 also series 4 of the Schwäbische Forschungsgemeinschaft, vols 1–46 (1907–2016). Materialien zur Geschichte der Fugger, ed. the Fugger Archive, vol. 1–9 (1999–2017). fugger digital, ed. the Fugger Archive, vols 2–4 (2014–21).

Translated by Sarah Schmid

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Edited by José María Pérez Fernández and Matteo Calcagni

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The Catalogue

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05 (introductory texts by José María Pérez Fernández) 99


Section

01 The Catalogue

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Paper Trails of the Global Mediterranean

This section samples documents in several of the many languages spoken in the Mediterranean and its vicinity. The registration of information and exchanges of all sorts that they materialise are part of a transnational and multicultural network populated with individuals from different walks of life. Like the rest of the documents in the online exhibition and its catalogue, they codify legal, contractual, financial, mercantile and economic information. But most of them do more than that because they do not just bear witness to the circulation of material goods, hard currency and sophisticated financial value. Taken as a whole, they generate the coordinates for a possible documentary cartography of the many worlds they represent, a paper canvas across which individuals, communities, sentiments and ideas navigated the Mediterranean and journeyed well beyond its shores towards other regions of the globe. As they travel, they can tell us many different stories. We start with some of the most representative among them, a series of documents in Hebrew (docs 1–3) which prove that economic and financial documents contain information of great interest for other disciplines too. These three slips of paper are brief but eloquent written traces that evoke the histories of the people behind them. Arnau del Vilar’s two manuscript bills and Abram Desforn’s moving letter are what remains of the memory of the exile and loss of these two Jewish converts from Barcelona, victims of the pogroms that devastated their communities in the Iberian Peninsula towards the end of the fourteenth century and either destroyed them or forced them into exile. Illustrative cases of what we might call the archaeology of paper, these documents had lain ensconced in Prato for more than 600 years and are made public now for the first time. They are primary sources for the partial biographies of these individuals, but they are of course also superlative evidence of the long history of forced displacement suffered by different communities in the long history of the Mediterranean. Other documents illustrate how trade and finance straddled linguistic, religious and ethnic communities, and how some Christian European powers maintained economic and diplomatic relations with the Muslim Mediterranean. They naturally prove that paper always pervaded these exchanges, first and foremost as the medium of choice for the management and registration of all their operations and the information required to perform them. Paper had become a valuable and omnipresent commodity on a global scale. It had travelled all the way from China across the Muslim world and then arrived in the Mediterranean. Highly successful production centres, like those located in Italy, exported it all over the globe (see doc. 43 in section two). For example, our Egyptian documents testify not just to the relations between the Christian northern shores of the Mediterranean, and their Muslim counterparts to the south – including marital relations (docs 4–6), they also

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give us a glimpse into the intense trade of paper between the Italian peninsula and the Muslim world, something which is also confirmed by other documents in the exhibition (see doc. 19). Trade with the Ottoman Empire continued in spite of the frequent conflicts that plagued the relations between this hegemonic East Mediterranean power and its counterparts in the West, as demonstrated by the documents from the Adami-Lami Archive, which – like the Hebrew documents – are made public here for the first time (docs 7, 8 and 10). The different linguistic, religious and cultural communities represented in these images hail from a variety of Christian European as well as Muslim and Hebrew sources. They are joined by other documents that demonstrate both the presence and relevance of Armenian communities in different locations in Europe and the Mediterranean. Indeed, such was their influence that, in their dealings with other communities, they used legal and financial documents written and/ or translated in their own language, at times certified by public, non-Armenian officers (docs 9, 11 and 38). Some other documents in this section are multilingual, which makes them eloquent paper repositories of the multicultural communities that coexisted in the Mediterranean when they were generated (see for example docs 12 and 13). Others demonstrate the global reach of this Mediterranean world in its exchanges with other distant regions, such as the letter in document 27, sent from Lisbon to Madrid to announce the arrival of luxury goods from India and China. Besides merchandise like this, more immaterial goods also circulated on a global scale, as demonstrated by document 20, the fascinating and intriguing Compendio di Geografia e statistica manuscript from the Biblioteca Riccardiana, which compiles many different sorts of information (from economic figures to religious allegiances and military intelligence) about European and Mediterranean countries and regions, alongside other entries with data on places like the Americas, Central Asia, India, the Pacific and China. In general, the rest of the documents in this section constitute a modest but sufficiently representative cross-section of the enormous amount of material goods exchanged across the Mediterranean. They show how this exchange was made possible and registered in documentary genres that involved several different cultures, legal systems and their respective languages, which required not just the basic skills and materials of the scribe, but also the intervention of a host of experts in finance, law or diplomacy. These documents demonstrate the complex infrastructure required for the communicative dimension of globalisation, which other than paper also entailed basic materials like ink and sand, instruments like quills and pens and the scissors and razors required to prepare them. Alongside these were the immaterial but nevertheless essential functional skills of scribes, legal administrators and accountants, all of whom were experts in the codification and management of information in many different formats, as well as interpreters and translators (see docs 14 and 19) whose fundamental expertise in languages facilitated communication among all of these agents.

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Section 01

Hebrew documents

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The first of these two documents is an acknowledgement of debt written in Hebrew for Antonio di Guccio by a person who appears to sign his name as Arnau del Vilar.1 He undertakes to pay 217 Florentine florins in Guccio’s name, in Pisa, to Francesco di Marco Datini or to Manno degli Albizzi 30 days after the arrival of the goods – ‘many books’ – which are in shipment with them. If the payment is not made on time, then Datini and di Guccio can take a percentage of the debt, that is, interest, for one extra month. The document also establishes that in the event the debt has not been paid after these two months, then Datini and di Guccio can sell the books to redeem it. The document was signed in Barcelona on 10 October 1393, and the back shows a manuscript note by one of Datini’s clerks of its receipt in Italy on 21 November 1393 (‘Avemola dì 21 novembre 1393’). The other document (no. 2) confirms that Arnau del Vilar had not just sent his books to Pisa via Antonio di Guccio in Barcelona, but that shortly afterwards he had himself left for Italy too. Once in Pisa, Arnau del Vilar did manage to pay his debt and was therefore able to recover his many books. In contrast to the document he had signed in Barcelona a few weeks before, in which he used Christian dates, once in Pisa Arnau felt free to use Jewish dates on a legal document: ‘I acknowledge receipt from Albizzi, merchant in Pisa, of all the books that belong to me, which were sent to him by Antonio di Guccio ... In Pisa, in the month of January, the last day, in the year 5154 of our computation’ (i.e., 31 January 1394).2 The historical circumstances that form the background to this document and its author suggest that Arnau del Vilar must have been one of the Jews who were forced to convert after the series of pogroms that had recently been unleashed upon his community. They had started in Seville in 1391, and soon spread to the rest of the Iberian peninsula. They were particularly violent in Barcelona, whose Jewish community would never recover its former splendour after the terrible blow it suffered. To cut what must have been a very long and distressing story short, we can conclude that Arnau used the financial and commercial networks of Francesco di Marco Datini to send his books – and himself as well, soon after his books – away from his native Barcelona towards a relatively safe exile in Pisa. These two financial-mercantile documents travelling across the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Pisa do not just bear witness to Arnau’s business deal with the Datini-Albizzi company: they also throw a very revealing light on his personal situation and 1   We follow here the transcription proposed by José Ramón Ayaso Martínez, instead of the one – Arnob Delvilar – proposed by Fausto Lasinio in his transcription of the document for the Datini Archive, registered in its records in 1880. We are grateful to Chiara Marcheschi, chief archivist at the Prato State Archives, for her tireless support and all the information she provided on these and other documents, including the translations and transcriptions produced by Fausto Lasinio. José Ramón Ayaso Martínez has generously provided fresh transcriptions and translations of all the Hebrew documents, as well as relevant information about their historical background. 2   This English translation is based on the Italian version of the original Hebrew document produced by Fausto Lasinio in 1880, which Chiara Marcheschi generously shared with us: ‘Io sottoscritto confesso di aver ricevuto da Albizio mercante di Pisa tutti i libri di mia proprietà inviati a lui da Antonio di Guccio. E perché sia in mano di lui a prova di giustificazione, ho segnato il mio nome. Qui in Pisa nel mese di Gennaio, l’ultimo giorno, nell’anno (5.)154 del nostro computo. Arnob Delvilar.’ This transcription and translation has been updated by José Ramón Ayaso Martínez.

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that of his library, symptomatic of the lot suffered by those who, like him, had managed to survive repression and possibly death too, and could find the means to flee into exile. The different system of dating used in these two bills, Christian in Barcelona, Jewish in Pisa, denote the relief that this member of a persecuted minority must have felt when he found himself safe and free again after moving to Italy. The fact that he had decided to send his many books abroad before his own departure also reveals how valuable they must have been to him. Two narrow strips of paper, humble and almost weightless, scribbled with a few words in Hebrew, provide us with a glimpse into the world and the life of an individual as they encapsulate what might have also been a personal tragedy of loss and displacement. They prove that papers of this sort do much more than document figures and data for the use of economic historians, and that they register information with a great potential for other disciplines too.

01 Acknowledgement of debt in Hebrew. Prato State Archives (ASPo): Datini, cod. 1496, busta 1174. 02 Receipt for books in Hebrew. ASPo: Datini, cod. 1497, busta 1174.

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03 Letter in Hebrew. ASPo: Datini, cod. 1501, busta 1174.

Like the two previous documents, this letter tells a story of deprivation and exile, confirmed by the fact that Abram and his nephew Johan are mentioned in a document dating from 1392 as part of a list of Jewish converts who demanded the restitution of the goods that had been taken from them during the assault on the Jewish district in Barcelona in the summer of 1391. It would appear, therefore, that Abram and Johan recovered some of their property in Barcelona sometime around 1392 or maybe later, and that they succeeded in having it sent to Italy, which is why the former was now pleading with the merchant of Prato to get it back. This unfortunately undated letter proves that Abram’s situation was rather more desperate than that of Arnau, who was at least able to manage to recover his many books and find refuge in Italy, as proven by document no. 2. Maybe Abram did eventually succeed in recovering his property through the mediation of the Datini company and its logistics networks. The letter suggests that at any rate his nephew Johan was already in Italy, and able to receive part of the property. We do not know the end of their story – at least not yet, for the research on these individuals and these documents is ongoing – but whatever happened, before Abram could feel safe again, in exile and in possession of his recovered property, he had to suffer an emotionally charged period of great distress and loss.

3   José Ramón Ayaso’s transcription and translation of line 37 in the document reads ‘... your servant Raymond Ballester Desforn. My name years ago, when I was part of the people of Israel, was Abram Desforn’. 4   The addressee is in all probability ‘Francesco di Prato’ (‘Francesco di P...’ in Fausto Lasinio’s tentative transcription), i.e., Francesco di Marco Datini.

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This Hebrew document is signed by another Hispanic Jewish convert, whose original name appears to have been Abram Desforn, Raymond Ballester Desforn after his conversion.3 In this highly emotional letter, Abram describes himself as ‘dispoiled and nude’ and addresses a powerful personage whose assistance he earnestly begs for the restitution of his property.4 These possessions (which include a coffer and a caratello, i.e., a wooden cask or container) had been deposited by Abram’s nephew, Johan Roure (olim Samuel Desforn), with a certain ‘honourable’ Niccolò del Monaca in Pisa, some four years earlier. He requests the restitution of this property through another person, whose name is Johan Shefardi. The second part of the letter suggests that some other property had been deposited with the addressee a few years before, and Abram expresses his gratitude to him for not having sold it without his prior consent. He provides a short inventory of the goods which he is trying to recover through the administrators of his addressee with a view to having them delivered to another contact who goes by the name of Francesco di Padova. These goods include, inter alia, coral, saffron, a copy of the Sefer Ha’ibbur (a treatise on the calendar by Abraham Ibn Ezra), a Hebrew book of law (Sefer Dinin) bound in wooden boards covered in red leather, a megillah (i.e., a scroll) with a wooden yad (a pointer, used by the reader to follow the text during the reading of the Torah), as well as other books and writing instruments. The back of the document bears the names of two Italian merchants, partners of Datini in his company in Pisa (Matteo di Miniato and Guccio di Guccio) who frequently acted as Datini’s contacts with his business branch in Barcelona. This Guccio di Guccio must have been either the same individual, or a member of the same family involved in the shipping of Arnau’s books (see docs 1 and 2).

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04 Emir Husayn Mutafariqqa. Egyptian National Archives, Cairo: Court of Bab al-Ali, register 110, case 26, dated 1038/1628, p. 7.

Nelly Hanna

Emir Husayn Mutafariqqa filed a complaint against the consul for French and Dutch merchants, Gabriel Fotus, in his capacity as guarantor for a Flemish merchant called Kurum, son of Caspar, who was absent from Cairo. The emir had had various transactions with Caspar, who now owed him some money; and he demanded that the guarantor repay the sum. The consul was questioned about this matter but he denied the accusation. The court then asked the petitioner for evidence of his accusation. A number of witnesses then made declarations to the court to the effect that the consul was the guarantor of Kurum, at which point the qadi resolved that the consul Gabriel was the guarantor of Kurum.

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This case contains a complaint by the head of the paper market, Shaykh Muhammad, son of Shaykh Ibrahim, that two Jewish individuals, Abram Yahuda and Rahmin, son of Yusuf, had bought 1,700 packs of Venetian paper from the Venetian consul. He asked these two Jewish traders to hand him the paper so that he could distribute it among the paper market sellers, as was the custom. His request was rejected. The qadi ruled that if the seller, the Venetian consul, had undertaken the sale of his own will it was not possible to take the paper from the buyers for distribution to the paper merchants.

05 Shaykh Muhammad. Egyptian National Archives, Cairo: Court of Bab Ali, register 96, case 2263, dated 1023/1614, p. 348.

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06 The Venetian Consul. Egyptian National Archives, Cairo: Court of al-Zahid, register 667 muqarrar, case 1101, dated 1011/1602, p. 338.

Nelly Hanna

The Venetian consul, muallim Alessandro, son of Juan, came to court in his capacity as officially representing muallim Leonardo from Venice. In this capacity, he divorced Leonardo from his adult, virgin wife, daughter of Jacobite Christian Rizqallah, prior to the consummation of the marriage.

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Payment promise, within four months of signing the agreement, for 67.5 Spanish dollars, signed by Soliman Dombelli and Andrea Perolari. This sort of document registers a commitment by the borrower for the payment of a specific amount of money after a pre-established period, which is usually registered too as part of the contractual arrangements.

07 Payment promise by Soliman Dombelli, May 1706. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 87, archival unit 284.

See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 112

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See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 115

08 Teschiera for the payment of 684 Spanish dollars, 18 June 1706. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 33, section 2, folder ‘Dom’, archival unit 272.

Matteo Calcagni

Teschiera signed by Michele Ibn Sechide and Giabur Ibn Michele towards the firm Adami & Niccodemi of Aleppo for 634.40 Spanish dollars to be paid in seven months. It is established that the payment must begin after the first four months, starting from the sixth of the moon of Rabieh el Ovel, i.e., 17 June 1706. A teschiera (or teskerra) is an Ottoman deed or obligation refundable with customs duties.

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Giorgio Serkis, or Serchio, was an Armenian merchant based in Livorno who traded with Domenico Adami and Pietro Niccodemi during their stay in Aleppo in the first decade of the eighteenth century.

09 Cover letter of a receipt for six sequins paid by order and account of the Armenian merchant Giorgio Serkis to Elias, 26 September 1708. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 25, archival unit 284.

09 See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 116

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10 Teschiera of six bales containing 600 goat skins. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 32, section 2, folder ‘Dom’, archival unit 272.

Matteo Calcagni

Among the various uses of the word teschiera there was also that of ‘pass’ or ‘edict’. The term may come from the Italian tessera for ‘pass’ or ‘ticket’, but there is also the Arabic word taðkira ~ taðkara ~ tazkira ~ tazakara (all variants of the same item), which also means ‘permit’ or ‘ticket’.

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10 See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 118


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11 Notarial deed in Armenian script, dated 1640, drafted by notary Benedict Baddel. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 956B, fol. no. 270/scan no. 96.

Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

This deed is indicative of the established presence of Armenian merchants in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, and presumably of the wide-reaching business that they conducted from the city. In addition, it signifies that it was possible to obtain notarial deeds written entirely in the Armenian script and language in Amsterdam, either by specialised clerks who had mastered the language, or by the notary’s Armenian clients themselves, vouched for by a translator, and ratified by the notary. The actual contents of this deed are unknown. The material history of this document is traceable to a particular event in the history of the notarial protocol archives: together with many others, it sustained fire damage during the 1762 fire in the city hall, where these archives were housed at the time.

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Other multingual and/or translated documents

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This type of record, registered on paper and bound in parchment in the characteristic royal cowhide format, was used to annotate data on the goods that passed through the company, providing valuable information about the circulation and the costs of this merchandise. They frequently contain data on miscellaneous topics, and give information – as in this case – on receipts of company cash paid to, or returned by third parties. A closer examination of this section of our notebook reveals how the different receipts are separated from each other by a line; each is written in the hand and the language of the respective beneficiary, from the volgare of the Italian merchants, and the languages of the Majorcan and Catalan merchants, to entries in Hebrew by those of Jewish origin. The document thus gives us a multilingual snapshot of the lively and extraordinary complexity of relations between people of different cultures. The employees of the Datini company in Majorca knew the language of the area in which they operated and, when faced with the difficulties raised by the receipts of Jewish merchants, they inserted a sort of translation for greater clarity, e.g., ‘Questo dicie che Maghalufo à ’uto contanti l.20, dì 29 di novembre (1397)’ (c. 182v, no. 2), i.e., ‘This means that Maghalufo has received 20 liras in cash on 29 November 1397’.

12 Francesco di Marco Datini and company’s balle notebook (i.e., a register of quittances in several languages), Majorca between the years 1396 and 1397. ASPo: Datini, Registro 1028.

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See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 125

13 Testimony by Portuguese Jews in Spanish about a bill of exchange from Lisbon, followed by a Dutch translation. Date: 20 April 1632. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 941, fol. no. 34/696/ scan no. 503.

Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed, dated 20 April 1632, drafted by notary Daniel Bredan. Sephardic merchant Manuel Lopo de Leon declares, at the request of fellow Sephardi Lopo de Fonseca Dias, his involvement in drawing a 500 cruzados bill of exchange in Lisbon, endorsed by Joan de Leon and to be paid by Gaspar Nunez Rodriguez. It is declared that all parties have received what is due to them, and this deed presumably serves as evidence for this. The main deed is in Spanish, with a Dutch translation following it, signifying that the contents of the deed were deemed to be relevant for both the Spanish- and Dutch-speaking business partners.

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In the second part, translators Ysrael Salick Salomons and Moses Baruch testify, at the request of Isack, that they were present at the drafting of the original deed in Lithuania, that they earnestly produced its Dutch translation from Hebrew (the first part) and that they delivered it to Isack in Amsterdam. Deeds such as this were used to verify the authenticity of a translation. The translation of this deed was probably used by Isack for practical reasons during his duties in Barbary, for example in case he needed to contact Dutch-speaking aides.

14 Translation of a Hebrew act concerning the inheritance of Ephraim Cohen in the Barbary states; witnesses declare that they translated this act into Dutch at the request of Rabbi Isack Cohen; signature in Hebrew, 13 January 1694. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 5847, fol. no. 42/scan no. 44.

See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 127

Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

Attestatie (generic witness testimony) notarial deed (verso), dated 13 January 1694, drafted by notary Joan Hoekeback. It consists of two parts. Firstly, the Dutch translation of a deed or declaration originally drafted in Hebrew in Lithuania, wherein the widow, son and cousin of the recently deceased Rabbi Ephraim Cohen all give their consent for Cohen’s nephew, Rabbi Isack Cohen in Amsterdam, to take charge of Ephraim’s estate in Barbary and act as its custodian.

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15 Ship and caravan cargo from Syria to Genoa. ASPo: Datini, cod. 9301456, busta 1171, recto.

Chiara Marcheschi

This document was sent by Francesco di Marco Datini and Andrea di Bonanno di ser Berizo and company to Francesco di Marco Datini and Manno d’Albizo Agli and company from Genoa to Pisa, on 14 February 1396. Bills of lading are documents specifically created to give information on the cargoes of goods transported by ship. The company or correspondent present in the port city records the ship’s arrival, indicating the place and date of its departure, intermediate ports of call, the cargo carried. These are broken down into the different types of goods, with their amounts, qualities, weight, value and any other relevant information. The recto and part of the verso of the document presented here shows the goods, mainly spices and dyes, transported by two Genoese galleys from Syria, arriving in Genoa on 14 February 1396. On the verso it also details the cargo of two separate caravans, one from Libya and the other from Mecca, which arrived in Damascus on 27 November and 6 December 1395 respectively, with their valuable cargo of spices, incense and indigo.

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16 Cargo from Alexandria (Egypt). ASPo: Datini, busta 1171, cod. 93015327.

Chiara Marcheschi

The document provides information, in an incomplete and unorganised form, on the arrival in Venice of a ship with spices. The vessel had left Alexandria on 3 April of an indeterminate year. It includes a description of the rich cargo of a caravan expected in Alexandria in May, consisting of pepper, cinnamon, indigo, lacquer, carnations and other spices, all of which amounted to a cargo of about 8,000 pounds. This is followed by an undated valuation of merchandise in Venice which includes pepper, wax, lacquer, cinnamon, raw and spun cotton, carnations, nutmeg, mace, and Tuscan and Lombard saffron, among several other products. The document concludes with information on the departure from Alexandria, in July or August of the same unspecified year, of two ships bound for Flanders.

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+ MCCCLXXXXVIII In the name of God, amen. This book is by Francesco of Prato and his partners in Barcelona, beginning on the first day of February, the year of the new account, may God protect us. We will write down the amounts of foreign currency we will remit and draw and that we will be reimbursed from all sides, and we will begin c. II, and we will begin with the tables and others, c. LX.

17 Register of foreign exchange operations and transfers of Francesco di Marco Datini and his partners in Barcelona, 1399–1400. ASPo: Datini, 841.

As explained in its opening page, this ‘quaderno di cambi e dette’ (notebook of exchanges and debits), divided into two distinct sections, is a chronologically arranged record of exchange operations and ‘dette di banco’ (bank debits), the giro bank account operations of Datini and his partners on the Barcelona market.

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On 1 July 1534, Matthäus Schwarz brings four cases to the attention of Veit Hörl, the company’s representative in Spain. Most of these cases had been running since 1530 and required clarification. The first one is about a transaction of the Fugger and Welser concerning the Cruzada trade, for which the postmaster Taxis in Italy (Venice, Bologna) has sent two shipments of letters. Afterwards Schwarz addresses a debt of Cristobal de Haro from Valladolid. De Haro had been paid 60 ducats via Rome in 1523 (!) and despite the reminders he wants to avoid the payment. So, Schwarz gives instructions to remind him. In the third case, Schwarz discusses a shipment of 54 small sachets of glaze from Spain to Antwerp (1532) and lists the price at which they were sold there. The revenues were to be credited to the legacy of a deceased Fugger servant, Lukas Temperani, for which Schwarz can find no entry. Schwarz closes this letter with a payment for Jörg Müller in Lyon, which is accounted via Spain, as well as another payment of 50 florins which got paid to the latter in Augsburg. Another letter was sent to Müller on this matter.

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18 Chief accountant Matthäus Schwarz writes to Veit Hörl in Spain. Handwritten entry in the ‘common trade’ copy book (1524–34). Augsburg, 1 July 1534. Blak pen. 37.8 x 53.5 cm. Fugger Archive, FA 2.1.27, fols 32v–33r.

Franz Karg

This double page is part of letter book no. 6, the oldest surviving copy book running from 1524 to 1534, and it displays the typical format of commercial letters. Books of this sort were used by merchants to register copies of the commercial correspondence that had been exchanged with customers and partners. The document also illustrates one of the functions of the chief accountant, i.e., to correspond and communicate with all the different agents in the extensive networks of Fugger factors, to send and receive information on all operations involved in the business, such as payment transactions, outstanding debts and their demand, and in general any other relevant facts and figures, with a view to their registration in the different account books.

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The heading of Riccardiana Ms 2523 proclaims its nature as a record of prices and tariffs for merchants and goods trading with Damascus and the rest of Syria. Dated 25 November 1534, the tariffa was put together under the supervision of patricians who belonged to some of the most prominent Venetian families. One of them is Piero da Molin, who is mentioned in his capacity as consul, i.e., a diplomatic agent in charge of mercantile affairs who had negotiated some of these tariffs with the Muslim authorities in the Levant. The other Venetian grandee whose name appears as one of those responsible for the compilation of these tables is Marco Antonio Grimani. This tariffa was, in short, negotiated, drafted and enforced by the Venetian establishment for its deals with the Levant in the early years of the sixteenth century. As such, it is proof of the sophisticated administrative structures that Venice had developed to regulate and run the exchange of goods, the movement of people and the circulation of value – financial and otherwise. This control required an equally complex and sophisticated system for the recording of information and its systematic processing so that the same standards could be applied over different products, locations and practices. They also required negotiation with foreign authorities and merchants with a view to the establishment of treatises and standard methods for cross-cultural and cross-linguistic trade.

19 Tariffe Mercantili del Levante. Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence: 2523, paper manuscript, sixteenth century, cc. I, 71, II, bound in parchment.

Our tariffa constitutes a case study for this kind of documentary genre, which was used as an instrument for the regulation of trade and as a tool for the calculation of the costs involved in its practice. It also amounts to a catalogue of the material products that were traded between Venice and the Levant during the early decades of the sixteenth century. And by registering and quantifying expenses incurred for translations and translators, it also incorporates the cost involved in the practice of the crosscultural and cross-linguistic exchange of information – a sine qua non for international trade. In other words, it incorporates data regarding the material foundations of trade (goods, their prices, their weights and measures) alongside its inescapable immaterial dimension, by quantifying and listing expenses for translation (turcimanarie) and translators. Turcimanni (i.e., translators, or interpreters, from the Old Arabic targumān) were the cultural and linguistic mediators whose intervention was fundamental for the establishment of trade and diplomatic relations – two practices that complemented each other, as demonstrated by the inclusion of the consul Piero da Molino as one of the supervisors of the tariffa and the negotiators of its terms. Turcimanni established linguistic and cultural equivalence, as much as some of the tables included in the manuscript facilitated the equivalence of different exchange rates, or different weights and measures. Significantly, our tariffa also lists and quantifies important aspects of the paper trade, the material medium employed for the registration and communication of information (fol. 10r).

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This anonymous, intriguing document, which the Biblioteca Riccardiana dates to the seventeenth century, can be described as an encyclopaedic database with a global scope. Although its main focus remains on Europe and the Mediterranean, it also has a considerable amount of entries concerning other regions around the world. Probably designed to be used by merchants and/or diplomats, or in the chancellery responsible for foreign relations, the entries contain information on aspects such as the political system of the country in question, its natural resources, religion, the size and nature of its economy, and its military forces. In spite of its modernity as a statistical database of sorts, it still appears tied to more traditional travel accounts and descriptions of the world: it features an entry on ‘Preto Janni’ (i.e., the kingdom ruled by the mythical Prester John), alongside existing regions, countries and cities like America, Tartary and Moscow, among many others. The images we have chosen to display are taken from the section that describes China, which includes information on the size of the country, the number of its cities and fortresses, as well as the size of its economy measured in terms of the tax income levied by its rulers.

20 ‘Re della China’. Compendio di geografia e statistica. Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence: 2386, fols 59r–59v, manuscript on paper, seventeenth century, cc. I, 79, II, bound in parchment.

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21 Book of accounts and exchange charges marked ‘A’, del Vernaccia & Arrighi trading firm (1637–39). Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Caccini del Vernaccia Archive, section A, no. 183..

Matteo Calcagni

This is the first register compiled by Ugolino Del Vernaccia when he began his activity as a merchant, at the age of 25, together with Alamanno Arrighi (Florence, 1620–1700), who also became a Florentine senator. The register is an elongated volume, originally bound in cowhide, in which Senator Del Vernaccia noted down both his accounting records and loans, as well as memories of a commercial nature, partially following the model of mercantile records already proposed by Luca Pacioli.

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Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed (recto), dated 5 September 1686, drafted by notary Dirk van der Groe. Merchants Gio Eijgels and Abraham van der Sande testify at the request of fellow merchant Antonio de Lespaul on several matters, such as the current exchange rates between Dutch and Smirnese coins, the standard insurance/bottomry procedures when transporting yarn from Turkey to Amsterdam, and the composition of a specific 1675 convoy from Smyrna under famous Dutch Rear Admiral Engel de Ruyter. The witnesses claim to be experts on these matters, because they have lived and traded in Smyrna for many years. Testimonies such as these could perhaps have served as ‘verified’ information for merchants interested in venturing into trade with Turkey.

22 Merchants’ declaration of the current exchange rates between Dutch and Smirnese coins, and the standard insurance procedures when transporting yarn from Turkey to Amsterdam, 5 September 1686. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 4123, fol. no. 30/scan no. 23

See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 140


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Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

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Bottomry, or bottomage, is a contract by which a person (the lender or ‘cambista’) gives a sum of money to the owner of the vessel or the loaded goods, or even to the captain, who undertakes to return it together with the legal interest and with a certain premium (maritime profit) if the goods (vessel, accessories, cargo or freight), bound as security for the said sum, arrive successfully at the place of destination, after the voyage for which the loan is agreed.

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23 Journal of the deputation of the ship La Santissima Concezione captained by Sebastien Gay of Marseilles, held by Raffaello Del Vernaccia, deputy along with the merchants Visino and Cordonero. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive, section A, no. 312.

Matteo Calcagni

This register was compiled by merchant Raffaello Del Vernaccia, nephew of Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Raffaello Del Vernaccia was appointed member of the commission that was supposed to record the bottomry loans invested on the voyage that the ship Santissima Concezione, captained by Marseillais Sebastien Gay, was to make from Livorno to Alexandria in Egypt in 1702. The other members of the deputation were prominent Jewish merchants from the Vesino & Cordovero firm based in Livorno. Angelo Vesinho (Vesino or Visino), with his father David, was active in trade with North Africa and in important money transfers from England and in 1703 he was involved in the bankruptcy of his own company. The document mentions some of the major Jewish economic operators of Portuguese and Spanish origin present in Livorno between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, such as Salvadore and Lazzaro Recanati, Salamon Nunez de Paz, Gabriel de Medina or the London-based silversmith Abraham Lopes de Oliveira (1657–1730). The list also included Moises Aghib, whose family was of North African origin and had come to Livorno in the seventeenth century, specialising as ship owners and in the coral and precious wood trade between Livorno, Cairo, Marseilles and Aleppo.

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Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed, dated 9 January 1631, drafted by notary Daniel Bredan. Merchant Jacob Bueno, Sephardic Jew, declares that he has received rotten textiles from Turkey, transported to Amsterdam from Constantinople in Greece with the ship De Postpeerdt, captained by Claes Willemssen Hooft. The rot occurred because barrels of wine leaked onto the textiles during transit, making the merchandise unsellable. Testimonies such as this could serve as pieces of evidence in compensation or insurance claims.

24 Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed, drafted by notary Daniel Bredan. Merchant Jacob Bueno, a Sephardic Jew, declares the receipt of rotten textiles from Turkey, 9 January 1631. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 941, fol. no. 17/scan no. 33.

See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 144

Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

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Notarial contract, dated 1 August 1692, drafted by notary Joan Hoekeback. In it, merchant Antonio de Lespaul and the young Jan Brouwer outline their ambitions to enter the wool-working trade in Turkey. Brouwer is to be sent to Turkey for two years to learn the trade, which de Lespaul will fund and oversee. If the business succeeds and proves profitable, the contract will be extended for six years, with an ensuing extension of Brouwer’s responsibilities and share in the profits (and potential losses too).

See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text.

25 146


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25 Contract between merchant Antonio de Lespaul and Jan Brouwer wherein Brouwer is to be sent to Turkey for some years to learn the wool-working craft. Date: 1 August 1692. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 5844, scan no. 4.

147


Payment by Bernardo Armengol in favour of Ottavio de Gaeta and Doctor Giovanni Battista de Bonis, governors of the Royal Customs of Naples, for royalties on the export, from Torre del Greco to foreign countries, of dyed silks, drapes and other silk products from the merchants of Cava dei Tirreni, at the rate of 15 grains per ounce.

26 Transaction for the purchase of silk for export abroad. Fondazione Banco di Napoli: Banco di S. Giacomo, giornale copiapolizze matr. 328, consignment of 216.35 ducats of 6 September 1668.

26 148

Claudia Grossi and Gloria Guida

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27 Letter from Hernando de Morales in Lisbon, to Simón Ruiz in Medina del Campo, reporting the arrival of goods from the Far East. Date: 19 March 1591. Manuscript on paper, 30 x 21 cm. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, C 152, 77.

Antonio Sánchez del Barrio

This letter announces the arrival of luxury goods from the Orient, in this case a richly carved wooden table from India and a cloth quilt from China. It describes in detail how they are consigned and packed, wrapped in waxed cloth to protect them from rain and humidity. Oriental goods (ivory, porcelain, jades, among others) did only not arrive in Spain by the Manila Galleon route (which ran eastwards across the Pacific towards Central America, and then on to Europe across the Atlantic), but also travelled – as this letter attests – along the Portuguese route known as the ‘Carreira da India’, which went from Goa to Lisbon across the Indian Ocean and then northwards along the West African coast towards Europe. This Portuguese route used to import goods like these to Spain with particular frequency between 1580 and 1640, the years when the Spanish and Portuguese crowns were united.

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27 149


By means of this royal warrant, Juana de Austria (who held the regency of the kingdom during the absence of Philip II, at the time in England) authorised Simón Ruiz to trade with France despite having been found guilty of currency trading by the Royal Council. These operations had been strictly banned across the board in the country, with just a few exceptions which required explicit authorisation from the Council of Castile. As a result, the circulation of domestic currency in deals with foreign merchants was held under close surveillance. Simón Ruiz managed to avoid the fine of 1,000 ducats ‘for the poor’, and the ban on conducting trade, for both himself and his factors in France, thanks to the mediation of someone very close to the court. Thanks to this warrant, he could consequently conduct a series of successful commercial operations involving the sale of French imported cloth in Seville in partnership with the Maluenda, a family of merchants from Burgos. These highly profitable operations evince Simón Ruiz’s leverage in his negotiations with the country’s top political authorities.

28 Royal Warrant from the infanta and regent, Juana de Austria, authorising Simón Ruiz to trade with France. Date: Madrid, 9 April 1559. Manuscript on paper, 33 x 27 cm. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, C 203, 43.

150

Álvaro Rodríguez Sarmentero

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151


The Magna Curia Castellania was the main secular tribunal in Malta during the period of the Knights of St John (1530–1798). Its members were the castellano, a knight of the Order and two judges; one judge had civil jurisdiction and the other dealt with criminal cases. It also included an exchequer, a viceexchequer, two notaries and several clerks. In the event of an appeal, the case was referred to the appellate court, a different tribunal in the same Castellania, which was presided over by one judge.

29 Inventarium mercium raubarum recuperatarum a navi naufragato in hoc portu, patronigiata a Joanne Fure. Malta National Archives: Magnia Curia Castellania, Vol. 73 (1609), 31 x 22 cm, paper, fols 421–427, fol. 421r.

The image shows the first page in a case titled ‘Pro Padrono Joanne Jarex contra Gulielmum Guaz nomine’. Giovanni Jarex was the captain of the ship Leon Negro which was sunk due to bad weather in the great harbour in the vicinity of the city walls of Birgu (Città Vittoriosa) on 27 October 1609. On the day of its sinking, the ship was laden with several kinds of unspecified merchandise bought on behalf of merchants from Venice and Bari. In his deposition, Jarex claims that the Magna Curia had already investigated the matter and that several witness statements had been taken at the end of October. Jarex further alleges that the ship succumbed to the bad weather because it was overloaded by the merchants whom he is prosecuting for damage. Since the merchants are, however, absent from the island, Jarex demands that they be represented in court by their representative and appointed curator for the merchandise, the Flemish consul in Malta, Gulielmo Guaz. Gulielmo Guaz confirms his curatorship of the merchants’ goods and appeals to be allowed to salvage and take whatever material could be saved from the shipwreck into his custody. This permission was seemingly granted, and a list of the various types of merchandise and ship’s equipment pulled up from the sea is given towards the end of the document. The document does not follow up the claim for damages instituted by Jarex against the absent merchants.

152

Noel D’Anastas

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30 An inventory of the brigantino of Antonio Gusman with one bill of lading (lading bills huma l-aktar evidenti wara 1725). Malta National Archives: Consolato del Mare, Acta Originalia, 19/115 (1728), 30 x 20.5 cm, paper, fols 593–595v.

Noel D’Anastas

The Consolato del Mare was a mercantile tribunal composed of a judge and two consuls, all of whom specialised in trade law. In the case of appeals, the parties could request that a body of merchants be convened in the manner laid down in the Codice de Rohan. The image shows the first page (593r) of the case ‘Pro Padrono Antonio Gusman’, of 1728. Antonio Gusman was the captain of the brigantino named Il Santissimo Crocifisso e la Immacolata Conceptione. From the enclosed bill of lading, it seems that he had been hired to take Carlo Delicata, Antonio Coriman and Giuseppe Pascua to the ‘Scaro di Accuicelli’ (Catania). Before leaving, Gusman submitted a full list of the inventory of his ship. This could be useful in case he needed to make insurance claims later on and ensured that no merchandise prohibited from being exported was being smuggled out of the islands on his ship. The port official responsible for this inspection was Francesco Tonna.

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It was not uncommon for several partners to make a joint investment in the purchasing or construction and outfitting of a seaworthy vessel. This vessel would then be put under the command of a tested captain and leased out to merchants and travellers for their journeys subject to the consent of these shareholders and whatever formal agreements had been made during the establishment of this partnership.

31 Register of expenses and profits involved in the maintenance and furnishing of a ship for use in a court appeal. Malta National Archives: Consolato del Mare, Acta Originalia 1/1B (1702), 29.5 x 21 cm, paper, fols 13–22 (the image shows fols 16v–17r).

In this particular case, one of the shareholders, Fra Giovanni Battista Giannattasio alleges that the captain, Georgio Bardecco, had not forwarded him his full share of the proceeds from a journey undertaken for Syracuse and Venice. Bardecco has accordingly submitted a very detailed account of all the expenses related to the furnishing and maintenance of the partnership-owned tartana, related port fees and wages, to be offset against the income from the leasing of the vessel. In doing so, Bardecco intends to prove that he has forwarded and properly shared all true profits from the venture.

156

Noel D’Anastas

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32 Trade fair notebook. Medina del Campo, 17 June 1584 to 7 August 1586. Manuscript on paper, bound in parchment. Archivo Simón Ruiz: ASR, CC, L, 95.

159

Antonio Sánchez del Barrio

Trade fair notebooks are auxiliary accounting books generally in octavo whose purpose is to facilitate payment by the compensation of bills of exchange that reach maturity at the time of the fair. They are very similar to the Italian ‘scartafacci’ and the French ‘carnets de pagements’. They function in a similar way to fair ledgers, with the ‘debit’ and ‘credit’ registered on the left- and right-hand pages respectively (i.e., the verso and the recto), the sums of which are carried over page by page until the end. Thus, this trade fair notebook records the compensations or settlements that took place at the time of this particular trade fair between 17 June 1584 and 7 August 1586. The use of these trade fair notebooks in bookkeeping practices started late in the life of Simón Ruiz’s companies. Sixty-three different copies are preserved in his archive, and this is the earliest of them.

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This is the first scrapbook drawn up by Ugolino Del Vernaccia from 1641 to 1642. The document belongs to the long series of 117 registers preserved in the Caccini Del Vernaccia collection dedicated to the exchange fairs that took place in Novi Ligure, Piacenza and Besançon. The purpose of these periodic international meetings was to pay and collect the bills of exchange that matured on those dates and negotiate new ones that would mature during subsequent fairs or in the most important commercial and financial centres in Europe. Trade fair operations were carried out by means of the information contained in two particular types of business letters: reports from fair dispatches (spacci) and bills of exchange. The fair dispatches contained the operational instructions necessary for the conclusion of the exchange contract, and the bills of exchange allowed the material execution of the exchange because they registered the payment order given to the fair broker.

33 Novi Fair scrapbook or blotter (1641–42), Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive, section A, no. 190. Scartafaccio della Fiera di Novi, 1641–1642.

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Matteo Calcagni

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Section

02 The Catalogue

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Paper and Communication

This section deals with basic skills and materials involved in the practice of script and the production of paper-based documents. The importance of the materials and methods used for the written registration of information and its management is emphasised in treatises on accounting and the ars mercatoria such as those by Cotrugli or Pacioli (docs 51, 68 and 69), both of whom devote important sections of their handbooks to these matters, before delving into what today we would call the skills and know-how required for all the different aspects involved in business administration. We start with a manuscript letter in Margherita Datini’s hand (doc. 34). The wife of powerful Prato merchant, Francesco di Marco Datini, Margherita employed scribes for her many exchanges with her husband, as well as with other members of her family and household. In this document, however, we see her own hand at work, which stresses the difference in formal features between the hand of a person like Margherita, who was not a professional scribe, in contrast to the penmanship displayed in other documents produced by skilled officers and administrators (e.g., doc. 37). The methods involved in the training and education of one of these professional scribes and administrators is shown in document 35, which exemplifies the way in which these young clerks, future lawyers, accountants, court or church officers were trained in their basic skills. This document is a beginner’s workbook for children to practise their writing and mise-en-page through the repeated reproduction of lines of poetry by famous Italian poets. This use of poetry might be deemed somewhat striking until we think that for many of these poets their day job would have involved some sort of administrative task or other. Let me just mention the fact that thirteenth-century poet Jacopo da Lentini – generally considered the inventor of the sonnet – was referred to by Dante in his De vulgari eloquentia as ‘il notaro’. The list of poets who were officers, secretaries, lawyers and in general top clerical officials and administrators would be too long to detail here, but they go from Jacopo da Lentini at the Sicilian court of Emperor Frederick II to English epic poet John Milton, secretary of Latin letters to Oliver Cromwell, among many others. Document 36 is a humble but nevertheless eloquent testimony to the important role of the scribe as a fundamental agent in the administrative-communicative infrastructure of trade and empire. The person whose payment is recorded in this document may have been just a tiny drop in the ocean of Portuguese imperial administration, a small cog in its geographically vast machinery, but for this very reason he is representative of the sort of human infrastructure required to run these large and complex operations. In contrast with the learning exercises and the modest office of a humble scribe, document 37 displays the sophisticated skills of a top accountant at work, one who has already learned the basics of 163


the trade, and has moved onto the highest echelons in the management of financial data and mercantile information. As the document shows, this chief accountant of the Fugger banking company is capable of dealing with data of a very diverse nature, as well as using paralinguistic signifiers, arranging them as a map of inter-related information on a large piece of paper so that they can be absorbed all at once. Thereby, the work provides a snapshot of a large section of the bank’s affairs in a significant part of its business with one of its most important – and also tricky – customers, the Hispanic monarchy, its officers and financial agents. The next few documents exemplify different aspects involved in the paper trade, and the writing instruments that form its modest but nevertheless inescapable material infrastructure – if scribes and administrators, accountants and translators, with their different skills, constituted the functional human infrastructure, paper and ink made up the hardware they employed to process their information (docs 38–44). I must once more underline that paper circulated widely not just across the Mediterranean, but also beyond, to northern Europe, and in general on a global level. We have seen elsewhere how Italian paper was exported to the North of Africa, and to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean (see docs 5 and 19). But through Portugal it also reached West Africa, and eventually, the Portuguese outposts in the Indian Ocean (see docs 43 and 44). The document about paper in Tangier (doc. 41) illustrates the connection between the old Mediterranean and the new global world (new for Europe, of course) brought about by exploration, which turned paper into the material medium employed for the administrative implementation of this major wave of Western colonisation. In short: every ship, every military expedition, was accompanied by at least one scribe who needed a constant supply of paper, ink and writing instruments. Next to paper, instrumental equipment, scribes and administrators, we find interpreters, translators and lexicographers as part of the infrastructure that facilitated trade and imperial expansion. They engaged in practices, disciplines and skills without which efficient communication would not have been possible, having left innumerable traces of their work in archives all over the world (docs 45–50). The importance of language skills features in many different primary sources. To name one of the most visually eloquent, in Jost Amman’s fascinating Allegory of Commerce, scribes, stevedores, merchants and other agents and processes involved in trade all appear in the company of two beturbaned gentlemen who exemplify what the engraving describes as linguarum peritia: skills in languages. Furthermore, in document 19 (Tariffe Mercantili del Levante) we saw records which list the services of interpreters alongside other expenses for trade in paper and other products between Venice and the Levant. The amount of information that had to be efficiently collected and classified, as well as stored in such a way as to be easily cross-referenced and retrievable, was enormous. Hence, sophisticated methods were required for its codification, registration and administration, which included the creation of different sorts of functional documentary genres. Some of the documents we show exemplify how these methods were developed and regulated first de facto in Datini’s remarkable archive, and then in a more theoretical 164


way, in authors like Cotrugli or Pacioli, among others. Although this is an age during which new specialised practices and disciplines started to emerge, we can also find many cases of interdisciplinary entanglement among different phenomena and realms. One of the most interesting among them is the intersection of financial and commercial information with political news, which demonstrates how important it was for successful merchants to be promptly and well informed on the latest political developments which could affect the conduct of their business. In other words, before the emergence of newspapers and journalists, it fell to merchants and their networks to create the first international, up-todate news networks for their own private use, frequently on a global scale. Indeed they were frequently as well informed as major political authorities would be. These networks coexisted, and sometimes intersected, with equally as sophisticated networks of diplomatic exchange – including secret intelligence – and with the creation of the first postal systems. The sort of information codified and exchanged by merchants could go from basic figures, samples of colours, materials and designs (docs 61 and 62), to information about inflation in a particular region (doc. 53) or events of great international geopolitical bearing, such as Lepanto, the death of Alessandro Farnese, the Portuguese rebellion against the Hispanic monarchy, the unstable political situation in Eastern Europe under Ottoman occupation, or the close relation between business deals and the financing of large-scale political operations (docs 55–60, 82). Some of these documents actually read as vivid journalistic reports that manage to convey the sense of momentum dictated by the frantic path of events (e.g., docs 59 and 60). Finally, the last documents in this section illustrate the connections between the worlds of business and finance and the world of art, as well as book production and trade, underlining the importance of this sort of information for disciplines like the history of art, intellectual history and book history, among others.

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Paper: scriptural practices

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34 Earliest autograph letter penned by Margherita Datini, wife of Francesco di Marco Datini, to her husband, dated 20 February 1388. ASPo: Datini, busta 1089/1, cod. 9302781.

Chiara Marcheschi

This is considered to be Margherita Datini’s earliest autograph letter. It is one of the nearly 270 letters that she wrote between 1384 and 1418, which go to make up the largest group of letters in the vernacular by a lay woman in the late fourteenth century. The great majority of Margherita’s letters are addressed to her husband Francesco (253), but there are also some for relatives, family friends, service personnel and employees of the Datini companies. They were usually written by dictating the text to the young apprentices in the Datini offices. This one, however, is remarkable as it shows Margherita’s personal effort to combine graphic competence and expressive capacity, despite – or maybe one should say because of – its execution in a very basic, semi-literate handwriting with a mise-en-page which is a poor attempt to follow the formal canons of the merchant’s letter.

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34 167


This small notebook of eight sheets was written by Piero di Ser Lapo Mazzei – son of the notary and trusted friend of Francesco Datini – during the period he spent in Prato in 1399 for his apprenticeship. At the time, Piero was about ten years old. The boy would later continue his apprenticeship at the Ricci bank in Florence and then, in 1403, at the age of fourteen, he left for Barcelona, where he was employed by the Datini company until its closure in 1411. The notebook has dry-ruled sheets made by Piero himself, and each sheet of paper shows line after line of verses by Dante, Petrarch, Francesco Landini and Giovanni Dominici, as well as accounting records and self-presentation formulas. The purpose of it all was to acquire a fluent writing pattern for each sentence as well as a neat mise-en-page.

35 Workbook of writing exercises by Piero di Ser Lapo Mazzei. ASPo: Datini, busta 1174, inserto 14, cod. 1542.

35 168

Chiara Marcheschi

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36 Payment for the scribe of the Portuguese fortress in Calicut, 1515. National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal): Corpo Cronológico, Parte II, mç. 236, doc. 75.

Roger Lee de Jesus

This register is a single example of an order for the payment of a scribe. Belchior Carvalho was at the time a scribe at the factory in Calicut, India. The role of these officers was crucial to keep a solid record of all transactions and matters of everyday life. Dozens of them were appointed each year to fulfil their duty across the empire, as paperwork was fundamental for efficient administration.

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36 169


In 1557, two Spanish fleets brought silver from the New World. A promise of 400,000 ducats was made to the Fuggers alone as compensation for earlier loans. Philip II of Spain had Fugger’s funds in the Netherlands confiscated because of the threat of national bankruptcy. Anton Fugger’s protests against this were of little avail, especially since his factor in Antwerp had failed to follow his instructions due to pressure from the Spanish. Hence, he sent a mining specialist called Sebastian Kurz to Brussels to enter negotiations with Erasso, the crown’s financier. In the meantime, debts of 600,000 ducats had accumulated, and Kurz’s aim was to achieve repayment and secure loans, possibly by leasing American mines. However, the Spanish side did not accept the proposal. In 1558, Matthäus Schwarz, the Fuggers’ chief accountant, converted Kurz’s results and data, supplemented by those he had procured himself, into his own set of figures.

37 Matthäus Schwarz calculates Fugger claims towards the Spanish fleets of 1557. Augsburg, paper booklet consisting of two double sheets. H: 43.5 cm, W: 59.2 cm. Fugger Archive, FA 43.1

In the document on display from 1558, Schwarz uses four different rows to calculate the amounts that the Fuggers received from Spain. In the first two rows he lists the money from the fleets of 1 July and 26 September 1557 in seven columns (cols 1–7). This money is due, in ducats (col. 2), to Anton Fugger, his nephew Hans Jakob and the Fuggers’ ‘common trade’ (col. 1). After deducting the costs (col. 3), their interest-free shares (col. 4) are shown in ducats. On the right side of the page, Schwarz converts the ducats into kroner (col. 5). With an interest rate of 14 per cent as well as the term from 1 July 1557 to 25 May 1559 (col. 6), the sum of capital and interest is given in column 7. The third row registers the shares from both fleets: 234,987 for Anton Fugger, 205,176 for Hans Jakob and lastly 126,850 ducats for the Fuggers’ ‘common trade’. In the fourth row, which is crossed out, Schwarz converts this total of 567,013 guilders (col. 2) into kroner (col. 3), as he had done above. With the interest (col. 4), the result comes to 762,267 crowns, which he further converts (cols 6-7). The document concludes with Schwarz’s own signature.

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Franz Karg

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Section 02

Paper: materiality and trade

Paper and Communication

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38 See the appendix for the transcription and translation of the text. 173

38 Declaration by Armenian merchant Wartabiet of the receipt of 200 reams of paper from Lucal van Coppenhol and Frederick Schulerus, with payment agreements. With a short text in Armenian. Date: 25 February 1668. Amsterdam City Archives inv. no.: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 3606, fol. no. 86/scan

Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed, dated 25 February 1668, drafted by notary Anthony van de Ven. Armenian merchant Wartabiet confirms that he has received 200 regular and brown reams of paper from merchants Lucas van Coppenol and Frederick Schulerus, and describes the agreements that were stipulated regarding the payments. The deed contains a small addendum in Armenian script, wherein it is stated that the Armenian priest Voskan purchased some of Wartabiet’s paper. Deeds confirming receipt and payment were probably used to prevent any subsequent fraudulent claims by one or both parties (of non-receipt or non-payment respectively).

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Payment by the governors of the Monte and Banco dei Poveri in favour of the supplier Antonio Supino for the purchase of notebooks, pens, paper and ink, among other writing materials. The purchased goods also include ‘100 reams of Genoa paper, taken in this year to have 50 thousand credit certificates printed’.

39 Purchase of stationery. Consignment of 511.13 ducats, 11 August 1758. Fondazione Banco di Napoli: Banco dei Poveri, giornale copia polizze matr. 1569.

39 174

Claudia Grossi and Gloria Guida

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40

1   A canada was a unit of measure for liquids, equivalent to about 1.5 litres.

175

40 Acknowledgement of receipt, issued by Afonso Ribeiro, provisions tax officer at the fortress of Sofala, for a ream of paper and half a canada of ink, 1505. National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal): Corpo Cronológico, Parte II, mÇ. 10, doc. 63.

Roger Lee de Jesus

To administrate an empire on the other side of the globe, as shown on this document, the Portuguese replicated the institutions and bureaucratic practices of the metropolis in each of their outposts. This document also testifies to the sort of material and scriptural infrastructure required to do so efficiently. On a very small sheet of paper Afonso Ribeiro, provisions tax officer in Sofala (Mozambique), acknowledges that he had received one ream of paper and half a canada of ink from the factor Manuel Fernandes.1 This kind of paperwork was kept in order to seek to control the economic and logistical aspects of a fortress that was several months’ travel away from the central administration in Lisbon.

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As paper was a constant necessity, this register shows the complex bureaucratic system in force for its supply. In this document, the auditor of the fortress of Tangier (Morocco), Pedro Babilão, orders tax officer André Dias to pay 320 reais to António de Reboredo, gatekeeper of the exchequer, so he could buy one ream of paper. The gatekeeper signed the back of the document to confirm that he had received the money for the purchase. As we have seen elsewhere (see doc. 27 above), Portugal was one of the main gateways for communication, information and trade between the Mediterranean basin, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The outpost in Tangier was a strategic hub that connected the Mediterranean basin with the Portuguese Atlantic and Indian sea routes.

41 Order for the delivery of money to the gatekeeper of the Tangier exchequer for the purchase of one ream of paper, 1513. National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal): Corpo Cronológico, Parte II, mÇ. 37, doc. 77.

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Roger Lee de Jesus

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42 Order to the exchequer of Azemmour for the purchase of paper and ink, 1535. National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal): Corpo Cronológico, Parte II, mÇ. 199, doc. 48.

Roger Lee de Jesus

Like the previous one, this document gives us a glimpse into the material and scriptural infrastructures involved in the daily routines of bureaucratic administration. In this case, the auditor of Azemmour (Morocco), João Mendes, orders tax officer António Barbudo to purchase one good ream of paper and one canada of good ink for use in the fortress’s exchequer.

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42 177


The selected record (the fourth one in the document) shows the purchase of 50 bales of paper (around 250,000 sheets of paper) from Bartolomeo Marchionni, one of the most important and interesting Florentine agents in Portugal. Portuguese paper production could not meet the enormous demand of the administration of the Portuguese Empire, so it had to be imported from places such as Italy and France. This specific record details that the paper was to be used in the Casa da Índia (the royal counting house for all imperial commerce in Lisbon). Some was also to be sent to Cantor (present-day Gambia), Sofala (Mozambique) and the Portuguese factories in the Indian Ocean.

43 Record of paper purchased from Bartolomeo Marchionni, 1505. National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal): Contos do Reino e Casa, Núcleo Antigo 799, fol. 39r.

43 178

Roger Lee de Jesus

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44 Excerpt from the inventory of the factory in Cochin, India, 1511. National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal): Corpo Cronológico, Parte II, mç. 28, doc. 35, fol. 2r.

Roger Lee de Jesus

The records selected from this inventory - the last three of folio 2r (below) and the first of folio 2r (not shown here) - mention nine reams of paper in different sizes, one and a half reams of local paper (papel da terra) and 21 blank notebooks (livros de papel limpo), 16 of which came from Portugal whereas the other five appear to have been made locally (‘que se fizeram na terra’). This reference is very interesting and intriguing, since no other documents have been found on the purchase of local paper in Cochin (India), despite the well-known relevance of the Indian paper trade.

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45 Excerpt from the journal of the voyage of Vasco da Gama to India (1497–99). Biblioteca Pública Municipal do Porto (Portugal), mÇ. 804, fol. 45r.

Roger Lee de Jesus

The anonymous diary of the voyage of Vasco da Gama to India, between 1497 and 1499, included a lexicon in Portuguese and Malayalam, the language spoken in Kerala in southern India. He must have compiled this dictionary with information provided by the native hostages that were taken during the voyage. In this manuscript, the anonymous author registered expressions for standard gestures and actions (e.g., to drink, to go away, to throw, to fall), body parts (head, nose, hand), and other common words (man, woman, sun, moon, sky, boat, house). A group of other lexical items (penis, testicles, ass, fart, copulate) were deemed too indecorous to feature in a document of this thrust and although a zealous clerk subsequently blotted them out, they can still be read. The document is an early European attempt to reach out to the native inhabitants of southern India, their language and their culture.

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45 181


The selected passage of this budget highlights the importance of the interpreter (lingoa) of the viceroy (fifth register in the image). The interpreter’s role was fundamental in allowing efficient communication between the Portuguese highest official in Asia and the local rulers and their representatives. This register reveals that he received a substantial salary (36,000 reais per year), more than the sums paid to the apothecary (24,000), the bailiff (30,000) and the musicians who accompanied the viceroy.

46 Excerpt from the budget of the Estado da Índia, 1581, detail of the fund allocated for the payment of interpreters. National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Portugal): Contos do Reino e Casa, NÚcleo Antigo 874, fol. 41r.

46 182

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47 Description of Persia by Khwâjè Pir Qoli, circa 1548. Biblioteca Municipal de Elvas (Portugal), Ms. 381, fol. 100v. .

Roger Lee de Jesus

This document contains a brief description of Persia, indicating routes and distances between cities and a short overview of the conflicts between the Persian ruler (Shah Tahmasp I) and his neighbours. It is therefore a heterogeneous record that combines cartography, history and current news. The author is a Persian merchant who served as an intermediary and interpreter between the Portuguese Estado da Índia and several local rulers. This document is part of a collection of 25 similar texts produced during the government of D. João de Castro (1545–48) to assist his rule and military operations.

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47 183


This first-aid glossary was elaborated by Pietro Niccodemi, a Livornese merchant in the Levant, and a partner of Domenico Adami (the younger of the two Adami brothers) in the Adami & Niccodemi company in Aleppo. This partnership was active between 1706 and 1709. Domenico Adami and Pietro Niccodemi were close friends, and Adami was godfather to the children that Niccodemi bore with a local partner. A short handbook for use in the Levant, the dictionary is composed in Italian and Syrian Arabic, with a section that gives a rough phonetic transcription in Latin characters of the Arabic vocabulary. The dictionary is divided into different sections: one lists all the different parts of the human body (pp. 34–40), another has a lexicon in Italian and Arabic on plants (pp. 10–31). See for example the image of pp. 19–20, with products such as the fico d’India, (Barbary fig) a plant originally from Central America which became naturalised in all those regions around the Mediterranean basin which enjoy a similarly warm climate. Another section lists a combination of different products (pp. 2–9) which include mercury, laudanum, nutmeg and opium (pp. 5–6).

48 Arabic-Italian dictionary by Pietro Niccodemi, late seventeenth century–early eighteenth century. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 1, archival unit 179.

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49 Quittance and letter of payment issued by Francisco de Sagastizábal for the 50,000 Spanish golden escudos he has received from the Bonvisi of Lyon. Montluel, 4 January 1580, before the notary Claude le Roux. French manuscript, with a translation into Spanish. 6 leaves. Archivo Simón Ruiz: ASR, CC, C 203, 280.

Fernando Ramos González

These asientos (not to be mistaken for asientos de esclavos, see more below in section 4, doc. 86) were contracts with the Royal Treasury that involved a financial credit operation whereby a private individual or consortium of businessmen advanced a sum to the Crown. An extensive and complex network of international relations made it possible to get the money to a specific place on time: either by sending remittances in hard cash (which was extremely dangerous and very slow) or by trafficking in bills of exchange (the most widespread form) to be paid at the contracting fairs. Although the fortune of Simón Ruiz cannot be compared to that of the Fuggers, Grimaldi or Spinola, between 1576 and 1597 he acted as an asentista with a relatively modest capital. Most of the asientos he provided in this period were intended to support the Spanish monarchy’s troops stationed in Flanders and the Low Countries as a result of the Eighty Years’ War. This is the case of the present document: by virtue of a loan made to His Majesty for a total amount of 100,000 escudos, Simón Ruiz makes out a bill to the Bonvisi for 50,000 escudos to be paid at the Kings’ Fair in Lyon to Francisco de Sagastizábal, resident in that city. Sagastizábal has a power of attorney from the paymaster of the armies of Flanders, Juan de Lastur, and he is to send this amount to the Prince of Parma, Alessandro Farnese, governor of the Spanish Netherlands.

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These documents contain, in both Italian and Spanish, the testimonies of the owners of the goods that were lost after the ship Santa María de Montenegro was wrecked near the port of Livorno. The Castilian merchants make their claims before the consuls of the sea and customs of Pisa, each one identifying himself with his corresponding mark of trade and indicating the value of each of the damaged sacks. The cargo, for which Camilo Suárez de la Concha and Antonio de Valderrama – resident in Florence and partners in the Ruiz company – were consignees, had been lost on 27 November 1602. The corresponding indemnities would be established on the basis of this investigation, according to the previously contracted insurance.

50 Records of a request to the Consulate of the Sea in Pisa for the collection, after a shipwreck, of a maritime insurance policy by Castilian wool merchants (Italian and Spanish versions). Pisa, 9 March 1603. Manuscript on paper/ bifolios, 31 x 21.5 cm. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, C 203, 140 y 141.

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Antonio Sánchez del Barrio

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51 191

51 'How and in what order papers should be kept,' chapter 35 in Luca de Burgo S. Sepulchri [Luca Pacioli], Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità (Venice: Paganinus de Paganinis, 1494). Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence: St 10245.

José María Pérez Fernández

A classic in several disciplines, in a single volume Pacioli combines Euclidean geometry, mathematics, accountancy and other methods used in the registration of information – numerical and otherwise – for the administration and control of a business using double-entry bookkeeping. Thanks to authors like Cotrugli and Pacioli, this system would evolve and eventually spread from the south of Europe to the northwestern regions of the continent, in parallel with the gradual displacement of geopolitical and economic power from the Mediterranean to the North Atlantic between the end of the fifteenth and the early seventeenth centuries. The founding role and influence ascribed to Italian methods and the authors that popularised them was manifest in documents like the inventory of Pieter Barentsz in Amsterdam, who in 1640 still owned a number of books about ‘Italian accounting’ (see doc. 71 below), and, well before that, in the manuscript Venezianische Musterbuchhaltung (On Venetian Bookkeeping) penned by Fugger’s chief accountant (see doc. 70 below). In these pages Pacioli explains systems for the classification and administration of all sorts of papers – in other words, different records of information which are not directly part of the semiotic and mathematical system of accounting, but are nevertheless a fundamental part of the documentary constellation, i.e., the information system, required to run a large business. Rhetoric meets algebra and communication techniques with the use of paper-based documents in sections like Pacioli’s chapter 35: ‘Del modo e ordine asaper tener le scripture menute come sono scritti de mano lettere familiari ... e altri instrumenti e del registro de le lettere importanti’ (208v) (‘How and in what order papers should be kept, such as manuscripts, family letters, policies, processes, judgements and other instruments of writing and the record book of important letters’).

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Merchant’s letters had a specific functional format for handling correspondence. The letters were mainly written along the shortest side of mezzanine format paper sheets and divided into four sections or blocks, separated by blank spaces. The first section consisted of an invocation to God and the date. The second section included the main body of the text, with large initials opening each paragraph. The letters could consist of one or more sheets, concluding with a formula of blessing or protection, preceded by formulas of recommendation, or greetings to common acquaintances. The third section contained the sender’s signature, the greeting formula and the indication of the date, which could be followed by formulaic well-wishing. Letters could carry practical attachments to convey further brief pieces of information that complemented their contents, or specific information on related subjects (e.g., the nature of the ship’s cargo or the value of the goods involved). The letters were then folded to a format of approximately 9 x 8 cm, which left some blank space on the outer side of the paper for the addressee’s details (soprascritta). Here, besides the name of the addressee, the sender indicated other information such as titles, the place of destination and the merchant’s mark; the addressee would then add the place of origin and date of arrival of the letter.

52 Letter of Francesco di Marco Datini and company to Francesco di Marco Datini, from Florence to Prato, 19 April 1390, two leaves, with attachment. ASPo: Datini, busta 329, inserto 5, cod. 5199.

52 192

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53

See the appendix for a transcription and translation of the text. 193

53 Letter from Rosso di Strozza Strozzi to Luca del Sera, dated Caffa, 5 October 1392. ASPo: Datini, busta 754, inserto 3, cod. 313400.

Chiara Marcheschi

The letter is written by the Florentine Rosso di Strozza Strozzi after his arrival in Caffa, in the Crimean peninsula. As Rosso writes, he is in Caffa ‘for the Portinari’. With a merchant’s eye, he describes the situation in which he finds himself operating: ‘We have found this country worse for trade than it has been for a long time’, a situation he attributes to inflation (E ène cagione la carestia ci è di vettuaglia).

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This late fourteenth-century document provides an insight into the actions of Tuscan merchants in recovering seized goods held in Castile, in an attempt to avoid bureaucratic red tape and expense. In the form of a memorandum, Aliso Alberti, Luca del Sera, Francesco Datini’s partner in Catalonia, and Guido di Matteo Caccini give directions to Baldo Villanuzzi, acting on their behalf, to promptly achieve the desired result; first of all, once in Madrid, Baldo must contact ‘master Francescho, the King’s doctor, who is from our country’ so that ‘for the love of his country he may help and advise you’.

54 Memorandum by Aliso Alberti, Luca del Sera and Guido di Matteo Caccini to Baldo Villanuzzi, about things to do in Madrid, undated (late fourteenth century). ASPo: Datini, 1167, cod. 9302392, verso.

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55 Registry with the delivery of copper and silver to Fugger and the Höchstetters of Augsburg. Innsbruck, 22 January 1524. Paper. H. 49.7 x W 46.7 cm. Fugger Archive, FA 40.1.

Franz Karg

The document, dated 22 January 1524, appoints Jakob Fugger’s nephew Anton and the trusted merchants Georg Hörmann and Konrad Mair as representatives of the Fugger company in Tyrol. It illustrates the way in which Jakob Fugger (1459–1525) operates the Tyrolean trade. He gives loans to the sovereign either on his own or in partnership with others and provides the administration in Innsbruck with monthly advances. In return, he receives ores at a certain price, which he is then allowed to distribute at a fixed price. In this way, loans are secured and repaid. After 1519, this related in particular to the enormous costs for the election of Emperor Charles V. Now, in 1524, a settlement is also made for outstanding ore deliveries from the ‘Kupferkauf’ or copper contract. Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519) had already concluded this contract with Fugger and the Höchstetter brothers/company in 1515 for a period of four years. At the same time, the government and the administration in Innsbruck, on behalf of Archduke Ferdinand, the emperor’s brother, agreed on another copper contract with the same companies for an eventual value of 86,718 gulden. They had already advanced 40,000 for this at Christmas 1523, and the remaining 46,718 gulden were due on St George’s Day (23 April). With this contract, the sovereign forced the ‘Gewerken’ or mine operators to deliver their ‘Fronerze’ (the ore subject to delivery), primarily to the smelter in Rattenberg am Inn operated by Fugger with a partner from Schwaz, at a fixed price. Thus, in addition to the credit business, the Fuggers were also active as smelters. Since the recent bankruptcy of the Paumgartners, they had also become tradesmen themselves by taking over the Paumgartners’ ore mines. This is why Jakob Fugger sends his two young nephews, Ulrich (1490–1525) and Anton (1493–1560), to Tyrol together with the experienced Hörmann.

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This letter was sent to Simón Ruiz by Cristóbal Briceño de Valderrábano, commander of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (aka Knights Hospitaller), at the time an official royal resident in Madrid. The letter, dated 31 October 1571, included an attachment with a copy of the news about the victory in Lepanto on the seventh of the month which had arrived in El Escorial just two days before. In just 11 lines the document meticulously condenses information on the result of the encounter between the two navies, with the list of ships that had been sunk, the number of casualties, prisoners taken, galleys captured and Christian captives freed from the oars. Briceño concludes that only five Ottoman galleys escaped to Messina under the command of the viceroy of Algiers, Uluch Ali (see more in the caption to doc. 57).

56 News about the victory in Lepanto, n.p., October 1571. Manuscript on paper/1 folio. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, C 203, 235 (originally an attachment to letter ASR, CC, C 13, 178).

56 198

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57 News on an encounter with the Turkish navy in Calabria. Madrid, 25 August 1576. Manuscript on paper, 1 folio. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, C 30, 127 (as an attachment in letter ASR, CC, C 30, 126).

Fernando Ramos González

This news is included in a letter sent from Madrid on 25 August 1576 by Cristóbal Briceño de Valderrábano to Simón Ruiz in Medina del Campo. In it he reports on the unsuccessful attack on 20 July by 100 Turkish ships on the territories of the Prince of Bisignano in Calabria. The attack was carried out under the command of the admiral of the Ottoman fleet, the corsair Uluch Ali, a renegade Calabrian convert to Islam, whom Cervantes calls Uchali in Don Quixote (part 1, chapters XXXIX and XL). The period between 1572 and 1576 was characterised by a series of major acts of retaliation by the Sublime Porte after its defeat in Lepanto. On average, it would subsequently make one expedition each year against outposts on the Christian shores of the Mediterranean.

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57 199


This letter was written by merchant Francesco Falcucci to Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Falcucci belonged to a Florentine family, probably originally from the Mugello, whose members were active from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century in medicine, the Arte dei Beccai (Butchers’ Guild) and, above all, commerce and banking, opening branches in Florence, Perugia and Rome. The content of the letter focuses on the political instability in the Magyar area in 1671. The Ottoman military campaigns in 1663–64 had destroyed the Hungarian border defences and placed garrisons close to Vienna, inspiring the Hungarians to revolt. While Grand Vizier Köprülü proclaimed peaceful intentions towards Vienna, espionage reports, such as that of Falcucci, who asked Del Vernaccia to keep the place from which he was writing a secret, revealed that he was meeting with Hungarian rebels to plan an invasion of Hungary.

58 A letter with news from Transylvania, Francesco Falcucci to Ugolino Del Vernaccia, 15 June 1671. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Carteggio Del Vernaccia, section B, document 101, archival unit 152.

See the appendix for a transcription and translation of this document 200

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59 59 A letter with news from Lisbon, 15 June 1641. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Carteggio del Vernaccia, section B, document 622, archival unit 152.

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On 1 December 1640 the Portuguese rebelled against the King of Spain and proclaimed king the Duke of Braganza, as João IV, a decision that was ratified by the Cortes in 1641. He was thus engaged in the long war of independence from Spain, which continued under his successor, and succeeded in regaining most of the old Portuguese possessions and expelling the Dutch from Brazil and Angola. The letter includes a copy of the public announcement regarding the discovery of a conspiracy planned by a group of nobles, including the Marquis of Vila Real and the Duke of Caminha. The plan was to light fires in various areas of Lisbon and the royal palace, and while the people would be busy putting them out, the garrison of nobles would go into the royal palace to kill the king’s family. The last section of the document – treated here as a separate document, i.e., no. 60 – is a copy of a letter written from Rouen on 12 September 1641 reporting rumours about the conspiracy. In addition, the writer mentions the passage of the French and Dutch fleets from Lisbon, the political situation in Catalonia and the capture of Aire-sur-la-Lys from the French troops by the cardinal-infante’s army in 1641.

60 Copy of a letter with news from Rouen, as an appendix to no. 59 above. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Carteggio del Vernaccia, section B, document 622, archival unit 152.

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See the appendix for a transcription and translation of this document

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Documenting protocols, paralinguistic components and iconic signifiers

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61 News on an encounter Invoice for silk cloth from Francesco di Marco Datini & co. (Avignon) to Francesco di Marco Datini & co. (Barcelona), October 1408. ASPo: Datini, busta 850, inserto 4, cod. 9291405.

Chiara Marcheschi

This invoice for silk cloths refers to the shipment in 1408 of assorted draperies in fine silk, satin velvet and taffeta, among others, from Florentine silk merchants the Panciatichi, to Barcelona, where the Datini company was responsible for their sale to illustrious customers who included members of the Aragonese court. The invoice accurately describes the quantities, quality, colours and their combinations, as well as the measurements and decorations of 24 pieces of silk. For each piece or set of pieces, there is a graphic reproduction of the ornamental motif in the right-hand margin of the document.

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62 Letter with samples of cloth in four different colours. ASPo: Datini, busta 1173, cod. 1620.

Chiara Marcheschi

The document, datable between 1402 and 1403, comes from the Datini company in Barcelona. It is unique on account of its four samples with selvedge in four different colours (purple, green, azure blue and scarlet). The quantity supplied and the colour designation are given for each sample. The last sample comes with a specific description of the type of weaving required and instructions to dye the selvedge in the same colour. There are also instructions to reduce the size of the bale, the methods to use to package the cloth, the place and method for its sale (in retail at Barcelona) and a warning against sending too much of the scarlet type.

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Finance, art and the publishing business

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Payment by councillor Colantonio Gizarello in favour of Flemish painter Louis Croys, paid on account for some paintings depicting ‘the descendants of the House of Austria’. The painter is paid three ducats for each of the paintings.

63 Transaction with foreign artist: consignment of 10 ducats of 18 June 1596. Fondazione Banco di Napoli: Banco di S. Eligio, giornale copiapolizze matr. 5.

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Claudia Grossi and Gloria Guida

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Payment from Fra Giuseppe Gomez in favour of Antonio Gramignano, printer in Naples, for the printing of the book Cataluña ilustrada in Spanish.

64 Transaction for the publication of a volume in Spanish: consignment of 15 ducats of 20 September 1677. Fondazione Banco di Napoli: Banco di San Giacomo e Vittoria, giornale copiapolizze matr. 398.

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65

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65 Transaction in favour of a famous Belgian art merchant: consignment of 100 ducats of 9 December 1616. Fondazione Banco di Napoli: Banco dello Spirito Santo, giornale copiapolizze matr. 114.

Claudia Grossi and Gloria Guida

Letter of exchange from Rinaldo Barbanici to Gaspar Roomer and Iacomo Van Ray for the sum given in exchange via Amsterdam and advanced by them to Meyna Ottes, wife of Librado de Stevesen.

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Section

03 The Catalogue

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Paper and the Spirit of Trafficke

‘Euen as the Spirit of man is predominant ouer the Soule and Bodie in all the actions thereof, which by the bloud are quickened and preserued, euen so is the exchange for moneys by Bills of Exchanges, ouerruling the course of commodities and moneys in all places where the action of money is felt or seene, directing the same (by some due proportions) accordingly.’1 This revealing passage opens the third part of Malyne’s Lex Mercatoria, whose self-proclaimed concern is ‘Exchanges for Moneys by Bills of Exchanges, compared to the Spirit or Facultie of the Soule of Trafficke and Commerce’ (ibid. p. 377). The bill of exchange appears as the most immaterial of all the various commercial and financial instruments that were part of the practice of trade. The far-reaching implications of the use of theological concepts to describe practices and phenomena which were so new as to lack their own specialised vocabulary is something I shall discuss elsewhere, but let me just say at this point that this quotation reveals one of the processes we aim to address with the exhibition, the catalogue, and the symposium that we held in parallel, i.e., the gradual and systematic dematerialisation first of the Mediterranean and European economies and, later, of the global economy too. This was to a very large extent made possible by the universal use of paper as its medium of choice. Malyne’s significant description portrays bills of exchange as standing at the peak of a gradual progress starting from the exchange of material goods, going towards the semiotically activated materiality of money – either as coined precious metals or as any other hard and heavy material signifier of monetary value – and further to the lightness of bills of exchange, which could codify a potentially boundless amount of financial value in ‘but a small peece of paper of some two fingers broad’ (Malynes, ibid. p. 394). One of the documents in this section (doc. 78) displays a very different sort of immaterial value. This heavy tome registers the financial operations of a Mount of Piety using the well-established method of double-entry bookkeeping. But in contrast to other similar records, its edges portray religious images associated with the Pietà: they stand as the iconic signifiers of the moral and spiritual values driving this particular kind of charitable, non-profit financial institution (on which more in section 5). This section includes several documents that illustrate the theory and practice of trade, from the earliest doctrinal handbooks penned by authors like Cotrugli and Pacioli (docs 67–69, also doc. 51), and the practical booklets with exchange rates and tables of equivalent weights and measures created by merchants like Francesco di Marco Datini (doc. 66) – meant for the everyday conduct of business 1 Gerald Malynes, Consuetudo vel Lex Mercatoria or The Ancient Law-Merchant (London: Adam Islip, 1622), 378, my emphasis.

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by their clerks and accountants – to a section on particular cases that apply the methods and doctrines predicated by the former (docs 72–78). Some of these documents illustrate the sophisticated methods used for the administration of data and information in the efficient running of a company, and how they were formulated and applied in Italy first, and then evolved and developed well beyond its borders, gradually exerting an increasing influence in the north of Europe (docs 70 and 71), following the path of economic and political power away from the Mediterranean, on to the Atlantic and Pacific worlds that unfolded with the so-called age of exploration. The documents we display prove how quasi-immaterial information and value were registered on paper, and how they circulated throughout these vast Mediterranean, European and later global networks, using a semiotically functional variety of documentary genres which were then cross-referenced with each other and eventually stored like any other sort of valuable commodity at the headquarters of these commercial and financial institutions (docs 79–83). The heterogeneous sort of information administered by these businessmen and their clerks stresses the fact that long before our digital age – in which intelligence and big data have become strategic commodities that stand on a par with primary goods like oil and gas – information was already a fundamental asset for international geopolitical and financial structures.

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Handbooks: doctrine and practice from Italy to the north of Europe

Paper and the Spirit of Trafficke

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This is a record on 34 leaves of paper, written by a single hand (except for 23v), attributed to Cristofano Carocci, an employee of Francesco Datini first in Pisa and then in Catalonia. The presence of Cristofano Carocci’s hand suggests that the document must have been drafted in Pisa no later than 1385–86. The document discusses several Mediterranean, European and Italian markets, in tables with equivalences in prices, currency, weights, and in general, information of a very practical nature. As illustrated by p. 3r, which describes Constantinople, the document registers information about each of these markets, such as the local units of measurement, their use in relation to goods and the equivalence of these units of measurement with those of other places. Page 14v registers Florentine units of measurement and relates them with other Italian cities as well as with Tunisia.

66 Pratica di mercatura, fourteenth century. ASPo: Datini, 1174, Fasc. 11.

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67 Filippo Calandri, Trattato d’abaco/ Trattato di aritmetica, manuscript on parchment, last quarter of the fifteenth century. Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence, 2669.

José María Pérez Fernández

Trattati di abaco (arithmetic handbooks) tended for the most part to be very practical affairs. They were generally produced in affordable paper copies, in small, inexpensive formats and materials, either manuscript or in print, for the use of trainees or travelling merchants – not unlike the Prattica di mercatura which precedes this document (i.e., doc. 66). This one, however, is an exception. The single copy of a highly ornamented luxury item in parchment, it is dedicated to Giuliano de’ Medici, whose coat of arms and other related heraldic icons feature throughout the document. The page displayed here is significant because the tables of numerical equivalences and symbols for the different sorts of currencies use the same design and format employed for traditional canon tables in medieval illuminated manuscripts, whose original function was to establish equivalences between the same episodes in the life of Christ as recorded in each of the four different Gospels. In sharp contrast with its profuse ornamentation, other items in the codex illustrate common banking operations, such as 45r, which features a mathematical operation to calculate the monthly benefits on a loan.

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68 68 Benedetto Cotrugli, Libro d’arte della mercatura. Malta National Library: Cotrugli Libr., cod. XV.

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69 Benedetto Cotrugli. Della mercatura et del mercante perfetto. Di Benedetto Cotrugli Raugeo. Libri quattro. Doue si tratta il modo di lecitamente negotiare ... Opera ad ogni mercante, e deuoto christiano vtilissima Nuouamente datta in luce (Brescia: Libraria del Bozzola, 1602). Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence, St. 16852.

In spite of the comparative (and relative) popularity of Pacioli’s Somma (see doc. 51 above), this work by Benedetto Cotrugli is generally considered the first recorded description of the system for double-entry bookkeeping. Born in Ragusa, Dalmatia, Cotrugli was a lawyer, merchant and scholar who also frequented the humanist circles of the Neapolitan court of Alfonso V of Aragon, where he produced texts on marriage (De uxore ducenda, now lost) and seafaring and cosmography (De navigatione). They are both closely related to his Libro d’arte della mercatura, a comprehensive descriptive and normative approach to the practice of trade and the figure of the merchant, whom he deems to be a fundamental civic agent living and operating in two different but nevertheless closely related worlds. One is the private realm of the family, which constitutes the heart of the business as well as the emotional centre of the merchant’s life. The other realm revolves around the overseas communication and transportation networks which are so essential for the conduct of trade. These images show the first extant manuscript with Cotrugli’s work (doc. 68), which would be printed only many years later, first in 1573, and then again in 1602 (see doc. 69). Both images display a section of his chapter 13 (‘De l’hordene de tenere le scripture con ordine mercantile’) describing the practices for the administration of information, the methods for its registration, and the documents involved in this process. This chapter starts with a description of the history of the pen, in which Cotrugli stresses its nobility and its fundamental role in the practice of scripture as the foundation of all human knowledge. He then goes on to cover abstract and universal disciplines like philosophy and theology, all the way to practical and particular cases of political, social and economic activities such as public administration and trade. 221

José María Pérez Fernández

69

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The Fuggers’ trading company worked with very few partners. An early and ultimately very successful partnership began in 1494 with the Thurzos from Krakow. These were mining specialists who had good relations with the royal court. Together they operated the ‘Hungarian trade’ – i.e., copper mining in what is now Slovakia – until 1526. The business relationship was strengthened by two marriages and extended for seven years in 1519. This ‘Libell’ (invoice in booklet form) contains the so-called ‘Ungerische Austailung’, i.e., the settlement of the last lease period: the Thurzo left in 1526 and the Fuggers continued their business alone for 20 years. This document registers the share of ‘Fraw Raymundus Fuggerin’, Raymund Fugger’s wife and Anton’s sister-in-law Katharina Thurzo (†1535). According to the final account of 1519, the Fugger trade owes her 14,346 gulden or florins (fl.) and now in 1526 a sixth part of 1,068 fl. for a total of 15,414 fl. After deducting the mutual liabilities, she is left with a share of 14,642 fl., plus an additional amount of 771 fl. Since she still has goods worth 1,592 fl., her dues total 16,235 florins. The last section deals with payment details about the ‘Salzkammer’ government authority.

70 Account of the Hungarian trade of the Fuggers and Thurzo from 1519 to 1526. Augsburg, undated. Original, paper booklet with 11 double sheets. H. 32.2 cm, W. 44.5 cm. Fugger Archive, FA 36.3, fols 58–78, opened fols 74v–75.

The page on the right contains handwritten notes by the accountant Schwarz in the left margin, and by the new head of the company Anton Fugger (last two lines). Schwarz had a lot of work to do to value this trade before the cancellation of Fugger’s sole lease in 1546. This resulted in another merchant’s notebook in 1548, after he had already written his work Venezianische Musterbuchhaltung (On Venetian Bookkeeping) in 1518 – which, however, he could not publish because of the real business figures he had used in it.

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Franz Karg

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71 Short estate inventory of Pieter Barentsz who owned a number of books about ‘Italian accounting’. Date: 11 January 1640. Amsterdam City Archives. Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 1281, fol. no. 8/scan no. 10.

See the appendix for a transcription and translation of this document 225

Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

Notarised estate inventory, dated 11 January 1640, drafted by notary Hendrik Schaef. It lists the possessions of a man named Pieter Barentsz at the time of his death, such as his clothes, furniture and, in this case, at least four books on ‘Italian accounting’. Estate inventories such as this were usually commissioned by the executors and/or heirs of the deceased to gain insight into what was left behind to distribute among them, and, occasionally, what there was to gain financially: in that case, an appraiser (a female profession in seventeenth-century Amsterdam) was brought in to add the estimated value per listed item.

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Section 03

Accounting practices: a few samples

Paper and the Spirit of Trafficke

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72 Quaderno segreto (giornale) of Toro di Berto and Francesco di Marco Datini’s company in Avignon, 1367–71. ASPo: Datini, 152.

Chiara Marcheschi

This mid-sized book bound in red parchment, entitled Libro di Vignone, consists of 34 leaves and is one of the registers in the series of the quaderni segreti of Avignon, which recorded the constituent acts of the company (patti o scritte di compagnia), the invested capital and any profits and losses they may have made. The Datini collection preserves 12 of them with information on Avignon during two different periods, 1367–70 and 1386–1410.

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Starting in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, it became compulsory for merchants in Spain to keep and record accounts in books of debit and credit, registering the money received and paid, with a note of the names of the parties involved, the operation carried out and the type of currency used in the transaction. To illustrate this double-entry system of accounting and the way in which it recorded the same sort of information, we have selected the same transaction recorded in three different sorts of books of accounts: a scrapbook (borrador), a diary or journal (libro manual), and a general or main ledger (libro mayor). The transaction concerns the purchase by Hernando de Morales of a barrel of aniseed at the May fair in Medina del Campo in 1579 to be sold in Lisbon, and the payment of 126,600 maravedíes of reales in cash, registered at the October fair of the same year.

73 Scrapbook (borrador), diary (libro manual) and main ledger (libro mayor, with their Abecedarium) with the same accounting entry of the purchase by Hernando de Morales of a barrel of aniseed at the May fair in 1579. Medina del Campo, 1579. Manuscript on paper, parchment, several different sizes. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, L 7 (borrador); ASR, CC, L 37 (libro manual); ASR, CC, L 64 (libro mayor).

73 228

Fernando Ramos González

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74 Registry of income and expenses, with a section on letters (1665/1699–1710), Raffaello Del Vernaccia in Livorno. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive, section A, no. 240

Matteo Calcagni

This registry is the first document traceable to Raffaello Del Vernaccia, son of Florentine patrician Antonio and nephew of Senator Ugolino Del Vernaccia, as well as head of the Livorno branch of the family company. Raffaello Del Vernaccia became a trader in his own right through the companies Vernaccia & Maglietti, which he set up in 1695 together with the merchant Domenico Maglietti, and then Vernaccia, Davanzati & Pietrasanta, established in 1698 with the Florentine patrician Andrea Davanzati and Domenico Pietrasanta. The document registers daily expenses, investments and a series of other economic transactions alongside the exchange of information through letter-writing. Like other accounting documents, in which the first immediate advantage of this method was the possibility of feedback and self-checking, this register made two registrations for each operation, in two distinct accounts, in opposite sections (debit/credit), for overall equal amounts, so that the total of the values recorded in the two sections was always the same. In other words, Vernaccia was using the well-established method of double-entry bookkeeping first described by Cotrugli and then spread abroad thanks to authors like Luca Pacioli.

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74 229


This complete large-format volume, deprived of its binding, is one of the few examples – and the first in chronological order – of ledgers kept by Senator Ugolino Del Vernaccia, which contained all his financial transactions. The ledger is the main register in which the final entries, taken from daily transactions, are grouped by imputation accounts. The top of each of the pages bears an invocation to God, the typical formula already prescribed by Cotrugli and Pacioli in the late fifteenth century. The book bears a decoration similar in its design to the account books of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna (see documents 92 and 93 below), thus combining its practical function with ornamentation of a more aesthetic nature.

75 Ledger (libro mastro) (marked ‘E’), missing cover, 1670–77, Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive, section A, no. 251.

230

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231


Elongated booklet bound in cowhide. The volume reflects the classic structure of the small, elongated economic register in which merchants had already been recording memoirs and economic notes as well as abstracts of letters for more than 200 years. Drawing on a long tradition of mercantile writings, the attitude of seventeenth-century representatives of the Florentine merchant class is known through the diaries of daily expenses which testified to the financial strategies adopted to keep the company’s activities flourishing.

76 Manual and diary (of daily expenses), 1675–1701, Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive, section A, no. 254.

76 232

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77 Memorandum (libro di memorie) on my properties 1676–93, Ugolino Del Vernaccia. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Caccini Del Vernaccia Archive, section A, no. 255.

Matteo Calcagni

The volume is not a piece of writing strictly related to trade, but a document that bears witness to what we might call the other side of the coin: with the proceeds of the trade that his company earned in Europe and the Mediterranean, Ugolino Del Vernaccia made considerable land investments, which he inventories here. Specifically, in his memoirs, Senator Del Vernaccia described the expansion of the ‘Fattoria di Cintoia’, a vast estate located in Greve in Chianti, in the Florentine countryside.

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77 233


78 Main Ledger (campione or libro mastro), 2 January 1606 to 30 December 1609, 42 x 32 x 24 cm. Fondazione Monte di Bologna e Ravenna.

Armando Antonelli

This is a large, heavy tome on paper marked during the seventeenth century with the archival signature ‘P’. The book is bound in leather reinforced by five strips. It consists of folios numbered from 1 to 1,000 in the traditional mercantile double-entry bookkeeping format. The sheets marked with numbers between 988 and 1,000 are blank. The top edge is decorated with a Pietà. This book is part of the series called master ledgers (campioni mastri), consisting of 57 registers (1473–74; 1504–19; 1548– 1808). These ledgers are used in combination with the journals, in which the same operation is registered in different records, which are then cross-referenced by means of figures that denote the pages where they are registered in each of the respective books. They document and record each of the administrative, economic and financial activities of the mount of piety. In these registers, the accounting operations culled from the entries in the journals (libri giornali) were recorded in the general ledger (campionere maggiore), under various headings which described the different types of operations. All the operations are registered using the traditional double-entry bookkeeping format, with two different columns, one for debit and one for credit. Each item recorded in the journal is then also recorded in the general ledger, with information on the reason for the entry, with cross-references to each of the different books and the respective currency values recorded in lire, soldi and denarii. From 1548 to 1600, the balance of creditors and debtors appears at the end of each year in the libro mastro. From 1601 onwards, it was established that the annual accounts were to be drawn up in separate registers, as can be seen from the information taken from the libro mastro marked ‘O’ on page 593. Each ledger was preserved in the archives of the Monte di Pietà and the edge was marked by a letter of the alphabet which was then cross-referenced to the corresponding ledger, also marked by the same letter of the alphabet.

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Section 03

Bills, books and value

Paper and the Spirit of Trafficke

235


This bill of exchange was used to transfer money from Bartolino Bartolini in Paris (drawer/datore) through Antonio di Neve in Montpellier (drawee/prenditore) to the Datini company in Barcelona (trattario) in favour of Gherardo Cattani (payee/beneficiario) in several different types of currency (‘483 lire, 12 denari, 5 “barzelonesi” per franchi 617 soldi 7 denari 8 a oro’). This document is considered to be the oldest bill of exchange with an endorsement: the payee of the bill of exchange, Gherardo Cattani, makes the endorsement in favour of Iacopo Accettanti, a merchant from Lucca, who writes in his own hand (‘Io, Gherardo Cattani, sono contento che de’ soprascritti denari ne faciate la volontà di Iacopo Aceptanti’). On the verso there is a further endorsement by Iacopo Accettanti in favour of Andrea dei Pazzi, which has been cancelled.

79 Bill of exchange with endorsement on security from Antonio di Neve in Montpellier to Francesco di Marco Datini and his partners in Barcelona. Barcelona, 5 February 1410. ASPo: Datini, busta 1145/2, cod. 1403471.

79 236

Chiara Marcheschi

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80 Bill of exchange drawn in Seville by Alonso de Betolaza to Simón Ruiz in Medina del Campo. Seville, 20 October 1559. Manuscript on paper/bill. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, LC 1–3, 22.

Fernando Ramos González

This bill is an example of what the Italians called a ‘cambio con ricorsa’, an internal exchange of money in which the drawee and the payee are the same person, characterised by the fact that the wording of the text uses the formula pagará vuestra merced a sí mismo (your mercy will pay to yourself). Thus, the payment of the draft reduces the intervention to a mere transfer from one account to another in the correspondent’s books, resembling a loan rather than an ordinary exchange.

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81

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81 Simón Ruiz’s general ledger, 1556–59. Manuscript on paper/97 folios. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, L 54, ff. 70 (‘debit’ and ‘credit’ entries).

239

Fernando Ramos González

Alonso de Betolaza and Lucas de Zárate, neighbours from Seville, appear as debtors of Simón Ruiz under the account of Pedro de Tamayo, also a neighbour in Seville, who at that time had interests in the sugar business in the West Indies and a partner on the island of Hispaniola. The maravedís paid by Betolaza on account in May 1559 correspond to a ‘loan’ or compensation on account that Simón Ruiz made by means of payment of the previous bill of exchange (see doc. 80).

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The Rodrigues de Évora were a powerful family of New Christians of Portuguese origin established in Lisbon and Antwerp, related to the Ximenes, another family of Judeo-Sephardic descent located in Flanders. Simão Rodrigues de Évora operated in Antwerp, in the business of spice, sugar, pearls and precious stones and, from 1590 onwards, he entered the ‘asiento’ business with the crown. This letter provides relevant information, both from a financial and socio-political point of view, which is a frequent feature of the collection of letters in this archive. It bears news of the recent and unexpected death of the Duke of Parma, Alessandro Farnese, and the instability and confusion that ensued in the Antwerp financial markets, where the flows of capital and investment had slowed down almost to a halt. The political uncertainty that followed the duke’s death also affected the honouring of an asiento worth 400,000 ducats, a hefty sum of money that had been negotiated for Besançon and was now up in the air. The letter also sends information about exchange rates and currency values for operations with other markets such as Medina del Campo, Seville, Besançon and Lisbon.

82 Letter from Simão Rodrigues de Évora to Simón and Cosme Ruiz in Valladolid. Antwerp, 12 and 13 December 1592. Manuscript on paper/ bifolio. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, C 155, 225.

82 240

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83 Bill of exchange drawn by Diego and Pedro de la Peña for Francisco de Cifuentes to pay Simón Ruiz 597 ducats and 16 sueldos at the October fair in Medina del Campo for the value received from Fernão Ximenes and the heirs of Rui Nunes Ximenes to cover their expenses for the recovery of the sugar ‘arrested’ [sic] in England. Antwerp, 2 January 1582. Manuscript on paper/bill. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, LC 2-7, 290.

Fernando Ramos González

Sugar cane, or unrefined mascabado sugar, was a very lucrative product that was exported to northern Europe and shipped to Flanders, where it reached Antwerp via the river Scheldt. While the sugar circuit of Madeira and the Canary Islands was monopolised by the Flemish from the mid to the late sixteenth century, the sugar trade in Brazil was largely controlled by Portuguese New Christians. This was the case of the brothers Fernão Ximenes and Rui Nunes, originally from Madeira, important men in this business, established in Antwerp where they founded a prosperous trading company in 1572 with a branch in Lisbon. The ‘arrested’ sugar mentioned in this bill of exchange must have been the cargo (or part of it) of ships leaving Seville or Lisbon, and then captured by English corsairs either in the English Channel or North Sea, as part of their strategy to support the Flemish rebels. The Ximenes Nunes paid for the ransom for the merchandise and were then reimbursed by means of this bill of exchange.

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83 241


Section

04 The Catalogue

242


Paper Trails of Human Goods

Alongside the traffic of material goods and the lighter, quasi-immaterial exchange of paper-based value, the exchange of human beings as commodities also left a trail of paperwork and methods that exemplify the extent to which global European economic and financial power was built upon the practice of slavery, from which both private individuals and institutions as well as states made a considerable amount of money. The documents in this section illustrate how this traffic was conducted and regulated, and how human beings were treated like any other sort of merchandise which, for example, could be subject to an insurance policy with detailed contractual conditions (doc. 84). States and empires did not just benefit from slavery by selling licences (asientos) for private individuals, for a fee (docs 86 and 87). Other than cash or credit, some of them also raised taxes in specie, i.e., in human beings who were used as a form of tribute (doc. 85). The dealings registered in these papers demonstrate how slavery was not something separate and conducted on the margins, but a central practice and a source of income perfectly integrated in the different commercial, financial and fiscal mechanisms of European public administration and business, including the use of enslaved individuals as hostages to be exchanged for a ransom (doc. 88), another lucrative aspect of the slave trade in the Mediterranean. 243


The dangers of maritime transport led Tuscan merchants to take out insurance policies on their goods in order to protect themselves against any damage or loss. These were written between private individuals in the vernacular by a broker with the signature of the insured party at the end, indicating the names of the insurer and the insured party, the goods insured and their value, the route, the means of transport used and the insurance premium. Human beings were also traded, and subject to insurance, as were other sorts of goods across the Mediterranean. In this document for a 7% premium Michele Monducco insures Francesco di Marco Datini and his companions from Pisa for a slave girl named Margherita, probably a Tartar, whose value is estimated at 50 gold florins, for the journey from Porto Pisano to Barcelona on the ship of Piero Randa di Biscaglia piloted by the Catalan Matteo Turo. The contractual document establishes that in case of the slave’s death by illness or suicide (‘in chaso si gettasse in mare per se stessa’), there will be no compensation.

84 Insurance policy for the transport of a slave from Porto Pisano to Barcelona, 9 May 1401. ASPo: Datini, busta 1158, inserto 152, cod. 152.

84 244

Chiara Marcheschi

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85 1 The enzeque was a unit of measure used for dry goods, such as grain, equivalent to 27.6 litres.

245

85 Register of tributes from Angolan landlords, 1621. Biblioteca PÚblica de Évora: Maniz, Cod. 531, fol. 67v.

Roger Lee de Jesus

European colonialism transformed many native populations into king’s vassals. This document shows a copy of the register of a tribute (baculamentos) paid by local landlords (sobas) to the Portuguese Crown in Angola. In January 1621, two of these men went to the fortress of Cambambe (North Angola), offering several tributes for each year. They committed themselves and their heirs to keep paying these taxes. One of them (shown below), Quilonga Quamzumba, was obliged to deliver three slaves, five enzeques of corn cereal and three goats.1 Another one (in the following page, but not shown here), Samba Ilanga, claimed to be poor so he could only afford to offer one slave or two young men. Despite their local traditions, these populations and their leaders bowed down to practices such as written records of this sort, which compromised their income. This proves how paper-based administration became part of the legal infrastucture employed by European colonisers for the exploitation of native peoples.

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Faced with the dwindling indigenous population in Spanish America, merchants – especially the Portuguese – pushed for the introduction of slave labour since they had the African sources for this traffic to the Indies via Castile. The highly indebted Hispanic monarchy found a means of raising funds through the sale of these rights of transportation by directly granting licences to private individuals. In the long run, however, this practice proved ineffective and, from 1595 onwards, it was replaced by the asiento system, in which the asentista was in charge of selling the licences on an exclusive basis.1 In the same year of 1595, Pedro Gomes Reynel, who was at the time a contractor in Angola and lessee of the almojarifazgo (i.e., customs tax) of Seville, took over the asiento of Africans in Spanish America for nine years, offering 100,000 ducats in exchange for the transportation of a maximum of 4,250 slaves per year. The purchasers of the licences were to pay 30 ducats each plus the cost of damages, freight and insurance. Reynel was accused of fraud when it was discovered that he sold above the allowed price and was imprisoned, accepting a rather dishonourable agreement that included the premature termination of the contract in 1601 and the payment of 250,000 ducats plus an interest-free credit to the Crown. To settle these accounts and the conditions imposed, Reynel resorted between 1602 and 1606 to a loan from Cosme Ruiz Envito (nephew and only heir to Simón Ruiz, who had died in 1597), using his revenues from the almojarifazgo of Seville as collateral. But Cosme himself was also highly indebted to other businessmen, and when Gomes Reynel closed the Seville almojarifazgo he was unable to pay off the debts, which were automatically transferred to Cosme. The latter, unable to revive the estate he had inherited from his uncle, ended up in prison, leading him to bankruptcy with a sentence of execution to seize 106 million maravedís.

86 Registry book of the licences that Pedro Gomes Reynel sold in Lisbon on the asientos of slaves transported to the Indies of Castile. Lisbon, 14 September 1595 to 1 April 1601. Manuscript in Portuguese on paper, bound in leather/127 leaves. Archivo SimÓn Ruiz: ASR, CC, L 167.

1 Note that the meaning of asiento here is different from the meaning in document 49 above.

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Fernando Ramos González

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Notarised contract, dated 10 April 1685, drafted by notary Stephanus Pelgrom. A comprehensive contract between a large number of parties, among them the regents of various Dutch cities, representatives of the Dutch West India Company, and Spanish diplomats, to arrange the enslavement and transit of 1,200 Africans to the Spanish Americas. It contains stipulations about the ships and captains to be used, about the requested characteristics of the enslaved persons, and the procurement of payments. This is a sub-contract of the so-called asiento, the contract to supply slaves to the Spanish Americas which was at the time under the direction of Dutchman Balthasar Coymans in Cadiz; some of the parties in the contract are his representatives.

87 Sub-contract between the authorised representatives of Dutch asentista Balthasar Coymans in Cadiz and the Dutch West India Company (West-Indische Compagnie, WIC) in which the WIC is to deliver 1,200 enslaved people to the Spanish Americas. Date: 10 April 1685. Amsterdam City Archives. Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 4771, fol. no. 464/ scan no. 338.

87 See the appendix for a transcription and translation of this document 248

Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón

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Payments in favour of Gennaro and Cesare Marra and Domenico Brancaccio for the ransom of Giuseppe Antonio Aloisio, Neapolitan slave in Tunis, and Giacomo Aniello Paduano from Torre del Greco, a slave in the hands of the Turks of Algiers, ransomed through the French consul and Francesco Damiani, their correspondents in Tunis and Livorno.

88 Rescue of slaves: consignment of 100 ducats of 11 July 1715. Fondazione Banco di Napoli: Banco dello Spirito Santo, giornale copiapolizze matr. 1003.

Claudia Grossi and Gloria Guida

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PAPER TRAILS OF HUMAN GOODS

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Section

05 The Catalogue

250


Paper and Politics, Piety and Finance

Our last section deals with documents that testify to the use of finance for charitable purposes in several different ways. This stands in contrast first to the business and administrative practices used in slavery and the exclusively for-profit activities of states and businessmen seen above. The first two samples illustrate cases of what today we would call philanthropy, by means of which wealthy individuals like Francesco di Marco Datini, or Anton Fugger, left all or an important part of their wealth to set up charitable foundations after their death (docs 89 and 90). The rest of the documents exemplify the practice of the monte di pietà, a Church-sanctioned financial institution meant to provide credit and support to the needy, who were not able to become involved in more substantial or complex financial deals. They show how the Catholic Church reacted to a practice – usury – which it condemned but was unable to control and whose spread it had failed to stem. The documents displayed show an interesting combination of typically administrative and economic scriptural design, with the methods employed in traditional banking practices, all of which appear in combination with religious imagery forcefully denoting the nature and purposes of the institutions that produced these records (docs 91–93, and also doc. 78 in section 3). 251


Francesco di Marco Datini died on 16 August 1410. On 31 July of the same year he laid down his testamentary wishes, entrusting the drafting of his will, also in the vernacular, to notary and trusted friend Ser Lapo Mazzei. A long process of reflection led the heirless merchant to conceive the bequest of his goods to the poor of the land of Prato. This materialised into the testament which established a lay body of assistance for the poor of Prato, the Ceppo dei poveri di Francesco di Marco. It was to be administered by four men, the best and most honest in the land of Prato, with its headquarters in Palazzo Datini.

89 Last will and testament of Francesco di Marco Datini, 1410. ASPo: Datini, 1193.

252

Chiara Marcheschi

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On 26 July 1560, Anton Fugger determined in his third will that after his death (14 September) his sons were to give sums of money to a large number of persons from his immediate private and business circles. In total, there were 57 legacies granting a sum of 10,900 gulden or florins (fl.), together with another 1,000 fl. for alms. The disbursement of the money was carried out by Moritz Kronecker, administrator of the Fuggerei. Just over half of the legacies amounted to 200 florins. The recipients included long-time chief accountant Matthäus Schwarz, as well as the ‘Pfleger’(heads of administration) of larger estates, and Fugger’s personal waiter, cook and stable-keeper. Schwarz’s son was one of 19 who received 100 gulden each. Among the other 19 were ‘Pfleger’ of smaller estates, Anton Fugger’s personal servants and maids. The top amounts were received by two lawyers with 1200 fl. each, the representative in Spain with 400 fl., as well as four important commercial clerks from the financial administration with 300 fl. each.

90 Last will and testament of Anton Fugger. Augsburg, 1 November 1560. Original, paper, 31.2 x 21.1 cm. Fugger Archive, FA 19.2.

Matthäus Schwarz gave Marx and Hans Fugger a cash receipt for these 200 florins. In doing so, he confirmed that he had received this amount for his ‘obedient service’. The text was prewritten by his son and then confirmed by Schwarz’s personal seal and his signature.

90 254

Franz Karg

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91

1 The trappeso was a unit of weight used in the south of Italy before the adoption of the metric system, equivalent to 0.891 grams.

255

91 Pawn form, 24 December 1686. Fondazione Banco di Napoli: Banco di San Giacomo e Vittoria, giornale copiapolizze matr. 452, recto.

Claudia Grossi and Gloria Guida

Pawn form of 135 ducats issued and redeemed in Naples, on 24 December 1686, in favour of Giuseppe Viola. The pledge at 6 per cent is for six ducats, four Milanese ducats, five piastras (two Florentine and three Roman), half a genovino (‘una mezza genovina’), 31 Spanish doubloons, one sequin and one Italian half-doubloon, a pair of Milanese two-pearl earrings and a ring with a turquoise; altogether weighing 4 ounces in silver, and 10 ounces and 10 trappesi in gold.1

PAPER AND POLITICS, PIETY AND FINANCE

CAPTION


This is a codex consisting of sheets originally numbered from 1 to 22, preceded by two unnumbered sheets with the index of the volume Capitoli del Monte della Pietà .... The register has a splendid sixteenth-century binding consisting of wooden boards covered in leather with metal studs. Together with a second statute, this superb artefact is part of the series called ‘Libri iurium (secc. XVI–XVII)’. They are two parchment registers containing the transcription of those documents that sanctioned the privileges, institutional attributions and operating rules of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna. Among other important documents, it contains the following: a bull of Pope Julius II dating back to 1507, some papal briefs addressed to the congregation of the 12 presidents of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna, and the statutory provisions divided into chapters that make up the statutes of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna approved in 1514, as well as those dating back to the statutory reform passed in 1576. There are also transcriptions of bulls concerning the Monte di Pietà of Cesena (1488) and the Monte di Pietà of Savona (1514). Finally, there is also a copy of the bull issued in 1515 by Pope Leo X, which sanctioned the legitimacy of a modest interest rate on loans granted by the Italian mounts of piety in order to cover the running expenses of these charitable financial institutions.

92 Statutes of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna, sixteenth–seventeenth centuries, parchment, 31 x 21 x 2 cm. Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna.

92 256

Armando Antonelli

SECTION 05

CAPTION


93 A brief account of the office of prior of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna and its rules, seventeenth century, paper, 28 x 21 x 2 cm. Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna.

Armando Antonelli

The register, which has a cardboard binding covered in parchment, consists of a series of unnumbered sheets. From a cultural and artistic point of view, the most interesting aspect of this archival piece lies in the representation of Christ in Pietà depicted on the front cover. The register is organised in the form of a monthly schedule, indicating for each month the main functions that the prior of the congregation of the 12 presidents of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna had to perform, including the ceremonies and rituals to be presided over. Together with four other pieces, this record is part of the ‘Prioral Guides’ series (seventeenth–eighteenth centuries), which register the rules of conduct to be followed by the prior. As we should remember, the prior took this most prestigious office for one month. Indeed, it was held in rotation by each of the 12 presidents of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna, thus following the provisions of the statutes and decrees passed during the congregation’s various meetings over the course of time.

PAPER AND POLITICS, PIETY AND FINANCE

CAPTION

93

257


01

02

03

04

05 258


Appendix

Transcription and Translations [7]

Payment promise by Soliman Dombelli, May 1706. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 87, archival unit 284. Transcription Wajh taḥ arîe alḥ urūf wa wa muwjib tastîruhu huwa annahu ‘inda almu’allim Suleiman Ad-danbaki Almakârî Almakârî Alḥ alabî illî nâqil alwathîqa alkhwâja Andrea Albunduqî mualghan qadruhu sab’ wa sitîn qirsh wa khams masârî (para?) thaman jâz wa wâ’adahu bil’mablagh illî madhiyat arba’ ashhur tamdhî min tarîkhahu tahrîrar fin muntasaf shahr Safar allathî huwa min shuhūr sanat 1118. (Almu’allim Suleiman Ad-danbakî). Shuhūd alḥ âl, Ḥasan Basha bin Nâser, Alḥ âj Ḥasan ibn Abaq Jarishî Alqassab Ash-shâmî. Translation The reason for preparing and writing this document is that Muʿwallim [professor] Suleiman Al-Dunbaki [the jurist] Al-Makari Al-Halabi [the Aleppine] owes to the bearer of this document, Hoca Andrea Al-Bunduki [the Venetian], may he continue in strength, the sum of sixty-seven qurush and five masârî [?], the price of nuts [Jâz]. And he promises to pay him the sum four months from the date of this document’s drafting. Written in the middle of the month of Safar, of the months of the year 1118. [Late May 1706]. Witnesses: Hasan Pasha ibn Naser, Alhajj Hasan ibn abaq Jarish Al-Qassab [the butcher], Ash-shami [the Damascene]. (Translation and transcription by Giancarlo Casale) [8] Teschiera for the payment of 684 Spanish dollars, 18 June 1706. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 33, section 2, folder ‘Dom’, archival unit 272. Transcription Wajhi taḥ rîr’l-ḥ urūf huwa annahu ‘indana etneyna Gibâ’il walad Mîkhâîl wa Mikhâ’il walad Shiḥ adah elli naqlîn hathihi’l-wathîqah ash-shar’iyyah Alkhwâja Domikah Adamah wa’l-khawâja Petra Nikodîmî min tâ’ifat Alfransa, mablaghan qadruhu wa bayanuhu sittu-mi’at qirsh wa arba’ah wa thalâthîn qirsh wa nisf alqirsh, allatî nisfuha ḥ ifthan li’aslahiha thalâth-mi’a wa sab’at-‘ashar qirsh qa rub’I’l-qrish. Wa hiya mu’âmalati’sh-shâkilah fi’lbandar wa hiya ḥ uwaj (/hoj)lithaman ma’lūm aldar’ wa’th-thaman. 259


Wa hiya mu’ajjalah Alayna ila madiyyat sab’at ashhur, tamdî min tarîkhah badîla wa hiya mnhâ arb’ah wa ‘uddah wa thalâthah wafa wa qad etsallamana khoujatna almathkūr bit-tamâm. Wa ‘alâ hâtha’tta’jîl waqa’a arridâ wa’li-sh-hâd wa naḥ nu almathkūr etneynâ mitkâflînah mâlan wa thimmah ay man hadar yadfa’ almablagh almathkūr, wa ‘alâ Allah alwafa wa’t-takâmul. Taḥ rîr thâleka fi sitat ayyâm madat min shari Rabî’l-wwal mn shuhūri sanat 1118. Alf wa mi’ah wa thamnî ‘ashar, Alfaqîr Gibrâ’îl walad Mîkhâ’îl, Alfaqîr Mîkhâ’îl walad Shihâdah althimmî, Shuhūdu’l-ḥ âl, Assayid Ḥussien ibn assayed Ḥussien, Bâkir Chorbajî Reslan Alqifil, Fatḥ a’l-llah Abu alḥ aj Muḥ ammad, Alḥ aj Muḥ ammad abu Alḥ aj [?], Alḥ aj Abdu’l-jaleel Alkhânci. Translation The reason for preparing this document is that both Gabriel son of Michael and Michael son of Shihadah, the bearers of this legal document, came before us with money from Hodja Domenico Adami and Hoca Pietro Niccodemi of the French nation [min ta’ifa frānça], reckoned and determined to be in the amount of 634.5 qurush, half being 327.25 qurush, confirming the total. And it is for certain business related to the port [muʿāmelet al-şākila fi’l-bender], and it is the known market price to be paid seven months after the agreement. Three months of this period have passed and four are left. And we have fully received from the aforementioned Hodjas the indicated amount of money and the remaining sum is mutually accepted and signed to be delayed, as confirmed by our witness. As we came to guarantee it and may God facilitate and help to complete this. Written on 6 Rabi’ul-Awwal, 1118 [18 June 1706]. The needy to God Gabriel son of Michael Aldami. The needy to God Michail son of Shihadah Althimi. Witnesses: Assayid Hussien ibn assayed Hussien, Bakir Chirbaji Reslan Al-qifil, Fatha’l-llah Abu al-hajj Muhammad, Al-haj Muhammad abu Alhaj [?], Al-haj Abdu’l-jaleel Al-khanci. (Translation and transcription by Giancarlo Casale) [9] Cover letter of a receipt of six sequins paid by order and account of the Armenian merchant Giorgio Serkis to Elias, 26 September 1708. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 25, archival unit 284. Transcription Ilâ ḥ adrat sihirna almukarram Khawaja ilyâs sallamahu Allah ta’âlâ m’n kul sū’ Amin. Awwalan kathrat alishityâq ilayk bil’khair. Walidi a’lamak jihî bi’an wâsil ilayk qubtân Baskulali ibn Shammaâs Gerges Hamshadana. Wâslak ma’ s’tt dhahab [?] mshân kharjiyyah li-ummî, tiqullu bkhatrak takhud-ha minh wa tiqsha’ inkân bey’ūzah min juhat akh-dh aw ‘atta tiqdî masâleḥ uh. Bi’annahu ma byi’raf [?]. Wa Aydan fi suḥ bit-hum abuna Khūri Ilyâs Ayusu’ây ibn al-mukhwadh min tâ’ifat al-mawârnah jayîn ilâ Trablos la’ind Al-batrîq wa biyinzel ilâ Halab. Ana wassætoh bi’an yisalkum ‘alâ [?] Safrashâ ibn akhî ḥ attâ yi’allam elsân. Wa ‘atíh dismal o ib’atuh ilâ Misr yiq’3ud lahū sanatayn wa yirja’ majbūr alkhâtirilâ ‘indum b’an akhî Niqolâ ba’at qallí ma’ kul man tawajjah byib’atuh tikūn anta mawâkil fi hal almur. Wa baqí ‘umrak tawîl. Wa assalâm ‘alâ assit Qudsiyyah bin akhî wa ḥ urmitak wa awladha kul wâḥ ad bi’ismuhu. Wa asslâm ‘alâ Maqdisî Tadrus ibn Aslân kathîr assalâm. Wa tuhdî minnî assalâm ‘alâ Shammas Shukrullah ibn ihmâ akhî Mikhâ’îl wa ummuhu wa zawjatuhu kahtîr assalâm. Wa asslâm ‘alâ awlâd Hajj Aslan kabîr wa saghîr. Wa jul ḥ osh beyt jadkum kathîr assalâm. Sutira fî 13 Tishrîn Ath-thânî sanat 1708. Faqir (fâ’iq) addu’â li-maḥ abatikom. Translation To our honoured son-in law Hoja Ilyas may God protect him from all maladies Amin. First, we miss you a lot in good [hope to see you in good times]. My father informed you on my behalf that Captain Baskulali ibn the Verger [shammâs] Gerges Hamshadana arrived [to you]. He arrived with 6 pieces of gold [?] as an allowance for my mother. So, if you please, take it from him and check if he needs anything and give him what helps him. Because he doesn’t know of [?]. Also, along with them our father, Priest [Khouri] Ilyas Al-yusū’î ibn Al-mikhwâdiq of the Armenian sect. He is to [go to] Tripoli to the patriarch and then to Halep. I asked him to check on [?] Safarsha my nephew to come to my side. And if he returned from Tokat send him along with Bakulal the captain the language [?]. And give him a gown [dimsâl] and send him to Egypt to stay there for two years. Then he shall return to your side happy [or 260


well off]. That my father Niqola [Nichola] with whomever you send him be his guardian [protector]. May you live and prosper. Convey my greetings to Mrs Qudsiyyah my niece and your wife and her children each by their name. And my great salams [greetings] to Maqdisî Tadros Abu Aslan. And give my salam to your uncles and their children and their families each by their name. And a great salam from me to your sons Maqdisí, Abdoh, Sadih and your mother. Also, to Verger [shammâs] Shukrullah the son-in-law of my brother Mikha’îl [Michael] and his mother Aslan and each old and young and to all the yards [gardens] of your grandfather’s house. Written on 13 October 1708. With prayers and love. (Translation and transcription by Giancarlo Casale) [10] Teschiera of six bales containing 600 goat skins. Adami-Lami Archive, Florence: document 32, section 2, folder ‘Dom’, archival unit 272. Transcription Wajihi tahrîr-i hurūf- olur ki. İşbu bin yüz yirmi beş senesinde İngiliz tüccarlarından Senyör Vurudra ve Kokoberdin nâm tüccarler liman reisi zarbunâsik yalnız altı denke derin altı yüze yüz derin olmak üzere biz Halep iskelesi İskenderun’da iken Balyoz Senyör Borden’e irsal olunmuştur. Bu tarafta âdet-i kadim üzere resmî gümrük alınıp yedine işbu tezkire verlmiştir. Asla kimse müdâhil eylemeye. Tahrîren 29 şahr-i Ramadan-ı şerf sene 1125. Hüseyin Ağa Emin-i iskele.

Translation The reason for preparing this document is that in this year of one thousand and twenty-five, two English merchants, Senior Verurdra [Vernon?] and Senior Kokoberdin [Calckberner?] the chief of the harbour: As we were getting closer to the harbour of Aleppo in Iskenderun, the English merchant consul was sent to Borden. As customary here the customs were received and he was handed this deed. Accordingly, no one shall interfere. Written on 29, holy Ramadan, 1125 [19 October 1713]. Trustee of the harbour, Huseyn Agha. (Translation and transcription by Giancarlo Casale) [13] Testimony by Portuguese Jews in Spanish about a bill of exchange from Lisbon, followed by a Dutch translation. Date: 20 April 1632. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 941, fol. no. 34/696/scan no. 503. Transcription Oy en veinte dias del mes de abril de mil y seiscientos y treinta y dos años ante mi Daniel Bredan notario y escrivano publico residente en esta ciudad de Amsterdam, admitado por la Corte de Holanda y en presencia de los testigos abaxo nombrados, paresciô presente Manuel Lopo de Leon mercader Portuguez y morador en la dicho ciudad aquien yo notorio doy fè que conosco el qual a pedimiento de Lopo de Fonseca Dias assi mismo mercader Portuguez en esta dicha ciudad, dixô y declaro ser verdad que en doze dias de mayo de mil y seiscientos y veyntyocho años hizo un cambio con Pedro Homen Coronel de quinientos y cinquenta cruzados para Lixboa, el qual Pedro Homen Coronel le diô una letra passada por Lopo da Fonseca Dias de la misma cantidad sobre Gaspar Nunez Rodriguez a pagar a Pedro Homen Coronel o su orden, el qual sobrescribiô la dicha letra ordenando la pagara Juan de Leon mercader y morador en la dicha ciudad de Lixboa y abiendola este testigo embiado a Lixboa, ha recebido cartas del dicho Juan de Leon en que le avisa que la avia cobrado y recebido del dicho Gaspar Nunez Rodriguez. Fecho y passado 261


en Amsterdam, en presencia de Nicolas Gerardo y Gulielmo Sebastian mis officiales como testigos. Op huijden den twintigsten aprilis des jaers duijsent seshondert twee en dertigh voor mij Daniel Bredan openbaere notaris tot Amsterdam residerende, bij den Hove van Holland geadmitteert, ter presentie van de naer genoemde getuijgen compareerde Manuel Lopo de Leon Portugees coopman binnen deser stede, mij notario wel bekent, ende heeft bij waere woorden in plaetse ende onder presentatie van solemnelen eede ten versoecke van sieur Lopo de Fonseca Dias mede Portugees coopman binnen deselver stede, getuijgt, verclaert, ende geattesteert hoe waer is, dat hij getuijge op den twaelfden meij des jaers duijsent seshondert achtentwintigh eene wissel gesloten heeft met Pedro Homen Coronel van vijfhondert ende vijftigh crusaden op Lissebon: den welcken P. H. Coronel hem getuijge gegeven heeft eene wisselbrief bij den producent van gelijcke somme getrocken op Gaspar Nunez Rodriguez woonende tot Lissebon houdende te betaelen aen Pedro Homen Coronel oft dien hij soude ordonneren, welcken voorseijden P. H. Coronel de voorgemelde brieff heeft geendosseert, ordonnerende die te betaelen aen Joan de Leon coopman ende inwoonder der voorschreven stadt Lissebon; waer naer hij getuijge de voorschreven brief gesonden hebbende naer Lissebon, heeft advijs ende brieven becomen van den voorschreven Joan de Leon in de welcke hij hem getuijge schrijft dat hij de betaelinghe van de gemelde wisselbrief tot Lissebon van den voornoemden Gaspar Nunez Rodriguez ingevordert ende oock ten vollen ontfangen hadde. Van welcke verclaeringhe den voornoemden producent aen mij notaris versoght acte. Aldus gedaen ende gepasseert tot Amsterdam ten comptoire mijne notaris ter presentie van Claes Gerritsen ende Guilliam Bastiaensen beijde clercken als getuijgen hiertoe versogt. Translation Today on the twentieth of April of the year 1632 appeared before me, Daniel Bredan, public notary of Amsterdam, residing and admitted by the Court of Holland, together with the later mentioned witnesses, Manuel Lopo de Leon, Portuguese merchant of this city, well known by me the notary, and has declared in truthful words and under oath at the request of Sieur Lopo de Fonseca Dias, also a Portuguese merchant of this city, how it is true, that he, the witness, on the twelfth of May of the year 1628, issued a bill of exchange to Pedro Homen Coronel of 550 cruzados to be withdrawn in Lisbon for the account of Lopo de Leon on Gasper Nunez Rodriguez, living in Lisbon, to be paid to P. H. Coronel or anyone he empowers, which bill of exchange P. H. Coronel has endorsed, ordering it to be paid to Joan de Leon, merchant and resident of the aforementioned city of Lisbon, after which he the witness sent the aforementioned bill of exchange to Lisbon, and received information and letters from the aforementioned Joan de Leon, in which he writes to him that he has claimed the payment of said bill of exchange from the aforementioned Gaspar Nunes Rodriguez and also fully received said sum, the declaration of which was requested from me the notary by the issuer. Thus done and passed in Amsterdam at the office of I [sic], the notary, in the presence of Claes Gerritsen and Guilliam Bastiaensen, both clerks, requested as witnesses. (Transcription and translation by Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón) [14] Translation of a Hebrew act concerning the inheritance of Ephraim Cohen in the Barbary states; the witnesses declare that they translated this act into Dutch at the request of Rabbi Isak Cohen; signature in Hebrew, 13 January 1694. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 5847, fol. no. 42/ scan no. 44. Transcription Voor d’ondergeschreven gestuijgen is gecomen d’eerbare vrouw Achair de weduwe van zaliger chacham rabi Effraim Abrams Cohen die overleden is in Barbarije en haer soon Moises en sijn neef Rabachaim Moises de voogd van de gemelde erfgenamen Effraim Cohen volgens inhoud van het testament gesonden door sieur jacham de voornaemste rabbi Isak Cohen de neef van den voornoemde neef Ephraim Cohen welk testament luijt dat den voorschreven Ephraim heeft nagelaten eenige goederen in Barbarijen op welke goederen is gesonden procuratie aen den voorgemelten jacham Isak Cohen om de voorschreven goederen en erffeniss onder hem te nemen over welke procuratie geresen is eenige questie en twistreden maer daer om niet te min hem de voorschreven procuratie op nieuw becragtigt hebbe met nieuwe verseekeringe en getuijgenisse 262


op onser Joode manier bevestigt en geven hem onsen neef hier vooren genoemt jacham Isak Cohen rabbi opnieuw weeder om magt en authoriteijt van de voorschreven nagelatene goederen soo in Barbarijen als in andere plaetsen van den voornoemde Effraim Cohen te aenvaerden en daer mede doen en van disponeren als nae sijn eijge vrije wil sonder imants tegenseggen bij haer solemnelijk verclaert op het aldercragtigste op onser Jooden manier Actum matase den 23 Manitamos t 53 in de stadt Nesw volgens onser Jooden reekene - was getekent Israel Salick, Salomons Israels Majer kerk dienaer van de gemeijnte van de stadt Neswis in Littouw. 13 Januari 1694 compareerde voor mij Joan Hoekeback notaris et cetera d’eersame Ysrael Salick Salomons van Lassoulje ende Moses Baruch van Lanou in der Littou Jooden van genoegen ouderdom getuygende voor de waerheyt, dat den voorenstaende acte door hen dus getrouwelyk is vertaelt uyt d’acte met hebreuse caracters geschreven aen dese grosse door t’cachet van mij notaris geannexeert; dat sij deselve ook hebben sien teekenen ende hij eerste getuyge deselve ter plaetse en tyde voorschreven mede te hebben geteekent; eyndelyk dat sij deselve acte mede herwaerts ende aen den requirant in desen rabbi Isack Cohen alhier overgebragt en geleevert hebben, beloovende t’ selve des nood met eede te bevestigen Actum Amsterdam present Jan Brou en Adriaen Baars als getuygen. Translation Appearing before us, undermentioned witnesses, the honourable mistress Achair, widow of the late hakham rabbi Effraim Abrams Cohen, who died in Barbary, and her son Moises, and his cousin Rabachaim Moises, guardian to said heirs of Effraim Cohen according to the contents of the testament, which was sent by the most illustrious hakham Rabbi Isak Cohen, cousin to the aforementioned Ephraim Cohen, which testament states that the aforementioned Ephraim has left some assets in Barbary, concerning which assets power of attorney was granted to the aforementioned hakham Isak Cohen, to take said assets and inheritance into his custody; some disputes and arguments have arisen concerning said power of attorney, but nevertheless we have ratified said power of attorney once more with renewed assurance, and confirmed this according to our Jewish custom, and grant our cousin, the aforementioned hakham Rabbi Isak Cohen again the power and authority to take into his custody the aforementioned assets of said Effraim Cohen, whether they be in Barbary or in other places, and dispose of them out of his own free will, without any interference of others. Deposited in the most solemn fashion according to Jewish custom; Actum matase the 23 manitamos 53 in the city of Nesw according to our Jewish calendar - was signed Israel Salick, Salomons Israels Majer, acolyte of the nation of the city of Neswis in Lithuania. 13 January 1694. Appearing before me, Joan Hoekeback, notary etc. the honourable Ysrael Salick Salomons of Lassoulje and Moses Baruch of Lanou in Lithuania, Jews of majority age, testifying it to be the truth, that they have dutifully translated the above deed from the deed written in Hebrew characters, and of which a marked copy is attached; that they have witnessed the signing of said deed and that he, the first witness, was a co-signor present at the same time and place; lastly, that they have brought the same deed with them here and delivered it to the requirant, being rabbi Isack Cohen, promising to confirm this under oath if required. Actum Amsterdam, in the presence of Jan Brou and Adrian Baars, witnesses. (Transcription and translation by Tessa de Boer & Ramona Negrón) [22] Merchants declare the current exchange rates between Dutch and Smyrnese coins, and the standard insurance procedures when transporting yarn from Turkey to Amsterdam, 5 September 1686. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 4123, fol. no. 30/scan no. 23. Transcription Op huijden 5 september anno 1686 compareerde voor mij Dirck van der Groe notaris et cetera in presentie van de nabeschreven getuijgen d’heeren Gio Eijgels ende Abraham van der Sande cooplijden binnen deser steede ende hebben ten versoecke van d’heer Antonyo de Lespaul coopman alhier voor 263


de oprechte waerheijt in plaetse ende onder presentatie van eede solemneel getuijcht verclaert ende geattesteert hoe waer is dat drie acht en twintich stuijvers penningen van dese landen tot Deventer, Campen of Swol geslagen tot Smirna passeren voor twee leeuwendaelders ende van deselve waerdijs zijn, ende dat de gewigtige stucken van achten gelijck die tot Smirna passeren hier waerdigh sijn over de vijftigh stuijvers het stuck attesterende verders dat in de jaere 1675 van Smirna onder het convoij van wijlen den heer schout bij nacht Engel de Ruijter nevens andere scheepen oock nae Amsterdam geseijlt sijn de schepen genaemt de Isabella schipper Dirck Verburg ende het Wapen van Amsterdam schipper Hendrick Rijcken verclarende laestelijck sij getuijigen dat tot Smirna gebruijckelijck is dat men op het Turx garen en andere goederen ordinaris soo veel penningen op bodemarie niet en geeft als het goet welwaerdigh is om altijt en suffisant hypoteecq te hebben ende dat wanneer op het goet tekort compt op de bodemarie penningen te leveren men gemeenelijck in Turckijen geen verhael heeft of can hebben op de eijgenaer van het goet als het en armeender ofte iemant anders van s landt is, gevende sij getuijgen voor redenen van wetenschap dat sij lange jaren tot Smirna gewoont hebben aldaer genegotieert ende alsnoch van hier hunne handel op die plaetse sijn drijvende ende of sulx t geende waer wel weeten ende bij de presentie ondervonden hebben alles oprecht gedaen t Amsterdam ten presentie van Jacobus van der Groe ende Evert de Marre als getuijgen hiertoe versocht. Translation Today on 5 September 1686 appeared before me, Dirck van der Groe, notary et cetera, in the presence of the later mentioned witnesses, the gentlemen Gio Eijgels and Abraham van der Sande, merchants of this city, who have declared in truth and under oath, at the request of Antonyo de Lespaul, merchant here, how it is true, that three twenty-eight stuivers penningen of these lands minted in Deventer, Campen or Zwolle, pass in Smyrna for two leeuwendaalders and are of the same value, and that the pieces of eight that circulate in Smyrna are here worth over fifty stuivers a piece, declaring further that in 1675 from Smyrna under convoy of late Rear Admiral Engel de Ruijter, there sailed to Amsterdam as well as other ships, the ships the Isabella, skipper Dirck Verburg, and the Wapen van Amsterdam, skipper Hendrick Rijcken, declaring lastly they the witnesses that it is customary in Smyrna that one does not give so many bottomry funds on Turkish yarn and other goods and if the goods are well to always have a sufficient mortgagem and that when that is not sufficient, to have the bottomry funds in Turkey available for full withdrawal, or in cash if the owner of the goods is Armenian or anyone else of the land, giving the witnesses reasons of knowledge that they lived several years in Smyrna and traded there, as they still do from here, and thus know this all to be true and have experienced this themselves. Done in Amsterdam in the presence of Jacobus van der Groe and Evert de Marre requested as witnesses. (Translation and transcription by Tessa de Boer & Ramona Negrón) [24] Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed, drafted by notary Daniel Bredan. Merchant Jacob Bueno, a Sephardic Jew, declares that he has received rotten textiles from Turkey, 9 January 1631. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 941, fol. no. 17/scan no. 33. Transcription Op huijden den negenden januarii, des jaers duijsent seshondert sevenendertigh, hebbe ick Daniel Bredan, openbaer notaris tot Amsterdam residerende bij den Hove van Hollandt geadmitteert, mij met de naergenoemde getuijgen, ten versoeke van Jacob Bueno Portugees coopman binnen deselver stede, getransporteert binnen seecker packhuijs, staende op Boomsloot alhier, alwaer den requirant ons heeft vertoont seeckere partije van spreen ende andere soorte van lijwaeten, die hij verclaerde dat uijt Constantinoblen in Grieckenlandt waeren overgecomen met het schip genaemt de Postpeerdt, daer schipper op was Claes Willemssen Hooft; ende hebben bevonden ende gesien dat alle de voorseijde lijwaeten verdorven ende op ettelijcke plaetsen verrot waeren, twelck den requirant verclaerde toegecomen te wesen overmids den schipper de houte kiste in dewelcke die lijwaten gepackt waeren, in sijn voorschreven schip heeft geleijt onder de vaten met wijn die hij ingeladen hadde, waer uijt de wijn leckende, in de voorschreven houte kiste ingedrongen was, gelijck oogenschijnlijck aen deselve kiste te sien was, die den requirant ons geopent heeft, ende wij hebben daer inne op den bodem claerlijck gemerckt dat het van wijn nat geweest ende plecken daer van behouden hadde. Hebben oock gesien dat verscheijdene lijwaeten die den requirant verclaerde dat hij die hadde gedaen uijtwassen, daer door haere lustre ende schoonheijt teenemael verlooren hadden, sulcx dat de gantsche partije lijwaeten ende spreen gheen leverbaer 264


coopmansgoet en is, noch daer voor ontfangen magh worden. Versoeckende hij requirant aen mij notario allen t selve ad notam genomen, geprotocolleert ende hem daer acte gelevert te worden acte in forma. Aldus gedaen tot Amsterdam, ter presentie van Haye Riewerstz vaerensman ende Jacob Cornelissen, getuijgen hiertoe versocht. Translation Today, the ninth of January of the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-seven, I, Daniel Bredan, public notary in Amsterdam, residing and admitted by the Court of Holland, together with the aft-named witnesses and at the request of Jacob Bueno, Portuguese merchant in this city, transported myself to a certain warehouse on the Boomsloot, where the requirant showed us a certain batch of coverlets and other types of lijwaten [oriental fabrics], which he declared had come from Constantinople in Greece, on the ship De Postpeerdt, captained by Claes Willemssen Hooft; and we have observed and seen that all of the aforementioned lijwaten were spoiled and at various places rotten, which the requirant declared had happened because the wooden chests in which they had been packaged had been put in the ship by the captain underneath the vats of wine, which leaked into the aforementioned wooden chests, the traces of which we observed on said chests, as the requirant also opened them for us and we could clearly notice on the bottom that it had been wetted with wine, the stains of which remained. We also observed that several lijwaten, which the requirant declared that he had washed, had lost some of their shimmer and beauty because of this; this all caused the entire batch of lijwaten and coverlets to be unsuitable merchandise, and it cannot be taken onto the market as such. The requirant has requested me, the notary, to take note of this, to put it in the protocol, and to draft a deed in forma. So it was done in Amsterdam, in the presence of Haye Riewertsz, sailor, and Jacob Cornelissen, witnesses by request. (Transcription and translation by Tessa de Boer & Ramona Negrón) [25] Contract between merchant Antonio de Lespaul and Jan Brouwer wherein Brouwer will be sent to Turkey for some years to learn the woolworking craft. Date: 1 August 1692. Amsterdam City Archives: Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 5844, scan no. 4. Transcription Compareerde voor mij Joan Hoekeback notaris et cetera d’heer Antonio de Lespaul coopman alhier ter eenre; ende meester Jan Brouwer meerderjarig jongman van Leijden ter andere zijde, ende verclaerden sij comparanten in der minnen verdragen en gecontracteert te sijn in maniere naervolgende: 1.

Eerstelijk dat desen sal dienen tot een vast contract ende oogmerk te hebben omme onder het gebied van den Groten Heer een wolle scheyderij ende de wolle ploserij op te regten met profyt en avantagie onder Godes seegen;

2.

Dat tot dien eijnde gemelte Brouwer sig naer Turkijen sal begeven, gelijk hij sig daertoe verbint bij desen, het sij te water of te lande, soo en wanneer als den voorschreven de L’Espaul sal goet vinden,

3.

D’oncosten van deselve reijs sal den gemelde heer Lespaul dragen, als mede de costen van het wederom thuijs coomen, mitsgaders de montcosten ende reijsgelden die den voorschreven Brouwer in Turkijen wegens de gemeene affaires sal comen te doen, indien bevonden wert het voorhebbende desseijn naer verwagtinge niet wel uijtte valllen; Dog het dessein reusserende en welgeluckende soo sullen de gemelde oncosten van de gemeene winste alvoorens afgetrocken werden;

4.

Omme van de saeke ondervindinge te becomen sal dito Brouwer gehouden wesen, ingevalle hij dito Lespaul goet vint twee jaeren aldaer te verblijven;

5.

Ende alsoo merkelijke somme van penningen tot een fonds of capitael van den voornoemde handel en wolscheijderije van noden is, omme deselve te beginnen en continueren, soo 265


obligeert en verbint sig dito heer Lespaul des nodig agtende daertoe te sullen fourneren ter somme van thienduijsent Leewendaelders; 6.

Daerentegens sal ook hij Lespaul gedurende de twee eerste jaeren in de winsten en verliesen vijf sesde parten, ende hij Brouwer maer een sesde part trecken en herideeren;

7.

Dog alvoorens enige winst te reekenen of verdeelen, sullen alle lasten en costen van huijshouden, wolle scheijde en ploserij voldaen of afgetrocken werden;

8.

Aengaende de ses andere eerstvolgende jaeren sal dito Lespaul ¾ en Brouwer ¼ in dito winst en verliesen participeeren;

9.

Is mede gestipuleert dat gedurende de gemelde twee eerste jaeren eenig verlies bevonden werdende dito Lespaul t’selve alleen sal dragen en dito Brouwer daervan bevrijd blijven;

10. Wijders is geaccordeert, dat dito Brouwer gehouden sal sijn de voorschreven handel en affairen waertenemen, naer sijn beste kennisse vlijt en vermogen onder de directie ende het goetvinden van soodanig persoon of persoonen, als gemelten heer Lespaul voor hooft en patroon of ijmant van sijnen t’wegen sal gelieve te nomineren, sullende mede naer expiratie van de gemelde twee eerste jaren ofte wel eerder of later de naem van dito Brouwer, het sij alleen ofte geassocieert in de negotie gaen, soo en sulxs door dito L’espaul of die van sijnen t’wegen, sal goet gevonden worden; sulxs 11. Dat ook dito heer Antonio de l’Espaul sal vermogen soodanige persoon ofte persoonen wegens sijn interessen en belangen, dit contract aengaende, te nomineren ende in sijne plaetse te stellen, als t’hem sal believen, ook omme te reguleren hoe de naem of benaminge in de gemelde compagnieschap sullen gaan, waertoe dito heer Lespaul mitsdesen bij provisie is autoriserende sijne broeders de heeren Gaspar en Pieter de L’espaul, te samen ofte yder van hun lieden in t’besonder, met ook magt andere te mogen substitueren, al was t maar door brief of missive onder sijn handteekeninge; 12. De gemelde twee en ses jaeren respectievelijk geëxpireert sijnde, ende dito Brouwer nogh lust hadde langer in Turkijen te blijven, so sal dito heer L’Espaul bevoegt sijn aen dito Brouwer een compagnon toe te voegen, welken dito Brouwer ook belooft en sig verbint denselven te sullen aennemen, ende alsdan de profijten half en half gaen, mits leggende ijder ook eeven veel capitael in den gemelde handel; 13. Eijndelijk is nog geconditioneert dat dito heer Lespaul den voornoemde Brouwer door goede asseuradeurs alhier op sijne reijse derwaerts ter somme van een duijsent guldens sal doen verseekeren voor roovers en barbaren; alsmede op sijn wederom comste, ingevalle hun dessein en voornemen van den gemelde handel niet mogt comen te resusseren, en sulxs wederom herwaerts binnen den tijt van de gemelte twee jaeren soude moeten comen; alle t’welke sal staen ten keure van dito heer Lespaul; sullende desen contracte andersints vast sijn den tijt van agt jaeren te rekenen met het arrivement van dito Brouwer in Turkijen voornoemd. Op dese conditien en voorwaerden verclaerden sij comparanten desen contracte te hebben geaccordeert en geslooten, beloovende elkanderen den inhoude van dien te sullen gestant doen en laten genieten, onder verband ende submissie als naer regten; Actum Amsterdam present Jan Brou en Cornelis Snoek als getuygen. Translation Appearing before me, Joan Hoekeback, nots. etc. on the one hand Mr Antonio de Lespaul, merchant hither, and on the other master Jan Brouwer, youth of majority age hailing from Leiden, and they declare that they have amicably agreed and contracted the following terms: 1.

First, that this will serve as a permanent contract, with the aim of establishing a factory for separating and fluffing wool in the territory of the sultan, hoping to gain profit and advantages by God’s blessings;

2.

That for this purpose, said Brouwer will go to Turkey, and contracts himself thus, to go either by water or by land, if and when the said l’Espaul will see it fit to happen,

3.

Lespaul will carry the costs of said journey, and also the costs of the return journey, plus the expenses related to food and travels which said Brouwer will incur in Turkey whilst conducting this business, in case it turns out that the intended operation does not succeed; but if the 266


operation does succeed and thrives, then the common expenses will be subtracted from the common profits; 4.

To immerse himself in this business, Brouwer will stay over there for two years, if said Lespaul approves;

5.

And if a certain amount of money is needed in a fund of sorts for said trade and fabrication of wool to establish and continue it, said Lespaul promises to funnel a sum of ten thousand Leeuwendaalders for this purpose, if he thinks it is necessary;

6.

In return, he, Lespaul, will have a 5/6th share in the profits and losses for the first two years, and he, Brouwer, will only have or inherit the 1/6th part.

7.

However, before any profit is calculated or distributed, any and all expenses and costs related to the household and wool factory will be evened or subtracted;

8.

Regarding the other six years to come after that, said Lespaul will entertain 3/4 and Brouwer 1/4 of the profits and losses;

9.

It has also been stipulated that if any losses are incurred during the first two years, said Lespaul will solely carry these, and said Brouwer will be unburdened by these;

10. Furthermore, it has been agreed that said Brouwer promises to conduct said business and affairs to the best of his knowledge, diligence and ability, working under the direction and leadership of the person or persons that said Lespaul will nominate as director or patron; and if said Lespaul or his deputy approves, after the first two years, or a bit earlier, the name of said Brouwer, alone or in association, will be put on the charter; 11. That in addition Mr Antonio de l’Espaul will retain the right to nominate any person or persons to deputize for him regarding his interests and affairs related to this contract, and, at his pleasure, to also determine what the name of said company will be, for which purpose said Mr Lespaul provisionally nominates his brothers, Messers Gaspar and Pieter de l’Espaul, together or individually, and with the authority to substitute one for the other, even if only via a letter or missive carrying his signature. 12. That if the said two and six years respectively have expired, and it is said Brouwer’s wish to remain in Turkey for an even longer time, then said Mr l’Espaul retains the right to add a business partner, whom said Brouwer promises and contracts himself to formally hire, and then the profits will be split in half, under the condition that both have invested an equal share of capital in said enterprise; 13. Finally, it has been agreed that said Mr Lespaul will have said Brouwer insured by quality insurers on his onward or return journey, at a sum of one thousand guilders, against bandits and barbarians; and if upon his return, in case their planned and intended business does not succeed, and this return takes place within the stipulated first two years of time, all of which will be subjected to the judgement of said Mr Lespaul, then this contract will be permanent for eight years, to be counted from the arrival of said Brouwer in Turkey. Under these conditions and provisions the parties declare that they have brokered and agreed to this contract, promising each other to uphold its contents, bound by and submitted to the law; enacted in Amsterdam in the presence of Jan Brou and Cornelis Snoek as witnesses. (Transcription and translation by Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón) [38] Armenian merchant Wartabiet declares that he has received from Lucal van Coppenhol and Frederick Schulerus two hundred reams of paper, with payment agreements. With a short text in Armenian. Date: 25 February 1668. Amsterdam City Archives Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 3606, fol. no. 86/ scan no. 94. Transcription Compareerde sieur Wartabiet armenen coopman wonende hier ter stede in de Keijserstraat, ende bekende ende verklaarde vrijwilligh en welbedachtelijck voor hem ende sijn erfgenaemen finalijck 267


gekogt ende oock alsnu tot sijn volgenoegen ontfangen te hebben van sieurs Lucas van Coppenol, en Fredrick Schulerus beijde coopluijden hier ter stede tweehondert riemen commun groot mediaen druck papier, bestaande in hondert vijfigh riem commun ende vijftig riem bruijnder, ende dat ten prijse namentlijk 150 riem commun, en 30 riem van de bruijnder sijn t samen 180 riem, tegens vier guldens en 86 stuijvers ijder riem, ende de resterende 20 riem tegens vier guldens yder riem, bedragende t samen acht hondert tweeentseventigh guldens tot 20 stuijvers t stuck, te betalen de voorschreven somm cooppenningen comptant binnen vier eerstkomende weken naar dato deser aen de gemelte verkopers sieurs Coppenol ende Schulerus, prompt ende precies sonder uyt vlugt ende rechtsvordering, binnen deser stede Amsterdam, voor wel hier cost ende schadelose betalinge, die hij comparant als voren voorschreven voorschreven papier dat hij bekent hem tot sijn vol contenten gelevert te sijn, te doen, verbindt hij comparant sijn persoon en goederen hebbende ende gekrijgende, submitterende de hele en den keur van dien te bedwang van alle regten en geregten ende renuncieert van quade conditie ende rafactie, ende in als desen sal gecertificeert ende te niet sijn de koop van de 200 riem papier waar van hij comparant ten behoeve van de voornoemde verkoper sijn handschrift hadde getekent, t’welck sij als nu wel zijnde hij oock weder na hem genomen ende ingetrocken heeft, als sijnde nul, ende alles de verschillen de proceduren daaruijt ontstaan vernieticht, dragende ijder de costen en et cetera sijde gedaan, alle t welck sieurs Coppenol ende Schulerus mede comparerende, approberen, ende accepteren, ende consenteren der respectieve comparanten hier van te leveren acte dat aldus passeerde binnen Amsterdam ter presentie van Pieter de Wit en Adrianus Cheristiaeriaens als getuijgen. Translation Appearing Sieur Wartabiet, Armenian merchant, living in this city in the Keizerstraat, who has declared voluntarily and deliberately that he bought for himself and his heirs, and has now gladly received, from Sieurs Lucas van Coppenol and Fredrick Schulerus, both merchants of this city, two hundred reams of regular large-sized printing paper, consisting of one hundred and fifty regular reams and fifty brown reams; one hundred and fifty regular reams and thirty brown reams against four guilders per ream, together with 872 guilders at 20 stuivers a piece, to be paid in cash within the four coming weeks to said sellers Sieurs Coppenol and Schulerus, quickly and precisely without excuse or litigation, within this city Amsterdam, for which costs and indemnified payment, which the appearer is bound to do for the aforementioned paper which he declares he has received, and the appearer commits his person and estate, having and receiving, submitting the whole hallmark to claim all rights, and renouncing from bad condition and drawback, and that if these are certified and nullified, the sale of the two hundred reams of paper, of which the appearer has signed for said seller, which he has also taken back and nullified, and that all procedures arising therefrom are annulled, each bearing the costs et cetera, all of which Sieurs Coppenol and Schulerus also appearing, approve and accept, and consent to deliver a deed to the appearers. Thus passed in Amsterdam in the presence of Pieter de Wit and Adrianus Christiaens as witnesses.1 (Transcription and translation by Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón) [53] Letter from Rosso di Strozza Strozzi to Luca del Sera, dated in Caffa, 5 October 1392. Archivio di Stato di Prato: Datini, busta 754, inserto 3, cod. 313400. Transcription Al nome di Dio, dì 10 d’ottobre 1392. Poi che di Firenze partimmo non t’ò scritto. Arai saputo che Iacopo e io venimmo qui pe’ Portinari. E a questo nuovo tenpo con la grazia di Dio torneremo in costà. Che Dio ce facci salvi. Abiamo trovato questo paese più cattivo a mercatantia che fosse già è grande tenpo. E ènne cagione la carestia ci è di vettuaglia che ci è ’tretanti caro che nol suole esser. E vedrane la prueva che in su queste galee di Gienova non viene la roba è usata di venire. Questa di Liano Centurione viene carica di schienali e di alquante carabie di vai e un pocho di seta, ma ànno 1 According to the translation provided by His Excellency the Ambassador of Armenia in the Netherlands, Trigran Balayam, the note is by ‘Reverend Father Voskan, who writes that he had received the paper, and will pay 872 goulden for it in three months, if the paper turns out to be of bad quality, he will replace it with better quality’. We are grateful to Mr Balayam for the text.

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comperato i vai a’ pregi che costà veranno da f. 120 il miglaio, e le sete canaluie da s. 45 e le legi da s. 70. E pure che ci se ne trovasse che ci à danari assai e non ci à roba da conperare. Ciera, costa qui, sommi 2 saggi 2 il cantaro che è tuto un peso con quelo di costì, che verà il cantaro costì libre 15, bene che non ve ne viene punto, nè i Viniziani non ne rechano, chè non se n’è trovata. Recano i Viniziani grande quantità di vai e schienali e poca seta. Saluta Andrea Martini e Papi e Acierito e Anbruogio e Rubo e tutti gl’altri e simile Bruno di Francescho. Rosso di Stroza in Caffa, al tuo piaciere. Translation In the name of God, this day of 10 October 1392. I have not written to you since we left Florence. You may have heard that Jacopo and I came here on behalf of the Portinari. And in this new time [i.e., in the immediate future], with the grace of God, we will return there [i.e., to Florence]. May God protect us. We have found this country worse for business than it has been in a long time. And the reason for this is the scarcity of provisions which are more expensive than they usually are. Proof of this is that the galleys from Genoa do not bring the goods they used to transport. This [ship] of Liano Centurione is loaded with schienali [fur] and carabe [bales] of vai [i.e., squirrel fur] and a little silk, but they have bought vai at prices that there will come to 120 florins per thousand, and canaluie silk s. 45 and the legi silk s. 70.2 And even if one found someone who has a lot of money to spend, there would be no stuff to purchase here. Wax costs here 2 sommi 2 saggi per cantaro, which is of the same weight as it is there [i.e., Florence], where the cantaro will weigh 15 pounds.3 [It is] good that no amount of it comes, nor do the Venetians bring any, because none has been found. The Venetians carry a great quantity of vai and fur and little silk. Greet Andrea Martini and Papi and Acierito and Anbruogio and Rubo and all the others, as well as Bruno di Francescho. Rosso di Stroza in Caffa [Kefe – Feodosiia, in Crimea], at your pleasure. (Transcription available on the Archivio di Stato website, translation and notes by Matteo Calcagni and José María Pérez Fernández) [58] A letter with news from Transylvania, Francesco Falcucci to Ugolino Del Vernaccia, 15 June 1671. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Carteggio Del Vernaccia, section B, document 101, archival unit 152. Transcription Illustrissimo signore e padrone colendissimo Essendo in Transilvania, provincia vicina alla Pollonia e Tartaria premendomi che le 2 lettere abbin fido recapito, [h]o risoluto far ricorso alla somma cortesia di vostra signoria illustrissima la quale, sempre mi [h]a obbligato e con esibitione e effetti di gratia, onde son certo mi compatirà, e farà l’onore quella del padre reverendo commissarij, sta nel fondaco del Chechini <suo parente> acanto al archivio, cioè la scala. Le anone di questi paesi sono di molta conseguenza per le molte e numerose armate, e questa del turcho è così numerosa e forte che da dà temere con gran pretensione, e grandissime aderenze, con far delle prese di villaggi più di quello si dice [h]a ancora molti sua parziali e cosa chi tartari Ungari, onde, non si vede apparati i doni per resistere a un tanto impeto, [h]o scorso tutta l’Ungaria per quello resta a Sua Maestà Cesarea, e per esserci 7 religioni sono molto affetti a tedeschi e si dolgono del lor governo, non occorre vostra signoria illustrissima risponda perché non aviamo terra ferma, e questo principe è giovinetto, e scorre da una fortezza a l’atra, e con la ratione vado scrivendola col bon affetto li porgo ogni felicità, scusi della scarsità del foglio per la lontananza, in Comora in Transilvania. Li 15 giugnio 1671. Di vostra signoria illustrissima. Servitore devoto e obligatissimo, Francesco Falcucci, che abitava in via de Servi acanto la rimessa de Pucci. <mi onori tener celato dove mi trovi> 2

Canaluia and legi were two different types of silk imported from Persia.

3 Sommi were silver coins of variable weights that circulated around the shores of the Black Sea. The cantaro (from the Arabic qinṭār) was an ancient Italian unit of measurement, whose actual weight changed from region to region, as mentioned in the letter.

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Translation My most illustrious Lord and gracious master Since I am in Transylvania, a province close to Poland and Tartaria, and since I am anxious that the 2 letters should have a reliable delivery, I have decided to have recourse to the great courtesy of your most illustrious lordship, who has always obliged me with the exhibition and effects of gratitude, so that I am sure he will take pity on me and do me the honour of the one [letter] from the Reverend Father Commissioner, which is in <your relative> Chechini’s shop next to the archives, that is, the stairs.4 The annona5 of these countries are of great consequence because of the many and numerous armies, and this one of the Turkish is so numerous and strong that it gives rise to fear with its great ambition, and great determination in their occupation of these villages, where they have many supporters. Besides this, it is said that the Turk still enjoys great support from Tartar Hungarians, so that one can hardly see any forces capable of resisting such an impetus. I have travelled throughout all Hungary [in search of whatever support may] remain of His Cesarian Majesty, and because there are 7 different religions, they remain fond of the Germans and complain about their government.6 There is no need for your most illustrious lordship to reply because we have no terra ferma [i.e., we do not stay in the same place for long], and this prince is a young man who constantly moves from one fortress to another. And I am writing to you with good affection, I wish you every happiness, and I beg your pardon for the scarcity of my letter, which is due to the distance, in Comora in Transylvania. 15 June 1671.7 I am the devoted and most obliging servant of your most illustrious Lordship, Francesco Falcucci, who lived in Via de Servi next to Pucci’s shed. [<I beg> you do me the honour of concealing my whereabouts] (Transcription and translation by Matteo Calcagni and José María Pérez Fernández) [59] A letter with news from Lisbon, 15 June 1641. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Carteggio del Vernaccia, section B, document 622, archival unit 152. Transcription Adì 15 giugno 1641 in Lisbona Occorrenze presente intorno al stato di questo regno di Portogallo. Trovansi alle frontiere di Portogallo e Castiglia 20 mila soldati portughesi pagati et ogni altra fortezza e presidio ben munito del necessario particolarmente quella di San Giuliano in bocca del

4 Falcucci asks Ugolino Del Vernaccia, in a peculiarly Tuscan turn of phrase, to retrieve two letters, specifying that the prelate’s is near the ladder next to the archive. 5 Anone in the Italian original, probably the annona, i.e., the body of laws that regulated stocks of cereals and other foodstuffs, which were obviously affected by the passage of the armies that Falcucci is reporting. 6 Falcucci means that the population in these parts support the empire, and complain about their current Ottoman rulers, because there are many religions, including non-Muslims. 7 Falcucci explains that his letter is short because of his distance from home, which forces him to limit his expenses (including the purchase of paper) and time spent on correspondence.

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porto di Lisbona con 500 soldati di 60 pezzi di batteria forza per il sito et asse inespugnabile, qual fu venduta in sette dicembre 1640 dal governatore spagnolo a portoghesi per 40 mila réis. La milizia delle città e luoghi del Portogallo tutte armate ascendono al numero [...] atti alle armi in Lisbona, et in tutto il regno a [...] trovandosi più animi disposti ad intrar in Spagna che ad attendersi quando Spagna qui vogli venire. Oltre il donativo che ogn’uno conforme sua forza fece a Sua Maestà che sarà stato circa due milioni d’oro, cioè il Però di 800 mila réis, li fidalghi di circa 300 mila co la plebe di circa 900 mila non è per mancare danari con li novi imposti di [...] per ogni libra di carne et réis 4 per ogni canata di vino dopia mezza natta con nome però di Chianzelaria datii del sale et altri imposti. Dodici galeoni d’armata a carico del general don Antonio Telle e Meneles usciranno di Lisbona per guardia della costa fra un mese questi fabricati nel regno attendendosene per giornata altri 12 in [...] che di conto di questa corona portò ordine per comprare Tristan de Mendoza ambasciatore alli stati d’Olanda alla sua partenza qui, quali stati per avvisi d’essi aprestavano 20 nave da guerra et la compagnia d’India d’Olanda ne apparechiava, altri 12 per servitio di questo regno quali tutti per settembre s’attendono qui. Di Francia avvisa il Mont Mor ambasciatore che fu per questa a quella corona che brevemente sariano per qui partiti 40 vasselli prancesi in agiunto di questo regno presuponti che unendosi procurarono d’incontrar la flotta d’Indie e che perciò andarano tutti insieme sopra Cadise ad aspettarla la Bahia Rio di Genero tutte l’isola fortunata et ogni altra conquista di questo regno ha aclamato con grandissime dimostrationi di giubilo al re don Giovanni 4° per suo legitimo herede, e successore d’esso. Il castello dell’isola terzera solo restava anco con guarnigione spagnuola qual’era però infestato da quelli della città che gl’havevano levato l’acqua a presogli 13 nave spagnole che di Castiglia gl’erano mandate con soccorso siché di breve s’attende la resa d’esso. D’Inghilterra vi è l’arrivo dell’ambasciatore di questa a quella corona, qual’era stato benissimo visto et promette soccorsi quando necessari sino et l’antica amicizia e corrispondenza tra questo e quel regno. Nove vasselli di Spagna li tre d’essi e due fregatte che venivano d’Indie con mercantia et alcuna plta che essendo per aiudenti di mare apportati in diversi luoghi di Portugallo sono restati preda de portughesi cioè uno nell’Algarve, due nell’isole della Madera, due in Capo Verde, due in Ghinea, e due nell’isola Terzera. Gode il re don Giovanni d’età d’anni 38 in circa di prospera sanità con la regina principa et principessa suo figli. Vassi munendo la città di Lisbona tutta intorno di trinciere et ad ogni [...] passi di baluardi che corrispondono uno all’altro con 8 o 10 pezzi d’artiglieria per uno che saranno al numero di 38, et in tal fabrica occupano ogni persona d’ogni qualità non eccettuando niuno essendo stati li primi a cavar e portar la terra con sporte l’illustrissimo arcivescovo di Lisbona, inquisitor generale, vice colletor, principali fidalghi, frati di ogni religione e tutto il clero che vanno repartiti per contrada un giorno per settimana ogn’uno a tal opera. Trovasi qui un deputato di Cattalonia venuto al re don Giovanni per via della Rochiella, e di breve come sopra attendenti qui l’imbasciatori di Francia, Olanda, et Inghilterra, ne qui fa mentione delle diffese che in Spagna sono necessarie in tante parti che anco quando non fussero qui non temere bon di Spagna [...] et animi tanto pronti a spendere la vita per il suo re. Partirono li sopra nominati ambasciatori per Francia, Inghilterra, Olanda, Danimarca, et ultimamente per via della Rochiella, anco quello per sua santità, et hora son di partenza quello per la serenissima repubblica di Venetia, che è cugino del medesimo re don Giovanni. Del Rio di Genero s’aspetta qui per settimane prossime 40 vasselli di flotta con circa 10 mila casse zuccari, 18 in 20 d’essi vasselli saranno di metà forza e della Baya per detto tempo s’hanno qui 18 in 20 nave pure di flotta con circa 7 mila casse zuccari et una d’esse navi con 1500 casse zuccari che quelli signori d’edifici mandono di presente al re don Giovanni. D’India per avviso qui gionto la passata settimana con un patachio di detto luogo s’attende Medos [...] per detto tempo una caracha et un galeone che restavano in Goa caricando per partire per marzo passato. Dio ci mandi il tutto e fraponga la sua santa mano. Tenuta sino a 8 luglio l’armata di Portugallo al numero di 24 vasselli partirà di questa parte per tutto questo mese con circa 3500 huomini. D’India è comparso altro vasceletto d’avviso da nuova come per tenere occupata la bocca del porto di Goa li olandesi con 7 vasselli non sariano di là usciti quest’anno la cara che ne galeone per qui siché solo per aprile, o maggio prossimo s’aspettano. Copia di un bando pubblicato in Lisbona per la congiura scopertasi. 271


Con particolare sentimento mio mandai a fare hieri li prisoni che si sono fatti anteponendo alla salute pubblica delli miei regni et miei vassalli et sua d’offersione et conservatione [...] et nove e così voglio che s’intendo, e così voglio e mando alli miei boni et fideli vassalli della nobiltà e popolo che con la conformità quietatior e pace che soprattutto ci importa a trattenersi alla ressolutione e l’esecutione di quello che più convenirà et io comandarò che io procurarò che se aggiusti con la obligatione de giustitia e buon governo di maniera che il premio et castigo saran uguali al merito de ogni uno et delche infacendo in contrario havendo meno inquietatatione et ciò mi darò per mal servito. + O duque de Caminha + O marques de Vilaria seu Pas del Duqua + O arcobispo de Braga Primas de Espagna + O bispo inquisidor jeral + O conde da Castagnera + O conde de Val de Reys + O conde de Arma Mar + O bispo di Malaca Antonio de Mendonza comissario jeral das bulas + Lorenzo Pirizo de Carvallio + Gonzalo Pirizo Carvallio suo padre + Paolo e Sebastiano Carvallio fratelli Luiz e Gaspar de Abrett fratelli Antonio Corea Pirge Ferez d’Elvas Cristofforo Cogominho // Simon de Sonza suo figliolo + Diego Roiz di Lisbona Pirge Gomez d’Alamo suo figliolo Pedro da Baersa Luiz Vaz de Rocendo Paolo Rebello Belchior Corca da Franca Francesco Brandrà romano Questi sono cristiani non acima // Daghostinho marques Estavaun de Foyos Almeirante d’armada de Portugal Che sta di partenza A molt’altre persone di meno qualità servitori delli sopradetti quali non si fa mentione che saranno almeno al numero di 70 a 80 tutti presi per traditori a questa corona.

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Translation On 15 June in Lisbon Current events on the state of affairs in this kingdom of Portugal There are 20,000 paid Portuguese soldiers on the borders of Portugal and Castile, and all other fortresses and garrisons are well furnished with the necessary equipment, in particular that of San Giuliano in the mouth of the port of Lisbon with a force of 500 soldiers and 60 pieces of artillery for this inexpugnable stronghold, which was sold on the seventh of December of 1640 by the Spanish governor to the Portuguese for 40,000 reais. The militias of the cities and towns of Portugal, all armed, are rising to the number ... fit for arms in Lisbon, and throughout the kingdom ... finding themselves more willing to enter Spain than to wait for Spain to come here. In addition to the donation that each one, according to his means, made to His Majesty, which must have been about two million in gold – that is to say, Perú [?]8 800 thousand reais, the hidalgos about 300 thousand, with the plebs about 900 thousand – there is no lack of money with the new taxes of ... for every pound of meat and 4 reais for each double barrel of wine, half a bottle, that with the name Chianzelaria on salt and other [fiscal] obligations. Twelve galleons of the navy under the command of General Don Antonio Telle and Meneles will leave Lisbon to guard the coast in a month’s time, these galleons have been built in the kingdom and another 12 are expected in ... that on behalf of this Crown brought orders to buy Tristan de Mendoza, ambassador to the States of Holland on his departure here, which states, by their advice, will lend 20 warships and the Dutch Company of India will equip another 12 for the service of this kingdom, all of which are expected here in September. Ambassador Mont Mor, who was Portuguese ambassador there [i.e., France], informs that 40 French vessels would soon set sail in aid of this kingdom and that they joined forces in an attempt to meet the fleet of the Indies and that therefore they all went together to Cadiz to await that [fleet] coming from Bahia of Rio di Janeiro, all the Fortunate [Canary] Islands and any other conquest [territories?]. This kingdom has acclaimed with great public demonstrations of jubilation King Don Juan IV as its legitimate heir and successor. Only the castle on the island of Terceira remained with its original Spanish garrison, but it was besieged by those of the city who had cut off its water supply and captured 13 Spanish ships that had been sent from Castile in its aid. From England, there is the arrival of the ambassador of that kingdom to the Crown, who was very well seen and promises to come to the rescue when necessary for the sake of the ancient friendship and close relations between this and that kingdom. Nine Spanish vessels, three of them and two frigates that came from India with merchandise and some silver which, being brought by sea to various places in Portugal, have all fallen prey to the Portuguese, that is, one in the Algarve, two in the islands of Madeira, two in Cape Verde, two in Guinea and two in the island of Terceira. King Don Juan is about 38 years old and is in good health with the Queen Princess and her children. The city of Lisbon is being equipped with fortifications all around and at every ... steps bastions that correspond one to the other with 8 or 10 pieces of artillery for each one which will be 38 in number, and in this construction they occupy every person of every quality without excluding anyone, the first one to dig and carry the sandbags was the most illustrious archbishop of Lisbon, inquisitor general, vice-chancellor, the principal hidalgos, friars of every order and all the clergy, who are distributed by district one day each week for this work. There is here a deputy from Catalonia who has come to King Don Juan by way of La Rochelle, and shortly as above the ambassadors of France, Holland and England await him here, and here he speaks of the defences that are necessary in Spain in so many parts that even if they were not here, they should fear much from Spain ... and such a ready disposition to give their lives for their king. The aforementioned ambassadors left for France, England, Holland, Denmark, and most recently, by way of La Rochelle, even one for His Holiness, and one who is a cousin of King Don Juan himself, is leaving now for the Most Serene Republic of Venice. 8

The Italian original reads il Però.

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From Rio de Janeiro they expect here over the next few weeks a fleet of 40 vessels with about 10,000 cases of sugar, 18 out of 20 of these vessels will be of half-strength and from the Baya for the said time there are here 18 out of 20 ships also of the fleet with about 7,000 cases of sugar and one of these ships with 1,500 cases of sugar that the lords of Brazil are currently sending to King Don Juan. A ship arrived here last week with news from India, from that place Medos [?] is expected ... for the said time a carrack and a galleon that remained in Goa, loading and scheduled to leave last March. May God send us everything and put his holy hand on it. Held until 8 July, the army of Portugal with 24 vessels will leave these parts over the course of this month with about 3,500 men. From India, another vessel has just arrived with the news that in order to keep the mouth of the port of Goa blocked, the Dutch, with 7 vessels, have decided to stay there this year, and that their galleons are only expected to arrive here in April or May. Copy of a proclamation published in Lisbon concerning the exposed conspiracy. With particular sentiment yesterday I sent to make the arrests that have been made putting before [any other consideration] the public health of my kingdoms and my vassals and its preservation [...] and news and so I want it to be understood, and so I wish and I command to my good and faithful vassals of the nobility and the people that with utmost calm and conformity and peace, that above all it is important to us to hold on to the resolution and the execution of what will be more convenient, and I will command that I will see to it that it is settled with the obligation of justice and good government in such a way that the reward and punishment will be equal to the merit of each one and that by otherwise infringing they will have less unrest and that I will consider myself ill served. The Duque of Caminha The Marquis of Vilaria seu Pas del Duqua [?] The Archbishop of Braga, primate of Spain The Bishop Inquisitor General The Count of Castagnera The Count of Val de Reys The Count of Arma Mar The Bishop of Malaca Antonio de Mendoza, General Commisar of Bulls Lorenzo Pirizo de Carvallio Gonzalo Pirizo Carvallio, his father The brothers Paolo and Sebastiano Carvallio The brothers Luiz and Gaspar de Abrett Antonio Corea Pirge Ferez d’Elvas Cristofforo Cogominho // Simon de Sonza, his son + Diego Roiz of Lisbon Pirge Gomez d’Alamo, his son Pedro da Baersa Luiz Vaz de Rocendo Paolo Rebello 274


Belchior Corca of France Francesco Brandrà, Roman These are Christians not at the top Daghostinho Marques Esteban de Foyos The outgoing Admiral of the Armada of Portugal Many other persons of lesser quality, servants of the aforementioned, who are not mentioned, and will be at least 70 to 80, all arrested as traitors to this Crown. (Transcription and translation by Matteo Calcagni and José María Pérez Fernández) [60] Copy of a letter with news from Rouen, as an appendix to no. 59 above. Biblioteca Roncioniana, Prato: Carteggio del Vernaccia, section B, document 622, archival unit 152. Transcription Di Roano, a 12 settembre 1641 Hieri si ricevette lettere di Lisbona e gran cose s’intende di quelle parti, sendosi scoperto una gran congiura contro quel re, quale havea fatto imprigionare 22 fra duchi, conti e marchesi, e un arcivescovo primato di quel regno di Portugallo, si contava di procedere contro di loro rigorosamente, ma per essere quei tali gran signori, e che apartengono alle prime famiglie di quel regno, il Consiglio di quel re era in qualche maniera perplesso per dubbio di qualche solevamento. Esso re havea fatto gran diligenze per ben munire le piazze frontiere e fortezze e l’armata di sua maestà cristianissima che si partì della Rochiella le settimane passate era ben comparsa a Lisbona, e s’aspettava quella d’Olanda. Dopo che si ritirò l’armata navale sotto il comando di monsur di Bordeaux di Cattalognia, in Provenza la spagnuola li messe all’ancora vicino al porto di Barzellona e dette gran meraviglia il vedere che essa città di Barzellona mandassi subito gran copia di viveri e rinfrescamenti a forza armata spagnuola, la quale poco dopo fece vela escriando verso Cadis, a dove si dice vi fussi qualche sospetto. Si parla diversamente della Cattalogna e si può dubitare quando sua maestà non mandi maggior forza di qualche cambiamento. E di più si dice che li Cattalani habbino mandato deputato a Madrid di francesi in quale parti restano malissimo satisfatti della naturalezza evolubilità di quella natione. Ayre è sempre assediato vien detto che vi sia da vivere ancora per dua mesi sendosi scoperti nel convento de padri gesuiti un magazino di grano e di carne salata. L’armata francese ha di poi assediato Baspaume alcuni dicono che la guarnigione d’esso luogho sua debole, e altri dicono che vi siano 2000 huomini di guerra. Translation From Rouen on 12 September 1641 Yesterday letters were received from Lisbon, and it is understood that there was a great conspiracy against the king, who had 22 dukes, counts and marquises imprisoned, as well as a primate archbishop of the kingdom of Portugal, and it was intended to prosecute them rigorously, but since they were great lords, and belonged to the first families of the kingdom, the king’s council was somewhat perplexed and doubtful as to whether there would be any insurrection. The king had taken great pains to fortify his frontiers and fortresses, and the armada of his Most Christian Majesty [i.e., the French King], which departed from La Rochelle a few weeks ago, had entered Lisbon, and that of Holland was expected. After the withdrawal of the navy under the command of Monsieur de Bordeaux from Catalonia, in Provence the Spanish army put them at 275


anchor near the port of Barcelona, and it was a great surprise to see that the city of Barcelona immediately sent a large quantity of provisions and refreshments to the Spanish armada, which shortly afterwards set sail for Cadiz, where it is said there was some apprehension. It is spoken of differently about Catalonia, and it is doubtful if His Majesty does not send more force for some change.9 Moreover, it is said that the Catalans have sent a deputy from the French to Madrid, in which parts they are very dissatisfied with the peculiar nature and volubility of that nation.10 Ayre is still under siege and it is said that there are still victuals for two months after the discovery of a store of grain and salted meat in the convent of the Jesuits. The French army has since laid siege to Baspaume, some say that the garrison there is weak, and others say that there are 2,000 men of war. (Transcription and translation by Matteo Calcagni and José María Pérez Fernández) [71] Short estate inventory of Pieter Barentsz, who owned a number of books about ‘Italian accounting’. Date: 11 January 1640. Amsterdam City Archives. Inv. number: NL-SAA 5075, inv. no. 1281, fol. no. 8/scan no. 10. Partial transcription Inventarisatie van de goederen ende cleederen bij Pieter Barentsz van Leeuwaaerden metter doot ontruijmt ende naergelaten berustende ten huijse van Saertgen Harmens huisvrouw van Hendrick Schellinck op de Heerenmarct alhier gedaen maaecken ten versoecken van den voorschreven Hendrick Schellinck ende sijn als volgt: namentlijck [...] 3 boecken van t Italiaens boeckhouden 1 exemplaerboeck met een testament boeckje 1 boeck van t Italiaens boeckhouden door Anthony van Neulighem [...] Aldus gedaen ende geinventariseert ten huijse van voorschreven Hendrick Schellinc in t bij wesen van hem ende sijn huijsvrouw Saertgen Harmens ter presentie van Philips Jacobsz brandewijnbrander ende Anthony Tijnagel Apotheeckersknegt neffens Pieter Molenaer als getuijgen hier toe versoght den 11e januarij anno 1640.

9 The wording is not clear here, the author of the letter probably means that he is rather suspicious or perplexed that the Spanish king has not intervened in a more decisive way. 10 Again a case of very ambiguous wording. The author probably means that the Catalans are rather disconcerted by the volubility and ambiguity of the French authorities.

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Translation Inventory of the goods and clothing left by the late Pieter Barentsz of Leeuwarden, residing at the house of Hendrick Schellinck at the Herenmarkt here, done and at the request of the aforementioned Hendrick Schellinck as follows: Namely [...] three books of Italian bookkeeping one sample book with a testament book one book of Italian bookkeeping by Anthony van Neulighem [...] Thus done at the house of the aforementioned Hendrick Schellinc together with his wife Saertgen Harmens, in the presence of Philips Jacobsz, brandy burner, and Anthony Tijnagel, pharmacy clerk, as well as Pieter Molenaer, requested as witnesses, on 11 January 1640. (Transcription and translation by Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón) [87] Subcontract between the authorised representatives of Dutch asentista Balthasar Coymans in Cadiz and the Dutch West India Company (West-Indische Compagnie, WIC). WIC is to deliver 1,200 enslaved people to the Spanish Americas. Date: 10 April 1685. Amsterdam City Archives. Inv. number: NLSAA 5075, inv. no. 4771, fol. no. 464/scan no. 338. Transcription Op huyden den tienden april 1685 sijn voor mij Stephanus Pelgrom notaris et cetera ende de naergenoemde getuygen persoonlyck gecompareert ende verscheenen de heeren gecommitteerde bewinthebberen van de generale Nederlantse Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie met namen de heer meester Isaac van Heuvel raedt en out scheepen deeser stadt, de heer Paulus Godin, de heer Isaac Jan Nijs, commissaris deser stadt, de heer Philippe Dorville de heer meester Cornelis van der Merct, de heer Adriaen Feyck, burgermeester der stadt Delft de heer en meester Cornelis Keyser out president scheepen der stadt Hoorn, ende de heer meester Gerard Henrick ten Berge raetsheer der stadt Groningen, als hiertoe bij de vergadering der thienen geauthoriseert ter eenre ende de heer Don Manuel de Belmonte Paltsgrave des Heijligen Roomsen Rijcx, den heer Joan Coymans outscheepen deeser stadt de heer Josua van Bellen heere van Waddincxveen, raedt en scheepen der stadt Rotterdam ende bewinthebber vande Oostindinsche Compagnie ende de heer Hendrick Staets in qualite als gesamentlijcke gevolmagtigden van de heer Don Baltasar Coymans inwoonder der stadt Cadix residerende aent hoff van Hispagnien tot Madridt, administrateur generael van de invour der negros slaven naer d Indien in de gewesten van t vaste landt in Nova Hispangien mitsgaders de haevens van derselver kusten twelck volgens contract geweest is ten lasten van Don Juan Barosso Del Posso en van Don Nicolaes Porcio, door sijne Conincklijcke Majesteit van Hispagnien aen de voornoemde Don Baltasar Coymans verleent bij seecker decreet van approbatie gedateert tot Madridt den 12 dag der maent februarij deses jaers 1685 omme uijt name van hem heer Baltasar Coymans ende als sijn persoon representerende in qualite voorschreven met de voorschreven Westindische Compagnie te tracteren over de inhandelinge van de voorschreven negros slaven met sodanigen regt en verbintenisse als in de acte van procuratie dienthalven gepasseert binnen de stadt Madrid voorschreven op den 15 dag der maent 277


februarij deses jaers voor den aldaer residerende notaris Andreas de Rivera en seeckere getuygen breeder staet vermelt ten andre zijde Ende verclaerden nademael tusschen hen heeren comparanten inderselve respectieve qualiteyten op huyden dato deses voor mijn notaris en getuygen is opgeregt geslooten ende gepasseert een conventie ofte contract weegens eene te doene leverantie van twaelf duysent negros slaeven stucken van Indien, indien vougen dat Don Baltasar Coymans geobligeert is neevens de leverantie ende ontfang der slaeven deselve te betaelen breeder blijckende bij het 3 articul van het opgemelde contract twelck hun heeren tweede comparanten ten respecte van de eerste te ontfangene slaven niet doenlijck is alsoo de gemelde Don Baltasar Coymans de effecten van het assiento in de Spaense Indiens tot nog toe niet hadde bemagtigt ende dat tot dien eynde twee Hollantse schepen bemandt met Hollantse natie met permissie van sijne Catholyke Majesteit derwaerts souden afgaen soo is geaccordeert ende over een gecomen Articul 1 Dat de Westindische Compagnie in de twee opgemelde Hollantse scheepen het eene genaemt de Propheet Daniel waerop als capiteijn commandeert Jan Scholten van Hamburg het welck in Hispagnien albereyts zeylvaerdig legt. Soo hetselve niet al soude moogen uytgeloopen sijn ende het andere genaemt ... leggende voor de paelen deser steede ende gecommandeert ende bemant als hier naer articul 2 sal werden gesegt, aen Curacao gecoomen weesende zal doen inladen in yder van deselve seshondert negros slaeven stucken van Indien ende sulcx inde voorseyde twee scheepen een getal van twaelf hondert negros slaeven stucken van Indien van welcke voorschreven twaelf hondert negros slaeven ende de kostgelden alvorens deselve aen Curacao voornoemt te leveren een pertinente afreeckeninge sal moeten gemaeckt en wederzijts geteeckent werden Articul 2 Ende is wijders geconditioneert dat de Westindische Compagnie tot hare verseeckeringe van de seshondert negros slaeven dewelcke geladen sullen werden in het schip de ... in hare vrije dispositie sal hebben het verkiesen ende aenstellen van den capitein ende verdere officieren mitsgaders de matroosen en soldaten dewelcke op het voorschreven schip ... sullen vaeren alles ten kosten van de heeren tweede comparanten ende dat deselve den eedt van getrouwigheyt aen de Westindische Compagnie sullen doen ende alleen hare instructie en ordres moeten volgen Articul 3 Dat het voorschreven schip ... in Hispagnien aengeweest hebbende omme aldaer gemeeten ende op het register gebragt te werden sal verseylen naer Curacao voornoemt alwaer het selve sijne slaeven ten getaele van ses hondert ingenomen hebbende syn cours sal stellen tot voor de haven van Cartaxena off Puerto Velo, alwaer het selve buyten de magt van de Spangiaerden, ende buyten de castelen sal moeten blijven leggen om verseeckert te zijn van vrije dispositie van sijne inhebbende slaven alwaer hij capiteijn telckens in minder parthijen in een kleyn vaertuyg by de tweede comparanten daertoe te besorgen zal afleveren sooveele en geen meerder slaven als hem contanten sullen aen boort gebragt weesen tot het beloop van den prijs der slaeven welcke voorschreven contanten ingenomen hebbende van daer weeder op Curacao gebragt ende in handen van den directeur overgeleevert sullen moeten werden Articul 4 Ende alsoo de Wesindische Compagnie sig in het eerste articul van deese conventie meede verbonden heeft in het schip genaamt de Propheet Daniel waerop als capiteijn commandeert Jan Scholten van Hamburg te doen laeden een getal van gelycke seshondert negros slaven stucken van Indien sonder dat deselve omtrent den voorschreven capiteijn ende de verdere officieren matroosen en soldaten die voorsieninge kan doen die deselve omtrent het ... heeft bedongen soo is wijders geconditioneert dat den voorschreven capiteijn ende in desselfs absentie die het commando als dan souden moogen hebben op Curacao zal aenneemen en beloven mitsgaders door eene behoorlycke acte sig verbinden dat de slaeven dewelcke in het gemelde schip geladen sullen werden getrouwelyck zal overbrengen tot voor de haven van Puorto Velo off Cartaxena alwaer buyten de magt van de Spangiaerden ende buyten de castelen zal moeten blijven leggen omme insgelijcx verseeckert te zijn van de vrije dispositie van sijne inhebbende slaven alwaer hij capiteijn telckens in minder partijen in een klijn vaertuyg bij de tweede comparanten daertoe te besorgen zal afleveren soo veele en geen meerdere slaeven als hem contanten sullen aen boort gebragt weesen tot het beloop van de prijs der slaeven mitsgaders dat hij de contanten dewelcke hij involgens voorschreven sal ingenoomen hebben in alle getrouwigheyt zal overbrengen op het eylant Curacao ende aldaer in handen van den directeur overleveren eyndelyck meede dat hij capiteijn sig sal verbinden des Compagnies instructie en ordres gelijck aen den capiteijn van het voorschreven schip ... meede gegeven sullen werden conform het 278


jegenwoordige opgeregte contract alleen sal opvolgen ende nae komen sonder van imant anders op die vojagie eenige ordres aen te neemen veelmin te executeeren Articul 5 Ende is wijders geconditioneert dat in de bovengemelde twee scheepen boven ende behalven de betalinge van de voorschreven twaelf hondert slaeven nog gelaeden sullen moeten werden soo veele contanten als tot de afhalinge ende betalinge van gelycke twaelf hondert slaven sullen weesen gerequireert ofte dat deselve contanten tot de afhalinge van de tweede twaelf hondert slaeven in de gemelde twee schepen niet geembarqueert werdende te lande over Coro op Curacao sullen moeten gebragt werden welcke twee scheepen in staet zijnde van weder nae Curacao te konnen vertrecken sig soo het doenlyck zal weesen zullen moeten conjungeren sullende meede sij heeren tweede comparanten soo veel in haer is hetselve indier vougen tragten te besorgen ende daertoe haere debvoiren aenwenden omme soo gesamentlyck tot gemeene defentie teegen alle voorvallen hare reijse nae Curacao voort te setten alwaer weeder gearriveert ende hare ingenomen contanten ontlost hebbende soo zal de Wesindische Compagnie haere ordres en instructie aen het voorschreven schip ... ende het volck op hetselve van hier uytvarende mede gegeven mitsgaders de instructie en ordres op Curacao gegeven aen den capiteijn van het schip de Propheet Daniel doen cesseren ende ophouden ende deselve wyders laten ter vrije dispositie van Don Baltasar Coijmans Articul 6 Ende op dat de Wesindische Compagnie meede aen haer soo considerabel agterstal over de albereyts gedane leverantie van negros slaeven souden mogen geraecken soo is wijders overeen gecomen ende vastgestelt dat alsoo de effecten dewelcke altans in de Spaense Indiens sijn specterende tot het assiento, geprocedeert zijn uyt de slaeven dewelcke de Wesindische Compagnie van tijt tot tijt heeft afgelevert met die verwagtinge datse uyt deselve effecten soude werden voldaen deselve Westindische Compagnie naest den Coninck ten aensien van Sijne Mayesteits tollen en regten op de voorschreven effecten met haer agterwesen immers tot de prijs der slaeven ende de kostgelden van dien geconsidereeert moet werden te weesen geprefereert voor alle andre crediteuren van het assiento, ende dien volgende uyt deselve effecten moet werden voldaen waeromme soo verclaeren en belooven sij heeren tweede comparanten dat sij alle debvoiren en instantien sullen doen ende aenwenden mitsgaders soo veel in haer is, besorgen insgelycx meede daertoe verbindende Don Baltasar Coymans haren principael dat eene somme van hondert duysent stucken van agten met de eerst verwagt werdende galjoenen (in cas deselve van uyt de Spaense Indiens voordat de ordres aldaer konnen aencomen niet vertrocken en sijn gelijck vertrouwt wert van neen) op Spagnien overgesonden werden geconsigneert aen de ordres ende ter dispositie van de Westindische Compagnie aldaer omme te strecken op reeckening van de voorschreven oude schult ofte dat deselve hondert duysent stucken van agten in cas de galjoenen alvorens souden mogen vertrocken weesen over de weg van Coro te lande sullen werden gebragt op Curacao tot quitinge van de oude schult alsvoren ende is bij desen nog specialyck over eengecomen dat de opgemelde hondert duysent stucken van agten op Curacao in handen van den directeur aldaer ofte met de galjoenen in Hispangien overgebragt wesende in handen ende ter dispositie van die geene die de ordres van de Compagnie aldaer sal hebben gestelt wesende sullen dienen tot extinctie van de schult van een en seventig duysent neegen hondert ses en vijftig stucken van agten seeven schellingen voor dewelcke sig Pedro van Belle en Baltasar Beck in haer prive hebben verbonden mitsgaders voor dewelcke somme deselve in coopmanschappen hebben verhypotequeert ter somme van twee en veertig duysent vijfhondert seven en veertig stucken van agten drye schellingen drye stuyvers Articul 7 Dat wijders de voorschreven Don Baltasar Coymans sodanige ordres sal stellen ende die voorsienige doen dat met yder schip twelck vervolgens van weegen hem Coymans aen het eylant Curacao sal komen omme de negros slaven van daer aff te haelen naer dat de voorschreven twee mael twaelf hondert negros slaeven sonder de kostgelden te reeckenen in maniere voorschreven sullen weesen voldaen boven ende behalven soo veele contanten ende effecten als tot de betalinge van desselfs ladinge zal weesen gerequireert tegelyck sal moeten aenbrengen ende inhanden van den directeur op Curacao stellen in contanten off effecten de somme van dartig duysent stucken van agten dewelcke sullen moeten strecken tot betalinge van de oude schulden ende daer meede moeten werden gecontinueert tot dat de gemelde oude schulden zullen weesen voldaen ende gequeeten Articul 8 Ende in cas het mogte gebeuren dat met een schip off scheepen van Don Balthasar Coymans boven de contanten en effecten tot afhalinge van een scheepsladinge slaven gerequireert geene stucken van agten ofte geene dertig duysent quamen aengebragt te werden 279


zoo sullen indien gevalle uyt de gemelde contanten en effecten aen den directeur op Curacao betaelt werden eerst de gemelte dertig duysent stucken van agten op reeckening van de oude schult ende voor het overige soo veel slaven gelevert werden als effective met de montkost gereeckent zullen werden betaelt Articul 9 Ende is nog geconditioneert ende overeengecomen dat de heeren eerste comparanten van de twaelf hondert negros slaven dewelcke voor de eerste mael in de gemelde twee scheepen ... ende de Propheet Daniel zullen werden ingescheept ende de retouren van dien den risico zullen lopen waervoor sy heeren tweede comparanten aen de West Indische Compagnie beloven ende aen neemen te betaelen voor yder pieza de indias neger slaef in de plaetse van hondert seeven en een half stucken van agten een somme van hondert agt en twintig stucken van agten ende dat deselve teegen die prijs gereeckent zullen afgeleevert werden invougen als in het vierde en vijfde articul hier vooren staet geexpresseert Articul 10 Laetstlijck soo verclaeren sij heeren eerste comparanten dat off schoon bij het tweede articul van het slaefs contract op huyden voor mij notaris opgeregt de Westindische Compagnie sig obligeert tot het esquiperen ende successivelyck afzeynden van een competent aental scheepen met suffisante cargasoenen tot den aenvoer van drij duysent stux negros slaven jaerlycx egter het selve niet anders sijnen cours sullen doen houden als nae proportie dat sij voldoeninge van de oude schult zullen komen te consequeren als niet konnende sig dieper in de schulden inwickelen als bereyts geengageert zijn Separaert articul hier in te vougen Tot naercominge van alle tgeene voorschreven staet verbinden de voornoemde parthyen namentlyck de heeren gecommitteerde bewinthebberen uyt cragte van de voorschreven resolutie en authorisatie der vergadering der thienen alle de effecten en de middelen van de gemelde Wesindische Compagnie ende de voornoemde heeren Don Manuel de Belmonte paltsgrave, Joan Coymans outscheepen, Josua van Belle heere van Waddinxveen en Henrick Staets uyt cragte van de procuratie inden hoofde deses gementioneert tot welcke in deesen wert gerefereert ende gehouden sal werden van sodanigen effect als off die van woort tot woort in het lichaem van deser conventie was geinfereert de persoon en alle de goederen van de voornoemde Don Balthasar Coymans mitsgaders alle de middelen ende effecten van het generael assiento der negros slaven geene van dien uytgesondert alle deselve ende de keuze van dien stellende ten bedwang van alle regten en regteren ende specialyck den Hogen Raede in Hollandt alles ter goede trouwe sonder arg of list dat aldus passeerde binnen de voorschreven stadt Amsterdam ter presentie van Martinus Heegervelt en Pieter Keyser als getuygen hier over gestaen. Separaet articul Alsoo tusschen partyen contrahenten in het contract van twaelf duysent negros slaven op huyden aengegaen ende opgeregt, den ouderdom der leverbare slaven, anders staet geexpresseert als waerlyck geconvenieert is soo verclaerden sij heeren comparanten voornoemt desweegen geaccordeert ende overeengecomen te weesen in maniere naervolgende, namentlyck Dat al hoewel bij het 11 articul van het gemelde contract de reductie van de negros slaven ten respecte van den ouderdom is gemaeckt dat die geenen die van vijftien tot drie en dertig jaeren beyde incluys out zijn gereeckent zullen werden voor leverbare stucken van Indien, egter het zelve bij het voorschreven contract indien vougen is gestelt, proforma op het versouck van Don Baltasar Coymans ende dat dierhalven de waere en regte intentie van de respective heren contrahenten is, ten respecte van den ouderdom voorschreven dat de negros slaven van vijftien tot ses en dertig jaren beyde incluys zullen werden gereeckent voor leverbare stucken van indien, ende soo voorts, sulcx dat den voornoemde Don Baltasar Coymans gehouden zal weesen de voorschreven negros slaven te ontfangen zoo lange deselve den ouderdom van seven en dertig jaren niet en sijn gepaseert Translation Today on 10 April 1685 have appeared before me, Stephanus Pelgrom, notary, and the later mentioned witnesses, the gentlemen directors of the Dutch West India Company, with the names Isaac van den Heuvel, counsel and former schepen of this city, Paulus Godin, Isaac Jan Nijs, commissioner of this city, Philippe d’Orville, Cornelis van der Merct, Adriaen Feyck, Burgomaster of Delft, Cornelis Keyser, former president, schepen of Hoorn and Gerard Henrick ten Berge, counsel of 280


Groningen, as authorized by the assembly of the Gentlemen Ten, on the one hand, and Don Manuel de Belmonte, count palatine of the Holy Roman Empire, and Joan Coymans, former schepen of this city, and Josua van Belle, lord of Waddinxveen, counsel and schepen of Rotterdam, and director of the Dutch East India Company, and Hendrik Staets, in the quality of joint proxies of Don Balthasar Coymans, resident of Cadiz, residing at the Court of Spain in Madrid, administrator-general of the introduction of enslaved Africans into the Indies, the mainland in New Spain, as well as the ports on those coasts, which, according to contract, Don Juan Barosso del Posso and Don Nicolaes Porcio used to be charged with, but which was granted by His Catholic Majesty of Spain to said Don Balthasar Coymans by a certain ordinance of approbation in Madrid dated 12 February 1685, to, in his name Balthasar Coymans, and representing his person in the aforesaid quality, to contract the WIC for the delivery of enslaved Africans by such right and commitment as in the deed of this year passed before the notary Andreas de Rivera and certain witnesses, residing there, on the other hand. And they have declared that the appearers in their respective qualities have contracted and passed an accord today, which is passed in front of me the notary and witnesses, for a delivery of 12,000 enslaved Africans piezas de indias, adding that Don Balthasar Coymans is obliged to pay for the delivery and receipt of the slaves, as evidenced by article 3 of the drawn-up contract, which [payment] the second group of appearers cannot yet make, because said Don Balthasar Coymans has not yet received the effects of the asiento in the Spanish West Indies, and that therefore two Dutch ships, manned by Dutch men with the permission of His Catholic Majesty, shall go there. Thus it is approved and agreed: Article 1 That the Dutch West India Company shall deliver to each of the two said Dutch ships, one called the Propheet Daniel, captained by Jan Scholten of Hamburg, which is ready to depart from Spain if it has not already, and the second called ..., which lies before this city, captained and crewed as stipulated in article 2, after they have arrived in Curaçao, 600 enslaved Africans piezas de indias, for which 1,200 enslaved Africans and the boarding fees are to be paid in Curaçao before delivery and for which a relevant account shall be made and signed by both parties. Article 2 And it is also stipulated that the Dutch West India Company, for the purpose of insurance of the 600 enslaved Africans aboard the ship the ..., shall be allowed to elect and appoint the captain and the other officers, as well as the sailors and soldiers, who will sail on said ship, all at the expense of the second group of appearers, and that they shall be obliged to take an oath to the Dutch West India Company and shall follow her instructions and orders. Article 3 That after said ship has been to Spain to be measured and registered, it shall set sail to Curaçao, where it shall be loaded with 600 enslaved Africans, after which it shall set sail to the port of Cartagena or Portobelo, where the ship shall remain outside the power of the Spaniards as well as the castles, ensuring a safe unloading of the enslaved Africans aboard, where the captain shall deliver them in smaller parties in a small vessel provided by the second group of appearers, and that he shall not deliver any more enslaved Africans than as paid for, which payment has to be brought aboard first, and that, after all payments are received, the ship shall sail back to Curaçao and deliver the payments to the director. Article 4 And that, since the Dutch West India Company has, in the first article, committed to deliver 600 enslaved Africans piezas de indias to the ship called the Propheet Daniel, captained by Jan Scholten of Hamburg, but cannot arrange for the same conditions regarding the captain, officers, sailors and soldiers as stipulated for the ship the ..., it has further been stipulated that said captain or, in his absence, whoever would have the command, has to accept and promise, as well as to commit himself by means of a proper deed, that the enslaved Africans in said ship shall be transported to the port of Portobelo or Cartagena, where he shall remain outside the power of the Spaniards as well as the castles, to be insured of a safe unloading of the enslaved Africans aboard, where the captain shall deliver them in smaller parties in a small vessel provided by the second group of appearers, and that he shall not deliver any more enslaved Africans than as paid for, and that he shall bring the received payments in all honesty to the island of Curaçao and deliver them to the director, and finally, that the captain shall only follow the company’s instructions and orders, the same that will be given to the captain of the ship the ... according to the stipulated contract, and will not take nor execute orders from anyone else on that voyage.

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Article 5 And it is further stipulated that the aforementioned ships, besides the payments for the 1,200 enslaved Africans, shall be loaded with the cash required for the delivery and payment for 1,200 enslaved Africans, or that, when the payments for the delivery of the 1,200 enslaved Africans are not loaded onto the aforementioned two ships, the payments shall be transported to Coro and Curaçao over land, but when the two ships are capable of sailing to Curaçao, they shall do so accordingly, and that the second group of appearers shall try to employ all matters to jointly prevent any incidents on the voyage to Curaçao, where, after arrival and the unloading of the cash, the Dutch West India Company shall dismiss the orders and instructions given to the captain of the ship the Propheet Daniel and shall leave the same to the orders of Don Balthasar Coymans. Article 6 And since the Dutch West India Company suffers from a considerable debt caused by previously made deliveries of enslaved Africans, it is stipulated and established that the effects that remain in the Spanish Indies belonging to the asiento stem from the profits made from the sale of the enslaved Africans delivered by the Dutch West India Company from time to time, with the expectation that from these effects the Dutch West India Company, besides the king, with respect to the toll payments on said effects, with her debts relating to the price of the enslaved Africans and their boarding fees, shall be preferred over the other creditors of the asiento, and shall therefore be paid from these effects, for which the second group of appearers declare and promise that they will employ all manners and institutions to do so, commiting Don Balthasar Coymans, their principal, to a sum of 100,000 pieces of eight with the first expected galleons (in case those have not yet departed from the Spanish Indies before the orders arrive there as is expected) to be sent to Spain, to be paid to the Dutch West India Company on account of the old debt, or that, in case the Spanish galleons have already departed, the 100,000 pieces of eight shall be transported over land to Coro and from there to Curaçao for the payment of the old debt, and it is hereby also agreed that said 100,000 pieces of eight, either in the hands of the director of Curaçao or transported on the Spanish galleons and in the hands of whoever has the orders of the company there, shall serve as an instalment of the debt of 71,956 pieces of eight and 7 schellingen, to which Pedro van Belle and Balthasar Beck have personally committed themselves, as well as for which they have mortgaged merchandise for a sum of 42,547 pieces of eight, three schellingen and three stuivers. Article 7 Further that said Don Balthasar Coymans shall make such orders and arrangements that, after the aforementioned two loads of 1,200 enslaved Africans, without accounting for boarding fees in the ways prescribed, each of his ships that comes to Curaçao to collect enslaved Africans shall be paid, and that besides the cash and effects required for those cargos, the sum of 30,000 pieces of eight, which shall serve as an instalment for the old debts, shall be brought and handed over to the director of Curaçao in cash or effects, and this shall be continued until said old debts are paid for. Article 8 And that in case a ship or ships of Don Balthasar Coymans does not bring any more pieces of eight besides the cash and effects required for the payment of the delivery of enslaved Africans aboard, first said 30,000 pieces of eight on the account of the old debt shall be paid to the director of Curaçao from the cash and effects, and for the rest as many enslaved Africans shall be delivered as are paid for, including the boarding fees. Article 9 And further it is stipulated and agreed that the group of the first appearers shall take the risk of the 1,200 enslaved Africans, who for the first time shall be transported on said two ships and the Propheet Daniel, and [take the risk] for their return, for which the second group of appearers promise and accept to pay for every pieza de indias enslaved African, instead of 107 ½ pieces of eight, a sum of 128 pieces of eight, and that they shall be delivered at that price, as is stipulated in the fourth and fifth articles. Article 10 Lastly, the first group of appearers declare that, although according to the second article in the slaving contract drawn up today by myself the notary, the Dutch West India Company has committed itself to prepare and send a competent number of ships with sufficient cargos for the delivery of 3,000 enslaved Africans yearly, the same, however, cannot do more than in proportion to the repayment of the old debt as it cannot fall any further into debt. 282


Separate article to be added here. Both parties commit to the fulfilment of all that has been said, namely the gentlemen directors by the power of said resolution and authorisation of the assembly of the Gentlemen Ten, all effects and resources of said Dutch West India Company, and the gentlemen Don Manuel de Belmonte, count palatine of the Holy Roman Empire, and Joan Coymans, former schepen of this city, and Josua van Belle, lord of Waddinxveen and Hendrik Staets, by the said power of attorney, commit to all that is here referred to and shall be of such effect, as has been instructed in this meeting word for word, the person and the estate of said Don Balthasar Coymans, as well as all the resources belonging to the Asiento de Negros, nothing excluded, and of which subduing to all rights and especially of the High Court of Holland, everything in good faith and without suspicion or trickery, thus passed within this city of Amsterdam, in the presence of Martinus Heegervelt and Pieter Keyser requested as witnesses. Separate article Because between both parties according to the contract for the delivery of 12,000 enslaved Africans drawn up today, the age of the deliverable enslaved Africans is stipulated differently as agreed upon, the appearers declare that they have therefore agreed to the following, namely: That although according to the eleventh article of said contract, the reduction of the enslaved Africans with respect to their age is agreed upon as follows, namely that those from fifteen to 33 years, those years included, shall be counted as deliverable piezas de indias, however, that this is agreed upon pro forma the request of Don Balthasar Coymans and that therefore the truthful and rightful intention of the appearers is, with respect to the age of the enslaved Africans, that those aged fifteen to 36 years, both years included, shall be counted as deliverable piezas de indias, and that said Don Balthasar Coymans shall be bound to accept said enslaved Africans as long as they have not exceeded the age of 37 years. (Transcription and translation by Tessa de Boer and Ramona Negrón)

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Giovanni Tarantino PIMo Action Chair

Trade and Tolerance in Early Modern Europe

I Viaggi di Enrico Wanton alle terre incognite australi, ed ai Regni delle Scimie, e de’ Cinocefali (The Travels of Henry Wanton to the Undiscovered Austral Regions and the Kingdom of the Apes and of the Cynocephali), the four-volume social critical novel by Zaccaria Seriman (1709–84), Venetian author from a prominent family of Armenian merchants, purports to tell the story of an intrepid young Englishman’s journey to two unmapped countries, which turn out to be inhabited by monkeys and cynocephali. When he describes how his youthful restlessness prompted him to give up a comfortable and privileged urban lifestyle for the discomfort and uncertainty of a formative journey to the East Indies, Enrico is quick to observe:

This intellectual deception of my Father was the source of all my misadventures, because, by always forcing me towards those things that were totally different to and contrary to my inclination, and refusing me the help necessary to acquire science, towards which my intelligence was directed, he made me cut a sorry figure in the world, and I remained lacking in those notions that could have allowed me to distinguish myself. … That by the reading of my vicissitudes those Fathers might learn … not to wish to condemn their sons to a life full of bitterness out of a proud obstinacy in wishing to inflict violence on their spirits.1

A similar instruction can be found in the Libro dell’arte della mercatura by Dalmatian ‘humanist merchant’ Benk Kotruljević (in the Italian text: Benedetto Cotrugli, in Latin documents Cotrullis, c.1410–69). Completed in 1458 at Castelserpico, near Avellino, while an epidemic was sweeping through the city of Naples, and first published in 1573, it details the qualities expected of a capable merchant. Such a person needed to display, from childhood, an aptitude for competition (so as to pursue profit ‘with honour and without offence to God or their neighbour’),2 resilience in the face of toil and privation, and even a fine physique (but without excess, ‘whence the celebrated proverb “A strong man is the ruin of a 1 [Zaccaria Seriman], Viaggi di Enrico Wanton alle Terre Incognite Australi, ed al Paese delle Scimie. Ne’ quali si spiegano il carattere, li costumi, le scienze, e la polizia di quegli straordinari abitanti. Tradotti da un manoscritto inglese, con figure in rame, tome I (Naples: Alessio Pellecchia, 1756), 2–3; translation and emphasis mine. 2 The quotations from Cotrugli in English translation are taken from Benedetto Cotrugli: The Book of the Art of Trade, ed. Carlo Carraro and Giovanni Favero, trans. John Francis Phillimore (Palgrave 2017). The original Italian text is quoted from Vera Ribaudo’s 2016 edition (Edizioni Ca’ Foscari).

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household”’)3 and fair appearance. He should also be born into a family of merchants since, ‘we can readily observe, there are many similarities of feature between a father and his son, passed on naturally in his seed, and the same thing holds for interior resemblance.’4 Cotrugli therefore recommends that one should not initiate into commerce those who do not have a natural aptitude for it or have an inclination for other activities, because, as Cicero commented in De Senectute, never did the giants risk the wrath of the gods so much as when they dared to contradict Nature:

For this reason we need to take particular care, when we are beginning to channel the dispositions of a son, or of some one else for whom we are responsible parentally or through some other blood relationship, when directing them towards the practice of trade, because if that son has a leaning elsewhere, or towards some activity under an opposing sign, he might well not prosper in that life, or would only get on with difficulty and remain stuck half way with small profit to himself and without reaching his objective, which should be to enrich himself honourably. In this sense, during the formative years of a young person whom we wish to direct towards such an employment, it is essential to ascertain in what direction he is inclined by nature. And discovering this inclination means, during his boyhood, which is free of moral corruption, understanding what occupation the child enjoys and how he usually spends his time. And he [sic] if he is lively by nature, well turned-out and of noble character, and not too fickle nor an idler, but rather aspires to acquire both honour and profit or victory in war, then we can say that he is suitable material for a career in trade, the goal of which is honourable enrichment. And when we identify such inclinations in our children or in others closely related to us, we must direct them towards the activities they are predisposed to, and not set ourselves to fight against nature thinking to get the better of her, because she can defeat any man however strong he be. For proof of this fact we have the example of the Titans who, so the poets tell us, trusting in their immense strength, sought to usurp the kingdom of the heavens from Jupiter, who struck them down and killed them, which myth Marcus Tullius Cicero interprets in his treatise On Old Age in which he says, among other things: ‘To take on the gods, as did the Titans, is nothing less than to set oneself against Nature.’5

In the appendix to M. de la Créquinière’s early eighteenth-century Conformité des Coutumes des Indiens Orientaux avec celles des Juifs et des autres Peuples de l’Antiquité, we learn that

When one would see foreign countries without danger, and pretends to make such reflections upon his travels, as may serve him for rules all the rest of his life, he should begin with laying a solid foundation of religion, which nothing is able to shake; for when one travels without 3

Dicie l’usato proverbio: Homo forte, danno di casa.

4 Come vedemo per virtù del seme naturale [presta] multa inpressione ne la figura et similitudine dal padre a figliuolo, così anche multo presta ne l’anima interiore. 5 Et però è de avere singulare riguardo nel principio del volgier uno suo figlio o d’altri, per governacion o affinità congionti, de volgierli ad tal exercicio mercantile, perché se fusse inclinato ad altro o da contrario exercicio, non prosperarebe per aventura over prociederebe con difficultà et rimarebbe a meça via et con poco proficto, et non consequirebbe el fine de lo desiderio suo, el qual è d’aquistare richeçe con honor. Et a questo bisognia ben considerare ne l’età puerile de la persona che tu voi volgiere ad simille exercicio a quel che l’è naturalmente inclinato. Et di haver noticia di tal inclinatione ell’è de havere singular consideracione ne l’età puerile, non dipravata, di che exercicii si dilecta et a che naturalmente transcore. E se l’è de natura vivo e bon aspecto, et egregia indole, e non sia tropo vario, né vagabundo, et pretenda adquisto o di honore o di utile o di vincere le pugne, allora posiamo arbitrare che siano acti a tal exercicio, dove lo fine è aquistare con honore. Et secondo che nui trovamo tal inclinatione in tal nostri, o figli o altramente actinenti, li dobian volgiere ad quel exercicio dove sono inclinati et non dobianno pigliare la contesa con la natura per volerla vincere et superare, ché la vincerebbe ogni gagliardo huomo. Et di questo habiam l’exemplo di giganti e quali, secundo le favole de poeti, confidandosi de la loro ismisurata forteça, volleno tòrre lo regno a Iove, dal qual furon fulminati et morti, como si prova per la interpretation che dà di simil favola il nostro Tullio in libro De senectute, dove dicie, intra l’altre, queste parole: ‘Nichil enim aliud est cum diis gigantum more belare quam nature repugnare.’

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this precaution, thro’ many people of different religions, it grows so customary to hear people mention God, and the worship that is due to Him, after so many different ways, that is very dangerous, lest by this means he fall into a kind of indifference about religion, which borders upon deism: and upon this account, an able man in our time, viz. Mr Bruyere, has said, That commonly a man brings home from his voyages, much less of religion than he had before.6

An extensive section of Cotrugli’s treatise – for a long time considered rather reductively to be more of a humanistic dissertation in vernacular than a merchant’s handbook dealing with measures, commodities or taxes7 – was also devoted to the need for a conscious and intimate devotion to God (‘man must be eager and willing to embrace religion and learning’)8 and the Christian precepts befitting a merchant, which he should cultivate and bear witness to in his daily life: study (‘merchants … do not bother to discover what is necessary to their salvation’);9 attentive and penitent participation in the eucharistic liturgy; assiduous, discreet and contrite prayer (‘it should be accompanied by tears’);10 and the giving away in charity of what is superfluous to requirements, first of all to relatives in a state of need (‘And remember that charity should work outwards, as Augustine says in Book 1 of De Doctrina Christiana, in this way, favouring our nearest relations before strangers’).11It should however be noted that Cotrugli, though drawing heavily on scholastic authors (including the Summa theologiae of Thomas Aquinas, the Summa de Poenitentia of Raymond Penyaforte, William of Rennes, Hostiensis and Antonine of Florence), unexpectedly stressed the incompetence of clerics when it came to trade, essentially delegitimating any attempt they might make to interfere with the timing and utility of commercial transactions, deferred payments, debt transfers and the inexorable replacement of metal coinage with a much more mobile and remunerative paper equivalent. As for certain unrealistic opinions held by theologians on matters of trade and financial movements, Cotrugli writes that they speak as the blind do of colours (‘tamquam cecus de coloribis’).

6 I quote from the English translation printed in London for W. Davis in 1705 (at pp. 152–53), whose attribution to the ‘deist’ John Toland has been disputed. On La Créquinière see Joan-Pau Rubiés, ‘Comparing Cultures in the Early Modern World: Hierarchies, Genealogies and the Idea of European Modernity,’ in Regimes of Comparatism: Frameworks of Comparison in History, Religion and Anthropology, ed. Renaud Gagné, Simon Goldhill, and Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2019), 154–58. 7 Benedetto Cotrugli’s work, written in Venetian dialect in 1458, predates the instructional manuals of Marino de Raphaeli (1475) and Luca Pacioli (1494) by 17 and 36 years respectively. However, it has always been regarded as lacking the kind of detail distinguishing an instructional manual on double-entry bookkeeping. The main reason for this view is that until 30 years ago, the analysis and translation of Cotrugli’s text was based exclusively on a chapter in the first printed edition of his book, Libro de Larte dela Mercatura (Book of the Art of Trade), which was published in 1573, 115 years after the book was written. Although this chapter does discuss double-entry bookkeeping, there is little detail about how to actually go about it in practical terms. New evidence about this chapter came to light in 1990, when Ugo Tucci edited and produced an Italian translation of a manuscript copy of Cotrugli’s Art of Trade dated to 1484. It emerged that there were significant differences between the manuscript copy and the 1573 print edition. An even earlier manuscript copy of Cotrugli’s book, from 1475, had in the meantime appeared in 1989 in a catalogue of medieval manuscripts prepared by Paul Oskar Kristeller, who had unearthed it in the National Library of Malta. In 2009, Janeković-Römer used the 1475 manuscript to prepare what has been described as ‘a diplomatic edition, and not moreover always an accurate one.’ In 2016, a critical edition by Vera Ribaudo based on the 1475 manuscript was published in Venice. In 2017, the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice published an English-language translation by John Francis Phillimore based on an Italian translation prepared by Ribaudo. For more on the reception of Cotrugli’s work, see Alan Sangster and Franco Rossi, ‘Benedetto Cotrugli on Double Entry Bookkeeping,’ De Computis, Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad 15, no. 2 (2018), 22–38 and Mario Infelise, ‘The Printed Editions of Benedetto Cotrugli’s Treaty,’ in Benedetto Cotrugli: The Book of the Art of Trade, 213–18. 8

L’huomo deve essere cupido et appetente de religione et sapiencia.

9

Li mercanti … non curano di sapere quello che l’ e necessario ala salute loro.

10

Lacrimosa.

11 La limosina si deve dare, come dicie Agostino in libro primo De doctrina christiana, in questo modo, … imprima ad quelli li quali sono a noi più congionti che li extranei.

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Impulses such as enmity and amity coursed through much of early modern society, forming a ‘cyclical rather than linear’ relationship. Associating with people who wilfully affirmed a ‘false’ creed generated feelings of guilt that were deflected and appeased psychologically with periodic outbreaks of prejudice and violence. After the Great Lisbon Earthquake, for example, surviving members of the northern European merchant community resident in the city found themselves watching their backs in fear, because ‘the superstitious populace had put into their heads that this sad destiny had been visited on them because of the heretics.’12 However, in actual fact, the building up of trade relations, transactional practices and forms of deferred payment that presupposed the ‘good faith’ of sellers and buyers-debtors, a mutual trust based on notions of honour and reputation, generally contributed to a practice of plurality.13 Cotrugli, who was himself an international merchant long accustomed to mingling with people of different geographical, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, describes a scenario in which a merchant might find himself in far-off lands, perhaps dealing with Turks or Tartars or Moors, without money – this having been used up on unforeseen travel costs – and with a pressing need, for reasons of economy, to purchase large quantities of goods. In such a situation one would on the one hand have to trust that the seller, whatever his religious persuasion or confessional affiliation, would not fob him off with poor-quality goods (he complains that for credit sale a lot of merchants designate items which no one normally wants to buy and end up occupying space in their fondaci); and at the same time the merchant would need to reassure the other party that he is a good payer. Above all, the good faith of the seller-creditor also consists in not profiting from the difficult economic situation of the debtor (‘if you are in a condition of being able to help him, extend his credit and get him back on his feet, this will be a thing well done’)14 to the extent that credit appears to be an act of caritas.15 Deferred payments (‘al termine’) are therefore necessary for the vitality, success and even the humanisation of trade, and require not a shared religious faith but civic ‘good faith.’ This is based on the reputation built up in well-established business relations, or alternatively involves gauging, with a careful and experienced eye, the trustworthiness of the faces, gestures and expressions of parties one has only just met (‘And it cannot be doubted that you will rarely find a well-proportioned man with well-balanced limbs whose inner self does not correspond to his outer aspect’).16

And we will add, about what we said in the preceding chapter, that selling on credit came about from the lack of immediately available cash, is certainly true; none the less, this kind of transaction has turned out to be so useful, necessary even, to merchants that little would be concluded, or is concluded, without it. In addition, all dealings between merchants would close down and the art of trade come to an end, to the destruction of private property and the public weal; indeed the ruin of all the families in the city would surely follow, in so far as without this facility there would be no commercial voyaging among the Turks or

12 Quoted in Jean-Paul Poirier, ‘The 1755 Lisbon Disaster, the Earthquake that Shook Europe,’ European Review 14, no. 2 (2006): 169–80, at p. 171. 13 See Alexandra Walsham, Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England, 1500-1700 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006) and Giovanni Tarantino, ‘Religion and Spirituality,’ in A Cultural History of the Emotions in the Baroque and Enlightenment Age (1600–1780), ed. Katie Barclay, David Lemmings, and Claire Walker (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 35–51. 14

Et se bisogna posérlo aiutar et darli credito et rimeterlo a cavalo, farai bene.

15 See Marcin Buala, ‘“Il suo credito e la salvation tua”. Good Faith in vendere al termine according to Benko Kotruljević (Benedetto Cotrugli),’ in La fiducia secondo i linguaggi del potere, ed. Paolo Prodi (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2007), 131–42. 16 Sença fallo raro trovarai homini ben proporcionati et equal disposicione che non corrisponda l’ intrinseco con quello di fuori.

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the Tartars or the Moors, nor among the more distant barbarians, peoples who supply us with merchandise not otherwise available to Christian folk, with consequent loss of profit.17

Moreover, Cotrugli observes, merchants, who enable goods to circulate and enhance the well-being of their communities, live off their work. Generally, they do not possess the kind of liquid funds boasted of only by the rich, who are little inclined to risk their lives, assets and comforts in perilous commercial endeavours:

And apart from this spread of general benefits, there are the greater and more specific ones earned by those who have had the enterprise to buy on credit and provide a living for the above-mentioned categories and take home themselves an honourable profit. And all this only comes about because rich men who have ready money at their disposal are not given to travelling far from home or exposing themselves and their wealth to the uncertainties of the sea, and furthermore, in line with their social standing, are happy to avoid physical effort.18

Indeed, one should be wary of becoming entangled in business dealings with those social categories which, though at the top of the pyramid in the structuring networks of power and in the distribution of wealth, are not used to spending their money in the economic way and therefore appear to lack the ‘good faith’ so essential for regulating trade and containing potential conflict:

Here is an exhortation not to repose one’s confidence in nobles, priests and friars, students, scholars, soldiers, as they are not used to dealing with money and will not reimburse the payment.19

More generally, when entering into contracts one should be suspicious of friends, always use the services of expert brokers (sensali) and prepare public documents whose perlocutionary functions are recognisable to the contracting parties even when they are expressed in culturally specific forms:

When you consign your merchandise, have a clear contract drawn up, in the form of a public document, that is, one protected by the legal safeguards in force in the place where you are signing. Because contracts are drawn up in different ways in different places, in accordance with local usage. And for every transaction be in the habit of involving a broker,

17 Et circa questo passo, diciamo che ’l presuposito fato di sopra, che ’l vendere al termine sia inducto per lo mancamento de pecunia numerata, è cierto et vero, nientedimeno è procieduto in tanta utilità e necessità di mercanti che ne li tempi nostri niente si farebbe, né eziamdio se fa, sença questo modo del vendere al termene; et oltra questo si torrebe via ogni commercio tra mercanti et annularebesi l’arte col disfacimento de le re familiari et de le publice, ançi ne seguirebe totalmente la ruina di tucte le case private et de le cità publice, però che intra le altre cose sença questo meço non si potrebe navigare né tra Thurchi né tra Tartari, Mori, né barbari, donde tute le mercanthie che si tragono de le predicte gente sarebono spente apresso a’ populi christiani e niuna utilità si prenderebe. 18 Et ultra tucte queste utilita generali, ne perviene utilita particulare e grande a colloro che con la idustria (sic!) del comprare al termene pascono tucte le predicte gente et con honore dele persone loro portano guadagno ala casa. Le quali cose non seguirebeno, perche li richi che anno dinari contanti comunemente non costumano di partresi dala patria loro a metersi al periculo del navicare con la substancia et con le persone loro et ancora perche volentieri secundo costume di richi schifano l’ afanno dele persone. 19 Guarda non credere a signori, preti, frati, scolari, doctori, giente d’arme, per essere loro fuori d’ogni consuetudine di manegiar denari et per consequens pagare ad altri; et di sua natura la pecunia è bochon ghioto et, come l’àve, l’uomo che non è uso ad spenderla li dà tanta suavità a l’animo che non la può gitar da sé et per consequens non la sa pagare.

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because this is a worthwhile precaution; and even if he needs to play no active role, give him something to countersign the contract, for this will be money well spent, ensuring that there are no errors or improprieties in the document. And the more the other party is a friend of yours, the more you should take care, because. as the common proverb goes: ‘with an enemy one covenant, four with a friend.’20

Historians sensitive to the need to carefully examine the way in which cultural, economic and diplomatic interactions played out in concrete terms in the Mediterranean have demonstrated the fruitfulness of focusing research efforts on how various go-betweens (merchants, ransom agents, Jewish brokers, renegades, dragomans and spies) effectively crossed and blurred political, religious and linguistic boundaries and moulded a ‘practical cosmopolitanism’ defined as ‘the ability to adopt, adapt, and operate across two or more different cultural codes or “vernaculars” simultaneously.’21 In an essay that takes a fresh look at the relationship between money, tolerance (as an attitude) and toleration (as a policy) and emphasises how Christian Judeophobic tropes persisted in the ars mercatoria, Francesca Trivellato points out that with the growing magnitude and influence of commerce in European politics and society, the religious faith, ethnic background and national affiliation of individual merchants came to be seen as less important than their solvency and trustworthiness, and that ‘ultimately, individuals’ quest for profit would overcome prejudice.’22 Reference to the economic reasons for tolerance and their practical implementation in everyday life might seem a marginal and crudely pragmatic approach in comparison to loftier theories and invocations of the freedom of conscience and religious tolerance. Yet by no means rarely did they play a part as well; by preserving and building earthly interests and ignoring the inner anxieties of faith, it was possible to establish common ground across disparate cultures. Above all, it reflected a coeval and gradual secularisation and relativisation – albeit riddled with contradictions – of morality, with evident utilitarian outcomes. Anthony Collins (1676–1729), bibliophile and fervent anti-clerical freethinker, had no hesitation in arguing that when, in a mercantile and manufacturing nation, evangelic dictates were at odds with social utility, they should be rejected.23 And in 1675, William Penn, who went on to be an advisor to James II, described the difficulties and shortages arising from a policy of hard-line intolerance and never-ending religious conflict as follows:

Peace, Plenty and Safety, the three grand inducements to any Country to honour the Prince, and love the Government, and the best allurements to foreigners to trade with it, and

20 Dando la tua roba, faci fare lo contracto chiaro, cioè con scriptura publica, overo quela cautela che se costuma in quella patria dove sè, perché li contracti se costumano variamente, in diversi lochi, secundo le consuetudine de le patrie. Et sempre costuma in ogni cosa fare intravenire lo sensale, perché l’è bona cosa, et quando non intravenisse, donateli qualche cossa ch’el soscriva lo mercato, pertanto che sonno benedecti denari, che non vi può intravenire errore né scandalo. Et quanto l’è più tuo amico, ingiégnate d’esservi più cauto, perché se dicie, comune proverbio, ‘Cun inimico pacto et con amico quatro.’ 21 See Felicia Gottmann, ‘Commercial Cosmopolitanism? Transcultural Actors, Objects, Spaces, and Practices in the Early Modern World,’ in Commercial Cosmopolitanism? Cross-Cultural Objects, Spaces, and Institutions in the Early Modern World, ed. Felicia Gottmann (New York: Routledge, 2021), 1–20. Also see The Power of the Dispersed: Early Modern Global Travelers Beyond Integration, ed. Cornel Zwierlein (Brill, ‘Intersections,’ 77: Leiden, 2021). 22 Francesca Trivellato, ‘Images and Self-Images of Sephardic Merchants in Early Modern Europe and the Mediterranean,’ in The Self-Perception of Early Modern Capitalists, ed. Margaret C. Jacob and Catherine Secretan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 49–74. 23 Anthony Collins, A Discourse of Free-Thinking, Occasion’d by the Rise and Growth of a Sect Call’d Free-Thinkers (London, 1713), 12: ‘The Morality of the Holy Scripture is not to be precisely and distinctly understood, without an antecedent knowledg in Ethicks, or the Law of Nature. Who can without a knowledge in that Law understand wherein consist the duties of loving our enemys, of not caring for the morrow, of not having two coats, and all other dutys express’d in so universal a manner?’

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transport themselves to it, are utterly lost by such intestine jars; for instead of peace, love and good neighbourhood, behold animosity and contest! ... Plenty will be hereby exchanged for Poverty, by the destruction of many thousand families within this Realm, who are greatly instrumental for the carrying on the most Substantial Commerce therein, men of virtue, good contrivance, great industry, whose labours not only keep the parishes from the trouble & charge of maintaining them and theirs, but help to maintain the poor, and are great contributors to the Kings revenue by their traffick: This very severity will make more bankrupts in the Kingdom of England in 7 years than have been in it upon all other accounts in 7 ages; which consequence, how far it may consist with the credit & interest of the Government, I leave to better judgments.24

By suggesting that Prato merchant and banker Francesco di Marco Datini (1335– 1410) earnestly pleaded for the restitution of property (including books) to Hispanic Jewish converts forced to pursue a relatively safe exile in Pisa, the ‘Jewish documents’ reproduced in this volume (docs 1–3) show how merchants not infrequently performed supplementary, or perhaps alternative, functions with respect to official diplomatic channels, and were not averse to assisting in the redemption, mobility and integration of people fleeing religionis causa. The Protestant Reformation was notoriously the harbinger of very large movements of people, ideas and writings, and merchant ships often became vessels of subversive paper in motion. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Iberian Inquisition tightened up its surveillance of ships bound for the territories of the Spanish Empire. Both Spanish and Portuguese institutions were involved in clamping down on heretical contamination, a practice that continued until well after the end of the Union of the Crowns. The reports written by officials from the Holy Office following the inspection of foreign-owned vessels entering the port of Lisbon (Livros para as visitas das naus) contain information about the vessels’ port of origin and cargo, the number, nationality and religion of all crew and passengers, and any books or papers on board. This inquisitorial documentation offers interesting insight into seafarers’ trading practices and how they connected spaces and cultures. And equally significantly, as Benedetta Crivelli has recently pointed out, it also emerges that the inspectors themselves were anxious not to hinder the flow of trade.25 Many years later, in 1740, John (or Jean) Coustos, a naturalised British citizen of Swiss birth, and son of a Huguenot exile from Guienne possibly with Jewish ancestors, moved to Lisbon. He was a diamond cutter by trade, and sought permission to go to Brazil, where diamonds had been discovered in 1729. His request was turned down by the Portuguese authorities, but he decided to stay on in Lisbon anyway. He set up a masonic lodge there, and was elected worshipful master, but on 14 March 1743 he was handed over to the Inquisition because masonic lodges were deemed to supersede confessional and social barriers. Although he was tortured nine times in the following two months, he did not reveal the secrets of the craft, and was sentenced to four years in a galley. As he was a British subject, the British minister in Lisbon intervened on his behalf, and in October 1744 he was freed on condition that he left Portugal. He arrived back in England on 15 December, and subsequently wrote an account of his experience, possibly in French. Translated into English by John Lockman with the title 24 William Penn, England’s Present Interest Discover’d with Honour to the Prince, and Safety to the People ([London], 1675), 42. Also see J. R. Jones, The Restored Monarchy 1660–1688 (London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Ltd, 1979), 7–8: ‘The gradual, grudging and partial acceptance of religious toleration (finally put into statutory form in 1689) is another example of the demotion of religion from its previously dominant position. ... Although for us intellectual arguments for toleration seem to be indisputably superior, its ultimate establishment was due primarily to political calculation and to a spread of religious indifferentism.’ 25 Maria Fusaro et al., ‘Entrepreneurs at Sea: Trading Practices, Legal Opportunities and Early Modern Globalization,’ The International Journal of Maritime History 28, no. 4 (2016), 774–86.

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The Sufferings of John Coustos for Freemasonry and for His Refusing to Turn Roman Catholic, in the Inquisition at Lisbon, it was published in 1746, the same year in which he died at the age of 43.26 In December 1745, the Bibliothèque raisonnée des ouvrages des savans de l’Europe, a literary periodical published in Amsterdam between 1728 and 1753 with the declared aim of providing an anonymous platform for publicly criticising intolerant rulers and religious zealots, reported the publication of the memoirs of the ‘first martyr of freemasonry’ as one of the ‘Nouvelles litteraires de Londres.’ One of the editors of the Bibliothèque raisonnée was Jean Rousset de Missy (1686–1762), a prolific Huguenot journalist who helped to set up organised Dutch freemasonry and whose first publication had been a French translation of Collins’s Discourse of Freethinking (1714). Rousset’s father had spent time in jail for Protestantism, and Rousset himself was hotly and implacably opposed to absolutism throughout his life. This can be seen in his revolutionary stance and activities during the 1747 upheavals in the Netherlands. His writings advocated a mix of pantheism and reformist politics, and he strongly supported European freemasonry. Margaret Jacob has advanced the fascinating conjecture that the acronym ‘L.T.V.I.L.R.D.M.’ used by the editor of the (probably original) French version of Coustos’s memoirs conceals his name: ‘R.D.M.’27 During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Dutch Republic was Europe’s cultural and intellectual clearing house, and home to a well-established and very competitive publishing industry and book trade (paper in motion!). This partly explains why the Dutch, especially the Huguenot refugees, played such a prominent role in the international transmission of knowledge and ideas. Coustos’s memoirs, a colourful account (in the English translation) of the fortitude he displayed in withstanding his examiners, whose ferocity is barely masked by the legalism of inquisitorial procedures, might have served two purposes. On the one hand, it may have furthered the anti-Jacobite cause by playing on the deep-rooted fears and the xenophobia of the English mobs (the adjective most commonly applied to Catholics was ‘outlandish’). On the other, it may have spoken to like-minded intellectual elites across Europe, helping to promote a new, syncretistic and cosmopolitan religious vision rooted in Huguenot mercantile culture, in which ritual practice was less important than morality, and the terror of the Fathers was opposed by the benevolence of the Brothers.28 But let us conclude with Benedetto Cotrugli’s telling words about the merchant’s last years:

After so many hours put in on projects, white nights, trafficking, book-keeping, drawing up contracts, travelling by sea and by land, quarrelling, sweating, flattering, trusting, finally, after so much worry and immense labour of mind and body, it is good that he rest. He wanted money: he has it; good name: he has it; possessions: he has them; he has married off his sons and daughters, he has made his pile, fathered and reared children, he has seen them learn his trade, he is fifty or sixty years old: what more does he want? … Never let yourself be idle, praying, writing, dictating, reading, engaging in manual activities; be active always, and your life 26 John F. Shaftesley, ‘Jews in English Freemasonry in the 18th and 19th Centuries,’ Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (AQC) 92 (1979): 25–63; Wallace E. McLeod, ‘More Light of John Coustos,’ AQC 95 (1982): 117–19; Giuseppe Marcocci and José Pedro Paiva, História da Inquisição Portuguesa (1536–1821) (Lisbon: A Esfera dos Livros, 2013), 299–300. 27 Margaret C. Jacob, Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 232, n20. McLeod (‘John Coustos: His Lodges and His Book,’ 147) notes that the first German edition (1755 or 1756) amends L.T.V.I. to L.T.V.F. (le très vénérable frère?). 28 See Giovanni Tarantino, ‘The Mysteries of Popery Unveiled: Affective Language in John Coustos’ and Anthony Gavín’s Accounts of the Inquisition,’ in Spaces for Feeling: Emotions and Sociabilities in Britain, 1650–1850, ed. Susan Broomhall (London: Routledge, 2015), 35–51.

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will be prolonged in tranquillity, peace of body and mind; speak sparingly with men of the world, and live thus until Almighty God close your earthly eyes and lead you to eternal life. … This is the life the blessed live, like that of the saints, which alone allows us to serve God and philosophy: happy the man that reaches this point! Be content with having enough to eat and to wear and nourish your soul on virtue; do your best in this life to hone your intelligence, enter into a dialogue with men who have written on the good things of the universe.29

29 Et dopoi di tanti orlogii, disegni, vigilie, trafichi, scrictitare, contracti, navegare per mare et per terra, alterchare, sudare, lusingare, contare, et infine, dopoi tante solecitudini et fatiche immense di mente et di corpo, ch’el se repossi. Egli à voluto denari, e n’à, credito, e n’à, possessioni, e n’à, maritato figli et figlie, acumulato, fato et alevato li figlioli, ne l’arte sua vedeli amaistrati, et ha l o lx anni: che vòi di più? ... [E]t non star mai ocioso, orando, scrivendo, dictando, legiendo, operando manualmente, sempre in fare, et cusì dure la vita tua in quiete, in pacie de la anima et de lo corpo, et multo poco conversa con omeni mundani, et così finché l’Altissimo Dio ti chiuda li ochi corporali et conduca in vita eterna. ... Questa è la vita che fano li homini beati et equali a’ sancti, la quale sola ne fa servire a Dio et a la philosophia: felicie chi quivi arriva! Consiste in solo victo et vestito et nutrica l’anima ne le virtù, vigila questa vitain fare acuto l’ingegnio, conversa con li homini li qualli hanno scripto ciò che contiene di virtù l’universo.

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Publisher and Graphic design Idem (GMS srl), Italy, idem-adv.it Print Press-Up, Viterbo, Italy ISBN 979-12-200-9803-8 Printed in 2021





ISBN 979-12-200-9803-8

9 791220 098038


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