G.D._PAGRATIS_Venice_Her_Subjects_and_Sh

G.D._PAGRATIS_Venice_Her_Subjects_and_Sh - STUDE VENEZIANI...

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Unformatted text preview: STUDE VENEZIANI N. S. LXVII (2013) ESTRATTO - OFFPRINT PISA - ROMA FABRIZIO SERRA EDITORE MMXIV SOMMARIO Presentazione VENEZIA E IL MEDITERRANEO JEAN-CLAUDE HOCQUET, Avant—propos. Venise, carrefour d’un mon- de qui avait change 1. La guerre RUTHY GERTWAGEN, Venice, Genoa and the fights over the island of Tenedos (late fourteenth and early fifteenth century) LOUIS SICKING, Selling and buying protection. Dutch war fleets at the service of Venice (1617—1667) KATIA OCCHI, Commercial networks from the Alpine valleys to the Mediterranean: the timber trade between Venice and Malta (16th- 17th centuries). First researches 11. Transferts cle population, acculturation, spiritualité ERSIE C. BURKE, «...to live under the protection of your serenity»: immigration and identity in early modern Venice DIANA GILLILAND WRIGHT, The Kladas affair and diplomatic rela— tions (1480—1485) DAPHNE LAPPA, Religious conversions within the Venetian military milieu ( 17th and 18th centuries) IGOR $11316, The cult of St. Lucy. Venetian context and influence along Eastern Adriatic 15 19 35 107 123 157 183 201 III. Développement e'conomique, rivalités commerciales, progres scientifique FLORENCE FABIJANEC, Entreprendre sous le po‘uvoir ve’nitien. La compagnie des Matafaric’ de Zadar durant la seconde moitié du XVe siecle GERASSIMOS D. PAGRATIS, Venice, her subjects and ships. Continu— ity and discontinuity in Venetian mercantile and maritime policy and its impact on the shipping of the Ionian islanders during the 16th century VERA COSTANTINI, Fin dentro il paese turchesco: stabilimento del— la scala di Spalato e potenziamento delle reti mercantili e diploma— tiche veneziane nell’entroterra bosniaco 231 253 267 VENICE, HER SUBJECTS AND SHIPS. CONTINUITY AND DISCONTINUITY IN VENETIAN MERCANTILE AND MARITIME POLICY AND ITS IMPACT ON THE SHIPPING OF THE IONIAN ISLANDERS DURING THE 16TH CENTURY GERASSIMOS D. PAGRATIS F OR Venetian merchants the sixteenth—century shipping has been associated with the transition from a phase characterized by the combination of State—organized and private trade to a phase charac— terized by the predominance of private trade, which became more evident from the third decade of the century onwards. However, the sixteenth century is distinguished too by the more active presence of subjects of Venice and foreigners in the maritime life of the State, for a number of reasons, associated with the crisis Venice was experiencing at an economic and political level, and with the increased competition the Venetians were facing in the Eastern Mediterranean. Due to these circumstances, many Greeks, Turks, renegade Christians, Armenians, Ragusans and Jews gradually began from the mid—sixteenth century to find their position in the markets of the Dominant City (Domi- nante), somehow taking their revenge — as noted characteristically by Traian Stoianovich — for the two—century—old commercial hegemony of Venice and Genoa in the economies of the Levant.1 Studies on the maritime activities of Greeks in the sixteenth cen- tury, published in the last decade, have renewed research interest in this field, leading to the revision of the views of earlier scholars, who described Greek merchant shipping in the sixteenth century as an eco— nomic activity supported by a few boats, with which Greeks served local fishing and transporting activities, fearful of venturing beyond ‘ T. STOIANOVICH, The Conquering Balkan Orthodox Merchant, «The journal of Economic History», xx, 2, 1960, p. 240. «STUDI VENEZIANI» ~ LXVII ' 2013 254 GERASSIMOS D. PAGRATIS the safety of the coasts.2 Our knowledge today permits us to propose a scheme configuring the growth and developmental phases of Ionian merchant shipping during the sixteenth century, which could serve as a framework for the incorporation of future research findings. Main sections of this scheme are: I. the qualitative and quantitative evolu— tion of the phenomenon, and II. the analysis of the structural ele— ments of the Ionian shipping enterprises. QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE EVOLUTION OF IONIAN MERCHANT SHIPPING In the maritime trade of Greek subjects of Venice in the sixteenth century, three main phases can be distinguished. From 1500 to about 1540 In the first phase, the Venetians proved themselves capable of main— taining their past strength, despite the damage caused to their mer— chant shipping during the Italian wars on land and the clashes against the Ottomans at sea. There was, therefore, no reason for them to relax their strict protectionist commercial policy. They continued to encourage the maritime trade of their subjects, to the extent that it assured the food supply of their territories in the Levant, as well as the needs of the Dominante in foodstuffs and raw materials. At the same time, they maintained their ban on the direct participation of their subjects in foreign trade, especially in competitive markets of the Adriatic, with a few exceptions, such as the periodic licensing of subjects and foreigners to import certain monopolistic commodities (Le, cereals) to Venice. The area where the Ionian merchants and ship—owners could move smoothly, uninhibited by these limitations and the continued inter- est shown by the Venetian nobles and bourgeois in the direct pursuit of international trade, were the local networks. Thanks to these net— works, they could meet the nutritional needs of the regions of origin, while also nourishing the great Venetian trade. Exceptions to this rule include Corfu, as regards the Ionian islands, and Crete, as regards the rest of the maritime State of Venice, the so—called Stato da Mar. 2 GH. LEONTARITIS, Ellim'ki Emporiki Naftilia (1453-1850), Athens, Mnimon, 1981, pp. 37 ff. [in Greek]. VENICE, HER SUBJECTS AND SHIPS IN THE 16TH CENTURY 255 In Corfu, the northernmost Ionian island, we can observe the growth, from the late fifteenth century until the fourth decade of the sixteenth, of a thriving merchant fleet that was active both at a local and an inter—regional level. This fleet linked the ships-owners’ places of origin with their main suppliers, but also the Venetian possessions with the Dominante, and it also operated in places highly competitive to Venice, such as Ancona and the fairs of Lanciano and Recanati. Transactions of Corfiots in the markets of sottovento, as the Venetians used to call the Adriatic coasts of the Italian Peninsula, where mari— time entrepreneurs of Corfu used to trade independently and/ or in collaboration with Ottoman merchants, from the second decade of the sixteenth century, provoked the strong reaction of the Venetian authorities, which banned all such activities by threatening severe punishment of offenders.3 The gradual reduction in the capacity of the Corfiot merchant fleet seems to confirm the success of Venetian policy. At the same time, however, we can observe in the notarial deeds of Corfu a shift in the geography of the islanders’ illegal sea trade to the North—African coasts, as well as some interesting agree- ments between ship-owners and merchants trading in the markets of sottovento, in order to share equally damages incurred from fines that would be imposed by the Venetian authorities if their smug- gling were discovered. Typical of this kind of practices is the case of the ship-owner Andreas Borsis, who in 1548 agreed with Demetrius Contostavlos to carry on his behalf a cargo of acorns to Ancona and Ferrara, accepting to share equally any fines that might be imposed because of the illegal nature of the voyage.4 Crete seems to be another exception, thanks to exploitation of the demand for the famous malmsey (malvasia) wine. English interest in this product had led since the fifteenth century to the creation of a transport network to and from Old Albion, in which both English and Cretan captains were involved. From the early sixteenth century, mer- chants and captains from Crete acted as if they had achieved some sort of autonomy from the Venetian laws, as there is evidence from vari- ous sources (Venetian and English) that they were exporting local agri— cultural products not only to Eastern Mediterranean and Italian ports 3 G. D. PAGRATIS, Trade and Shipping in Corfu (1496-1538), «International Journal of Mari- time History», xv1, 2, 2004, pp. 175-177. 4 Archivio di Stato di Corfu (Asco): Nomi, Antonios Metaxas (M 180), f. 1647’. 256 GERASSIMOS D. PAGRATIS (Naples, Apulia), but also beyond the Mediterranean.5 Having estab— lished Constantinople as their base, where many of their compatriots were living, Cretans had set up in the early sixteenth century a thriving maritime entrepreneurial network through which malmsey wine was exported to cities in Poland and Moldova. In 1520, e.g., fifteen Cretan ships carried wine from Candia to Constantinople. The Capitalof the Ottoman Empire absorbed part of this valuable product, while the re— mainder was distributed in Northern Europe, with the most impor* tant commercial centre established in Lvov (Poland), where between 1560 and 1603 forty Cretan wine merchants were plying their trade.6 Between 1540 and 1570 After the end of the third Ottoman-Venetian war, in 1540, and up to the war in Cyprus thirty years later, Venetian merchant shipping was not just stabilized with regard to its capacity and number of ships, but actually developed further. However, as Jean—Claude Hocquet has argued, this development was based largely on artificial media and especially on grants in return for building new ships, with which the Venetians sought to revitalize the moribund shipbuilding industry of their city, allowing ship-owners to pay off their debts by transporting salt to Venice.7 It is precisely in this period that the first serious cracks in the Vene- tian commercial construction are identified, a phenomenon strictly connected with the gradual withdrawal of Venetian nobles from di— rect involvement in maritime trade. This development led to increas— ing pressure for imports of foodstuffs to Venice and then to the re— laxation of protectionist measures, such as those restricting trade by non—privileged entrepreneurs (see below). The main cargo carried by these non—privileged entrepreneurs, 3 S. ALEXIOU, Koinom'a kai Oikonomia stin Kriti kata ton 16 kai 17 aiona, «Istoria tou El» linikou Ethnous», 10, 1974, p. 208 [in Greek]. 6 B. ARBEL, Riflessioni sul ruolo di Creta nel Commercio Mediterraneo del Cinquecento, in Vene- zia e Creta, a cura di Gh. Ortalli, Venezia, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, 1998, pp. 193-198. See also in M. GREENE, Trading identities: The Sixteenth Century Greek Moment, in A Faithful Sea. The Religious Cultures of the Mediterranean, 1200-1700, ed. by A. Hussain, K. Fleming, Oxford, Oneworld Publications, 2007, pp. 134—139. 7 See inj.-CL. HOCQUET, Il libro “Creditorum Conducentium sale Cypro” dell’Archivio di Stato di Venezia, «Archivio Veneto», 108, 1977, pp. 43—81; IDEM, Il sale e lafortuna di Venezia, Roma, jouvence, 1990, pp. 439-468. VENICE, HER SUBJECTS AND SHIPS IN THE 16TH CENTURY 257 with State permission, was grain. In seasons of repeated famine and bans on exports of cereals from the Ottoman Empire, Greeks took the opportunity to assume an important role in the transport of grain from the productive zones of the Eastern Mediterranean to the Ital— ian ports. It was this transport that underpinned much of their com— mercial and entrepreneurial growth, many centuries earlier than was believed until recently. This trend is confirmed by the intensification of commercial transactions between Greek subjects of the Sultan and those of the doge in Venice and its possessions, where, since the mid- siXteenth century, they were founding consulates in order to serve their activities.8 Beyond the ‘recruitment’ of their merchant fleets to service Ven— ice’s needs, Greeks were involved in Venetian maritime trade from other places too. Thus, in 1558, 16 out of 59 captains of large Vene— tian ships, with a capacity between 300 and 720 tons. (500—1200 botti), were Greek. Some of them were also co-owners or owners of large Venetian ships, having exploited largely State grants for building the vessels. They profited from the possibility, offered periodically by the Venetian State, regarding registering ships built outside Venice as Venetian, or the functions of the free market.9 Between 1571 and early 17th century The dynamic development of Ionian merchant shipping continued until the last third of the sixteenth century, thanks to a number of 8 For the institution of the commercial consul of Ottoman merchants see in M. OIKON— OMOU, O thesmos ton proxenou ton Ellinon emporon kata tin periodo tis Tourkokratias. To emporio ton Arhipelagous kai to ellim’ko proxeneio tis Venetias, PhD. Thesis, University of Athens, vols. 1—3, 1990 [in Greek]; G. D. PAGRATIS, To Consulaton ton Mytilinaion stin Kerkyra (1548-1549), «an kai Esperia», 4, 2000, pp. 22-45 [in Greek]; CHR. PAPACOSTA, Oi emporikoi proxenoi sta Ionia Nisia: anagki kai skopimotita, in Proceedings of the Seventh Panionian Conference (Lefcada, 26—30 May 2002), ed. by D. and T. Sklavenitis, Athens, Etaireia Lefkadikon Meleton, 2004, vol. II, pp. 577-593 [in Greek]. 9 Biblioteca del Museo Correr di Venezia: Dona dalle Rose, cod. 217, ff. 361', 39r, The table is published by S. KAKLAMANIS, Markos Defaranas (1503-1575). Zakynthios stixourgos ton 160a aiona, «Thesaurismata», 21, 1991, pp. 302—305 [in Greek] and comm. on by ].—CL. HOCQUET, Gens de mer a Venise. Diversite’ des statuts, conditions de 'vie et de travail sur les navires (XIIf-XVIHE siécles), 18e Congres d’Histoire maritime, Naples, Pironti, 1980, in R. Ragosta (a cura di), Le genti del mare Mediterraneo, 2 voll., Napoli, Pironti, 1981: I, pp. 103—168. The Greek vessels, on the basis of their owners’ names, were the Curcumela of Andreas Kourkoumelis, around 480 tons, and the Vergi or the Santa Maria de Cassoppo of Matthew Vergis, of around 540 tons. 258 GERASSIMOS D. PAGRATIS key junctures: after the war in Cyprus and the battle of Lepanto, the Venetian merchant fleet had lost about 50% of its capacity, compared to the previous decades. Unlike the Venetian retreat, the French and the British gained a strong foothold in the Eastern Mediterranean, having received from the Ottomans commercial privileges (capitu— lations) in 1535 and 1581 respectively.10 Due to these circumstances, Venetian nobles thought that it was the right time to diversify their investments, paying more attention to investments in the land of Ter— mferma. The vacuum created due to this choice, combined with the acute needs of Venice for foodstuffs, at a time of frequent famine and increasing population in the whole Mediterranean, was a great op— portunity for merchants and ship—owners with bigger incentives than the Venetians, such as foreigners and subjects of Venice. Shortly before the sixteenth century ended, the Venetian authori— ties confirmed in 1597 that maritime trade had passed completely out of the hands of the Venetian entrepreneurs. At the same time, how— ever, the Venetian Senate justified the need to keep the possibility of registering as Venetian, ships built outside Venice as follows: Because nowadays [trade] has passed into the hands of our subjects, who are active in foreign countries, [since] the number of ships built in [Venice] is constantly decreasing. This phenomenon is due to the cost of shipbuilding in our city, which is prohibitive. This means that in future, few would at~ tempt to build ships here, provided that costs [for the same services] abroad will remain lower than they are in Venice.“ In this context, of ‘settling’ the once privileged professional occu- pation of the Venetians and the consequent rupture which became particularly noticeable in the seventeenth century between traders and the political elite of the city,‘2 one could easily explain the spe— cific role that a group of Greeks took over in the Venetian State. In the late sixteenth century merchants and ship-owners, mainly from Zante, active in trade with England, took advantage of the voids cre- ” Capitulations were granted also to Dutch merchants in 1612. With these agreements, merchants from France, England and Holland paid at the ports of the Ottoman Empire 3% tax, while Venetians normally were paying 5% or more. See in LEONTARITIS, Ellim‘ki Emporiki Naftilia, pp. 10—18. “ A. TENENTI, Naufiages, Corsaires et Assurances maritimes d Vem'se 1592-1609, Paris, SEVPEN, 1959, p. 19, note 78. ‘2 U. TUCCI, La psicologia del mercante veneziano nel Cinquecento, in Navi, mercanti, monete nel Cinquecento veneziano, Bologna, i1 Mulino, 1981, esp. pp. 56-65. VENICE, HER SUBJECTS AND SHIPS IN THE 16TH CENTURY 259 ated in the Venetian transport networks and managed to maintain for some years an active trade connecting Venice and her dominions in the Levant with England. So, Greeks substituted the Venetians in a transitional period, in the interval between the onset of a serious crisis in the domestic shipping industry until the more active partici- pation in Mediterranean trade of merchants and ship—owners from northern countries, such as England, France and The N etherlands.13 Islanders from the Ionian Sea (Soumakis, Samariaris, Metaxas et alii) had formed solid family networks and were conducting transactio’ns funded both by English traders and by the Jews who settled in Venice after their expulsion from Portugal. These entrepreneurs were sur— rounded by a large number of secondary colleagues, and all operated within a dense maritime network, which was involved in exporting currants from Zante, Cephalonia and the Peloponnese to England, on Greek, Venetian and English ships. Greeks and Englishmen had entered into a powerful commercial alliance, treating Venice as the common enemy. The Anglo—Hellenic benefits of this short—lived part— nership were mutual. In the early seventeenth century, the increased import taxes, levied by the English authorities on products carried to England by foreigners, led to the exclusion of the Greeks from direct trade between the Ionian islands and Old Albion.14 ‘3 M. GREENE, Beyond the northern invasion.- the Mediterranean in the seventeenth century, «Past and Present», 174, 2002, pp. 42—71 contested the accepted view that the ‘northerners’ prevailed in Mediterranean trade by the third decade of the 17th century, arguing that in the 17th century the Mediterranean was marked by the lack of a State able to impose its political and economic dominance, and so to replace the declining power of Venice. This power vacuum gave way to a state of anarchy, main symptom of which was raids both by Christians — orders of St. john of Malta and St. Stephen of Tuscany, and of Muslims, represented mainly by the corsairs of the Maghreb. At this time great benefit was gained by the Greeks, who used their dual status: on the one hand of Christians who should not be the target of other Christians, a position supported even by the Pope because Greek ship-owners were claiming to be 'united ‘with the Catholic Church since the Council of Ferrara—Florence (1438-1439), and on the other hand of subjects of the Sublime Porte, which allowed them to carry cargoes for Muslim traders who were unable to cross the Mediterranean for fear of Maltese ships. ‘4 M. FUSARO, Commercial Networks in the Early Modern World, in BUI Working Paper HEC, ed. by D. Ramada Curto, A. Molho, Florence, European University Institute, 2002, vol. 2, pp. 121-147; EADEM, Les Anglais et le Grecs. Un réseau de cooperation commercial en Mediter— ranée vénitienne, «Annales. Histoire, Sciences socials», 3, 2003, pp. 605-625; EADEM, Coping with transition: Greek merchants and shipowners between Venice and England in the late sixteenth century, in Diaspora Entrepreneurial Networks: Four Centuries of History, ed. by I. Baghdiantz McCabe, G. Harlaftis, I. Pepelasis Minoglou, New York, Berg, 2005, pp. 95-123. 26o GERASSIMOS D. PAGRATIS STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS OF THE IONIAN SHIPPING ENTERPRISES ...
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