MAIASP. 2022. No. 14

V.A. Evstiunin (Tyumen, Russia)

Tuscan merchants in Caffa at the end of the 14th century (based on the materials from Datinis archive)

DOI: 10.53737/2713-2021.2022.88.33.015

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Pages: 314330

The article presents the results of studying the ego-documents of two Tuscan merchants, Rosso di Strozza degli Strozzi and Lapaccio di Jacopo, who were the trade agents of Francesco Datini and acted in Caffa at the end of the 14th century. A new transliteration is given containing some amendments to the previous reading of Paola Massa, as well as a new Russian translation of Strozzas and Jacopos letters originally written in Tuscan volgare. The aim of the study was to obtain new information about the assessment by Tuscan merchants of the prospects for trade in the Northern Black Sea region. In the 14th century, Tuscan companies sought access to new eastern markets and therefore sent their agents to the Northern Black Sea region. Our study of the published letters from the Datini archive reveals that a negative situation has formed back then in the Northern Black Sea trade caused by the Ottoman threat, plague, and Timurs conquests. We found that the Datinis factors sought to stop trading in Caffa and return to Tuscany due to the increase in the price of grain, which was the main subject of their trade. Using the search engine of the Datinis archive, we reconstructed a business network of Datinis trade agents from Caffa, consisting of previously unpublished documents. We found that Jacopos letter from Caffa is the last in his network, while Strozzi wrote two more letters after returning from Caffa. The discovery of his unpublished letters requires new research.

Key words: Tuscan merchants, Caffa, Feodosia, The Northern Black Sea Region in the Middle Ages, Mediterranean trade in the fourteenth century, Datinis archive, ego-documents, microhistory, digital history.

Received January 16, 2022

Accepted for publication January 30, 2022

About the author:

Evstiunin Vladislav Anatolyevich (Tyumen, Russia). Tyumen State University