"Mediterranean connections : Venetian trading networks in the 14th century"
I am a first year DPhil student. I received both my BA and my MA from the University of Pisa, while at the same time attending Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa), where I studied medieval history and palaeography. I have been twice to the ENS (Paris) as an exchange student and I have participated to numerous conferences both in Europe (such as the IMC) and in the US. I have accepted my place at Oxford having declined offers by Cambridge University (Trinity College) and the University of Heidelberg.
The topic of my research is the the study of Venetian commercial networks in the light of Mediterranean history, the conceptualization of trade networks, commercial history and the economic history of Venice. This theme is particularly significant since global connections are the crucial theoretical tool to overcome the notion of a unified Mediterranean and to rather put the emphasis on the entanglement and the connections taking place at all levels of medieval commerce, analysing both long - distance and coasting trade.
Drawing on largely unpublished material, my research will analyse the intricate links of Venetian commerce throughout the Mediterranean, using extensive post mortem dossiers of 14th century merchants, which makes it possible to take into account both the personal, economical and social implications of their biographies and the complex commercial entanglement between Venetian, Christian, and non-Christian merchants.
The topic is particularly significant since it allows a comprehensive evaluation of the volume of Venetian trade, of the commercial strategies of the Serenissima, as opposed to those of other polities (such as Genoa or Tuscany) and moreover because of the opportunity to analyse how social, intellectual, and economical boundaries were crossed in the trading places of the Mediterranean and how far the notion of cross-cultural interactions may be proven valid.
To summarise concisely the purposes of my work, it could be said that it aims at challenging many longstanding and a priori assertions regarding Venetian commerce. Firstly, it will show beyond any reasonable doubt that Venetian trade did not center solely in the Eastern Mediterranean. Secondly, it will challenge a long-standing tradition asserting a supremacy of state-convoys over private trade and it will also highlights the importance of bulk commodities and round ships. Thirdly, the analysis of post obitum dossiers, full of private documents, will allow an holistic analysis of merchants network and of their biographies, which makes it possible to reconstruct whether commerce constituted the only investment or if other forms of investment did play a role
Research interests :
Commercial and financial history, Medieval history, history of diplomacy, Mediterranean history, network theory, cross-cultural trade, diaspora studies, Venetian history and late medieval history (with particular reference to Italy and the Mediterranean)
Joint SNS-YALE graduate student workshop “Mobility, identity and identification in the early modern Mediterranean”, organised by professor Trivellato and professor Pastore, December 15-16, 2017, paper presentation
“L’economia della città del Mediterraneo”, organised by the Universities of Florence and Siena, and by the École Française de Rome, June 25-29, 2018, paper presentation
“Failure in the Middle Ages”, Princeton graduate conference, March 22, 2019, paper presentation
“Cultural entanglement, transfer and contention in mediterranean communities from antiquity to the present”, organised by the Central European University, May 30 - June 1, 2019, paper presentation
“Storici e maestri del medioevo”, organised by the Fondazione Centro Studi sul Tardo Medioevo, October 9-12, 2019, paper presentation
International medieval Congress of Leeds (2020). Paper presentation “Gulf of Venice or Gulf of the Venetians ? : 14th century Venetian thalassocracy”.