News on the Bulaq : a Mamluk-Venetian memorandum on Asian trade, AD 1503
Title: News on the Bulaq : a Mamluk-Venetian memorandum on Asian trade, AD 1503
Series/Number: EUI HEC; 2016/01
The article presents and discusses a source of unique importance for our knowledge of early modern global exchanges. Produced in 1503 by the Egyptian administration, and found among the records of a Venetian company with global commercial interests, the document records maritime connections with some localities on the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, followed by cargo figures. By sending the Memorandum to the head office in Venice, the Company’s agents in Egypt were laboring to solve the most important concern of Venice’s information network, that of coordinating Indian with Mediterranean trading seasons. By analyzing the document’s context, namely, the Foscari Company and the risky business conjuncture it was undergoing, this paper attributes the Firm’s success to the capacity of its agents to gather information through collaboration, networking and ultimately, friendship with Muslim partners and informers.
Subject: Indian Ocean; Southeast Asia; Cross-cultural trade; Spices; Mamluk Egypt
Grant number: FP7/295868/EU
Type of Access: openAccess