In 2012 and based on the notarial data, a research project was funded by FP7-Marie-Curie Intra-European Action for a total cost of E 249 911,60. It has yielded important results, gathering the attention of publishers such as the MIT Press Journals, Cambridge University Press Journals or the Mediterranean Historical review.

Cooperating in Complex Environments: Cross-cultural Trade, Commercial Networks and Notarial Culture in Alexandria (Egypt) : 1350-1500

In the late Middle Ages a constellation of groups shared the commercial spaces of Mediterranean cities. These groups were either formally defined (as the trading nations of Venice, Genoa, Catalonia, Florence, Montpellier, etc.), or were based on ethnic and religious affiliation (as Copts, Jews, Greek Orthodox, or Mudéjar Muslims). In either case, to different degrees, these groups cooperated with each other by working together in commonly shared networks. By monitoring a whole merchant community instead of single groups through a serial, homogeneous documentation and a coherent methodology, this project will produce a multidisciplinary and consistent research of the generally accepted social norms and institutional forces that governed business cooperation in a Mediterranean complex environment. By targeting patterns of interpersonal and inter-group cooperation, my project aims to validate the hypothesis that mixed commercial networks emerged across the Sea, which were strengthened by an intriguing mixture of cultural values and the institutions they created, and that cooperation was fuelled by the frequency with which key-players in these networks transgressed cultural boundaries. These dynamic and complex relations will be addressed in an empirical manner, by observing the economic networks encoded in one of the by-products of Mediterranean commercial culture: the outre-mer notaries and their registers. The Venetian notarial records drawn in Alexandria provide a multi-lateral picture of the activities of these heterogeneous communities, and particularly, show cooperation and interaction between individuals of different origins.


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MEDALEX project

REA evaluation (score: 95.5)

results (brief)

results (extended)