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Florence, Byzantium and the Ottomans (1439-1481). Politics and Economics

Virgilio, Carlo (2015)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This dissertation studies the diplomatic and political communication between Florence, the Byzantine and the Ottoman empires in the fifteenth century (1439-1481). The first chapter is introductory to the thesis and reconstructs the contacts between Florence and Byzantium. The second chapter and the third chapter examine the privileges granted by John VIII to Florence; the chapters present the contents and contextualise the privileges within the humanist environment. The fourth chapter studies the Florentine-Byzantine contacts after the Council (1439-1453), focusing on why Florence abandoned Byzantium. The fifth chapter analyses the beginning of Florentine-Ottoman relations and reconstructs the commercial privileges given by the sultan to Florence. The sixth and seventh chapters investigate Florence’s diplomacy during the Ottoman-Venetian war (1463-1479) and Otranto (1480-1481) until Mehmet II’s death.

The thesis is accompanied by three appendices including a number of unpublished documents, a prosopography of the Florentines involved in the Levant, and selected Byzantine charters used for the analysis in chapter two. I aim to demonstrate that the relations between the eastern and the western part of the Mediterranean in the fifteenth century were determined by political and economic considerations rather than faith. These considerations guided Florence’s diplomacy to achieve commercial superiority in Constantinople.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Angelov, Dimiter
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Subjects:D111 Medieval History
DG Italy
HC Economic History and Conditions
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5738
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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