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

Virgilio, Carlo (2015). Florence, Byzantium and the Ottomans (1439-1481). Politics and Economics. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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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The thesis is accompanied by three appendices including a number of unpublished documents, a prosopography of the Florentines involved in the Levant, and selected Byzantine charters used for the analysis in chapter two.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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DG Italy
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5738


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