From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa. A Lecture by Dr. Sebouh Aslanian Richard Hovannisian Term Chair of Modern Armenian History, Established by the Armenian Educational Foundation, University of California, Los Angeles
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Drawing on a rich trove of documents, including correspondence not seen for 300 years, this study explores the emergence and growth of a remarkable global trade network operated by Armenian silk merchants from a small outpost in the Persian Empire. Based in New Julfa, Isfahan, in what is now Iran, these merchants operated a network of commercial settlements that stretched from London and Amsterdam to Manila and Acapulco. The New Julfan Armenians were the only Eurasian community that was able to operate simultaneously and successfully in all the major empires of the early modern world--both land-based Asian empires and the emerging sea-borne empires--astonishingly without the benefits of an imperial network and state that accompanied and facilitated European mercantile expansion during the same period. This book brings to light for the first time the trans-imperial cosmopolitan world of the New Julfans.Among other topics, it explores the effects of long distance trade on the organization of community life, the ethos of trust and cooperation that existed among merchants, and the importance of information networks and communication in the operation of early modern mercantile communities.
From trade diasporas to circulation society -- Old Julfa, the great deportations, and the founding of New Julfa, 1604/1620 -- The new Julfan trade network I: the world of the Indian Ocean -- The New Julfan trade network II: the Mediterranean, Western European, and Russian Networks -- "The salt in a merchant's letter": the art of writing ...