THE GREEKS OF ANCONA (1510-1595): Migration and Community in the Early Modern Mediterranean

Niccolo Fattori

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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In the sixteenth century, the city of Ancona went through an unprecedented period of commercial development, becoming one of the most important trading hubs of the Mediterranean. One of the byproducts of this prosperity was the settlement of numerous foreign merchants, coming from the four corners of the Euro-Mediterranean trading system. Among them, the Greeks coming from the Venetian territories, the Ottoman Empire and Genoese Chios formed one of the wealthiest and most important groups.
Drawing from a wealth of unpublished archival materials, especially notarial folders, this thesis offers a thorough analysis of the Greek migration to the city between 1510 and 1595. The case of Ancona is examined in its own right, and a particular emphasis is given to the specific social and economic factors that shaped the different currents of the migration and the construction of its organized structures, the church and the Confraternity of Sant’Anna.
The Greek migration to Ancona was a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon, which cannot be fully contained in the customary national narratives of the Greek Diasporas. It is also significantly different from other Greek communities in Italy, such as those of Naples or Venice: it was a divided group, unable to build a meaningful relationship with the local authorities, and kept together by a relatively frail network of professional, personal and ethnic social ties.
This thesis proposes a new approach to the study of merchant communities in the early modern Mediterranean, which has generally focused on the twin pillars of ethnic identity and organized institutions. However, any approach based solely on these two factors is bound to severely overestimate the social importance of religious associations and formalized structures, while downplaying the complexity that characterises migratory movements. In the thesis, I argue that one of the potentially most fruitful starting points for an analysis of early modern migrations is an analysis of the lives of the individual migrants and, from there, of the community as a network of interpersonal relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Harris, Jonathan, Supervisor
  • Cavallo, Sandra, Advisor
Award date1 Nov 2017
Publication statusUnpublished - 31 Aug 2017


  • Greek
  • Diaspora
  • Ancona
  • Sixteenth Century
  • Migration
  • Early Modern
  • Mediterranean
  • Community
  • Catholicism
  • Greeks
  • Italy
  • Notaries
  • Venice
  • Genoa
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Council of Florence
  • Council of Trent
  • Orthodox Church

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