Di, 28.03.2023 18:00

Across the Balkans

Dana Caciur | Bukarest

Agents of a Private Correspondence between Venice and Wallachia (Late 16th Century)

This paper analyses the correspondence between Princess Catherine Salvaresso, wife of the Wallachian prince Alexandru II Mircea (1568–1577) and mother of Mihnea II Turcitul (prince of Wallachia between 1577–1583; 1584), and her sister Maria Adorno Valarga, who lived in the monastery San Maffio on Murano Island. Our aim is to emphasise the networks used by the two sisters in order to communicate, exchange gifts, and send money. Developed mostly for safety reasons, these networks involved merchants from Wallachia, Ragusa/Dubrovnik, Venice, and Constantinople.

The agents proved to be trustworthy individuals, good connois-seurs of the Balkan roads and of the languages spoken in the plurilinguistic space of the Eastern Mediterranean. The messengers, members of the families Gagliano, Lucari and Marini Poli, were also influent and rich individuals that managed during their life to develop strong personal, commercial, and political networks. Based on new archival materials, the paper tests less traditional methodologic approaches, with the intent to shed new light on different aspects of the social, political, commercial, and personal encounters in late 16th century Southeast Europe.

Dana Caciur is researcher at the “N. Iorga” Institute of History of the Romanian Academy (Bucharest). She holds a PhD in History, granted by the University of Bucharest. The thesis, defended in 2017, dealt with the Dalmatian Morlachs of the 15th and 16th centuries. Dana’s research is devoted to lesser-known / lesser visible agents of collaboration and coexistence in border areas of the Venetian Stato da Mar and the Ottoman Empire. She is also interested in the regional / border diplomacies between the two powers, focussing on low-ranked agents involved in the process.



Tuesday, 28. March 2023,
6 pm

University Vienna, Department of East European History, Uni Campus, Hof 3, 1090 Vienna


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Dr. Joachim Matzinger