Sibiu – Hermannstadt
Oriental Trade in Sixteenth century Transylvania
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This book deals with the oriental trade of Sibiu (Hermannstadt) based on the town"s customs registers from 1500 to 1597. The focus of research is on the goods traded and the merchants who carried them from the Ottoman markets into Transylvania via the land routes of the Balkan Peninsula and Wallachia. The main interest of these primary sources is the light that they shed on the period after 1541, when the Ottomans took Buda, former capital of the medieval Hungarian kingdom, and were advancing toward Central Europe. The customs registers of Sibiu offer a remarkable series of such accounts for the region, showing the continuity in the trade with oriental goods (mainly textiles and spices) throughout the period. The merchants involved in this long-distance trade, especially beginning with the second half of the sixteenth century, were the »Greeks«, traders coming from the Ottoman Empire and taking the first steps towards dominating the Transylvanian market. An edition of the so far unpublished customs registers (1537–1597) is also provided in this book.