Tuscany, an Early Modern Meeting Place aims to present the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as a contact zone of people, commodities and knowledge between the second half of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth.  It does this by presenting information regarding a highly mobile group of merchants: Spanish and Portuguese who lived in several Tuscan cities, mainly in Pisa and Livorno, and who served as veritable intermediaries for the exchange of goods to and from the Italian and Iberian Peninsulas, the Low Countries, Asia and the Americas.  To do this it presents data derived from an archival source, the Consoli del mare, held in the Archivio di Stato di Pisa.  The Consoli del mare were magistrates who oversaw the activities of merchants in the ports of Porto Pisano and Livorno (Leghorn).  The data collected here presents requests to them on the part of merchants for exemptions from customs duties on unsold commodities brought to the port of Livorno or which were to be shipped from it.  Such data allows us to get a glimpse of the goods which entered Tuscany, from the most common to the most exotic and strange, their quantities, their provenance, the merchants responsible for their arrival and, at times, to whom they were sold.  It also allows us to see where some of the commodities they dealt with were sent. In this way users of this resource can situate the people and goods which helped make of Tuscany a true meeting place in the early modern period.

James W. Nelson Novoa PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
University of Ottawa, Canada