Balkans: Meeting of Cultures Cross-Cultural Trading Diasporas in South-Eastern Europe

Sapienza University
Sapienza Università di Roma, Sentro Moshe David Gaon de kultura djudeo-espanyola of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Faculty of "Artes Liberales" of the University of Warsaw, and the Accademia di Romania in Roma
03.09.2018 - 06.09.2018
Benedetto Ligorio

The topic of Balkan diasporas and trading networks has been quite marginalized in the international historiography until recently. Many aspects of this colorful Mediterranean theme still need to be examined in depth. For example: the context of the Balkans diasporas networks between the 15th century and the first half of the 19th century, and their religious, intellectual, economic and social development. Due to shared ethno-religious background, language and culture, and especially due to close family ties and frequent contacts diasporas in general are capable of maintaining prolonged internal communication. In Balkans different “diasporic groups” handily outmaneuvered more settled ethnicities and found productive niches within or between the trade orbits of many regions of south Eastern Europe and Italian Peninsula. These “diaspora networks” managed to traverse all of the Balkans, involving all four major religious traditions: Jewish, Christian (Latin and Orthodox) and Muslim, as well as all the super and mini Powers of the Balkan Peninsula (the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Republic of Ragusa and The Austro-Hungarian Empire). Noticeably, the commercial success of the Balkans diasporas trading networks stemmed from a combination of cultural, social, and mercantile ties. However, readers of traditional historiography gain a sense of this interplay only en passant, mostly in discussions of the lives of particular individuals or a single ethnic group. Having in mind all the diversity of the ethnic groups at hand (Sephardim, Romanians, Aromanians and different Italian populations), one would like to know more about how trading success derived from participants common background, socio-economic experience and cultural life.

We are looking forward to convening a group of both, young and established, scholars (across geographical, chronological, and methodological lines) who’s research focuses in at least one of the following areas:

1. Aromanian/Romanian diaspora in Balkans,
2. Sephardic diaspora in South-Eastern Europe,
3. Interadriatic Italian Traders.

You are invited to submit an abstract (maximum 300 words), dedicated to economic, social and/or intellectual history of trans-regional diasporas in South-Eastern Europe, no later than 25 April 2018.

Submission guidelines:
Proposals of no more than 300 words and a CV
should be sent to

Language: abstract and talks could be in Italian or English.

Scientific committee:
Rita Tolomeo, Sapienza University of Rome
Ion Cârja, University Babes-Bolyai of Cluj-Napoca
Benedetto Ligorio, Sapienza University of Rome
Vesna Miovic, Academia HAZU Dubrovnik
Marco Moroni, Marche Politecnic University
Eliezer Papo, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Jolanta Sujecka, University of Warsaw


Balkans: Meeting of Cultures Cross-Cultural Trading Diasporas in South-Eastern Europe, 03.09.2018 – 06.09.2018 Rom, in: Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists, 06.04.2018, <>.