Sicily and the North Africa in the sixteenth century Mediterranean dynamic trades. Tolerance and diplomacy
Carlos González Reyes (University of Barcelona)
Paper short abstract:
This paper analyzes the relationship between commerce and religion in the Mediterranean, presenting as a case study Sicily and its relations with North Africa. This implies the idea of coexistence of different cultures and fides and their relationships through commerce.
Paper long abstract:
Thanks to its strategically location in the Mediterranean, Sicily, known for being the reserve of cereal for the empire and an exporter of silk by excellence, faced through Early Modern Age constant obstacles to its maritime commerce, due to the attacks perpetrated by the Berbers and Ottomans to its ships. This reality was a constant along the governments of the viceroys, especially when it came to organize offensive attacks, especially during the summer to assure the viability of the exchanges, avoiding any possible dangers. Despite the dangers of an open and latent religious confrontation, these threats cast a shadow on the commercial relations with North Africa - far more frequent than we usually think. This paper analyzes the relationship between commerce and religion in the Mediterranean, presenting as a case study Sicily and its relations with North Africa. This implies the idea of coexistence of different cultures and fides and their relationships through commerce and the contradictions that might arise from a moral point of view. This will make us rethink about the concepts of us and the other - of the "infidel" and the "captives" - and the concept of law and religious precepts and their application in the everyday life and we will set the true limits to a much more peaceful coexistence than it has been thought. Trade between North Africa and the large Mediterranean island will also open the way to examine the ideas of tolerance and flexibility and of conflict and risk in a much more dangerous image of international trade.
From Mediterranean to the oceans: circulation of people and knowledge in the Early Modern Iberian era