Luca Andreoni

The Release of the Christian Slaves and Jewish Intermediaries. A Case Study between Ancona and Ragusa (Eighteenth Century)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Italian Jewry; Mediterranean Slavery; Adriatic.

Freeing the Christian prisoners who had unfortunately fallen into the wrong hands was always the priority of the religious authorities. A mixture of charity, publicity and private interests was needed to bring the prisoners out. The solution to most cases was passed through a tight network of contacts, in which religious differences counted for little or nothing. The important thing was the safety of the Christian prisoner slaves who had ended up in Muslim hands. In this mission the Christian or Jewish merchants often took advantage of the situation to strengthen business relationships; or on the contrary ‒ and this was more interesting for us ‒, thanks to their prestige, notoriety and their communication of points and of informative networks, they revealed many resources for the cause, and used them in this way. The consequences were also positive results in the form of internal and external recognition in the Jewish world. In this essay the activity of the mediators was taken into consideration which was completed by a few Jewish people from Ragusa (but moved to Ancona) for the liberation of some Christians made into slaves on the Adriatic coast.

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