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Article

‘The Venetian Tana in the System of International Relations in the Northern Black Sea Region in the 1430s.’ The World of the Orient / Східний світ 4 (2019):

The World of the Orient / Східний світ. 2019. Vol. 4. P. ---.

This article is based on the Venetian documents coming from the chancery of the Venetian Senate and the notarial deeds drawn by the Venetian notaries Niccolò di Varsis and Benedetto di Smeritis in the 1430s in the Venetian trading station in Tana and it examines the system of international relations in the fifteenth century Mediterranean and Eastern Europe and the place of the Venetian colony in Tana in it. The Venetians and the Genoese began to explore the Black Sea region in the mid-thirteenth century, and by the mid-fourteenth century their colonial expansion in the area resulted in a network of colonies and trading stations. The international situation in the Black Sea region was very complex. The Venetians had to play a hard game among such political actors in the region as the Golden Horde (later the Khanate of Crimea), the Principality of Theodoro, the Ottoman Empire and the Genoese colonies. While Genoa in fact established a whole colonial empire on the shores of the Black Sea and Azov Sea, Venice had to rely on Tana and Trebizond; still Venice managed to maintain parity, to appropriately take care of the security of the colony, and at times to create for Genoa significant difficulties (as in the case of the rebellion in Cembalo). The sources speak rather in favor of improving of the trading situation in Tana in the first half of the fifteenth century. The number of ships only slightly decreased, and the number of visits of the Venetian mudae to Tana in this period increased significantly compared to the fourteenth century. The parking time in Tana in the first half of the fifteenth century was consistently longer than in Trebizond, Sinope, Caffa and other Black Sea ports, and the amount of the incanti grew steadily from 1436 years, reaching their peak in 1448; then they increased till 1452. Despite temporary bursts of instability, the trade grew till 1453 and was still surviving till the final conquest of the Italian colonies by the Ottomans in 1475.