NEC UEFISCDI Award
The “Lower Danube” University of Galați, Romania
Professor of Modern History
During the early modern and modern age, significant political, economic, national or technological mutations transformed the structure, direction and organisation of European trade. The Mediterranean world faced the competition of the West on an emerging global market that challenged the traditional commercial ingredients, instruments and recipes that merchants employed. Nevertheless, the South-Eastern part of the continent remained in the periphery of this new economic map, with its links to the core strangulated and suffocated by the political and juridical status of the Lower Danubian area and the Black Sea region. This perspective has been refuted by scholars trying to prove that the closing of the Black Sea was rather relative and that the Ottoman economic control was not extremely restrictive. The maritime routes connecting the Romanian Principalities to the Eastern Mediterranean could be used in disguise, by Greek merchants or other Ottoman subjects who used Istanbul as a relay in these exchanges on the East–West axis. At the same time, terrestrial routes across the Balkans or towards the Austrian Empire secured good and reliable links to the global market. Starting from these premises, this project aims to focus on the economic history of the Black Sea and its convergences to the world market across the long 19th century.