Ethnic and Religious Composition of the Population of Venetian Tana in the 1430s, by Evgeny A. Khvalkov

 ‘Trading Diasporas in the Venetian and Genoese Trading Stations in Tana, 1430 – 1440.’ Union in Separation. Diasporic Groups and Identities in the Eastern Mediterranean (1100-1800). Ed. Georg Christ, Franz-Julius Morche, Roberto Zaugg, Wolfgang Kaiser, Stefan Burkhardt, Alexander D. BeihammerHeidelberg: Springer, 2015. 311 – 327.

Dr Evgeny A. Khvalkov
Associate Professor
Higher School of Economics, Dept. of History
Saint Petersburg, Russia

The population of Tana, an Italian trading station on the coast of the Azov Sea, was diverse in terms of ethnicity and religion and comprised groups of immigrants from various European and Asian countries and regions. Venetian and Genoese trading stations, Greek, Slavic, and Jewish settlements existed next to the “tent” town of nomadic Tatars. Different traditions coexisted and the individuals of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds interacted.1 My objective is to calculate the numbers and the percentages of different ethnic groups as well as to clarify the features characteristic of each group in the context of the data known from other sources and the secondary literature. The notarial deeds composed by two Venetian notaries, Nicolo de Varsis and Benedetto de Smeritis, who worked in Tana in the 1430s provide the basis for the prosopographic tables.2 These are the only preserved Venetian cartularies for Tana in this period.

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