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The Catalan Nation and Identity Throughout History

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Edited By Àngels Casals Martinez and Giovanni C. Cattini

The present book is a complex approach to the elements that built the Catalan national identity, which can only be analyzed through its complexity and longue durée historical times.
Regarding medieval and early modern centuries, the territorial construction, law and state are presented, along with the complexity added by the appearance of composite monarchies in the 16th century, and taking into account the significance of constructing a literary and historiographic tradition to define national character.
Regarding modern centuries, the authors do not ignore the importance of socioeconomic dimensions in a very complex diversity which flows both in the intellectual and political world and in the dissemination of identity through the mass media in an international level as well.
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Catalonia’s Influence in the World of the Late Middle Ages: The Role of the Overseas Consulates, by Antoni Riera i Melis

Catalonia’s Influence in the World of the Late Middle Ages: The Role of the Overseas Consulates

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Antoni RIERA I MELIS

Universitat de Barcelona

Institut d’Estudis Catalans

In the Late Middle Ages Catalans navigated the Mediterranean basin and a large area of the North Atlantic for commercial reasons, establishing colonies in the principal centres of trade. How did local populations distinguish them from other foreign communities? What were their symbols of identity? Who defended their interests beyond the borders of the Crown of Aragon, and how? Why was their naval code adopted internationally at that time?

Foreign policy before 1450 was, at least in theory, the prerogative or monopoly of “the executive”. The sovereign and his principal advisors conducted relations between states through the agency of ambassadors. Before departing, these plenipotentiaries were given extremely precise instructions with regard to which areas they could deal with and the limits to their power to make agreements. Once negotiations came to an end, the royal agents returned home at once to advise on the results. This generated a large number of documents which, in the case of the Crown of Aragon, have been conserved in the registry of the royal chancellery and in the royal and diplomatic document archives. Negotiations leading to peace treaties, truces, alliances, dynastic links, tax concessions, commercial rights, compensations for theft, and aggression against persons or property were conducted in this way, as was the exchange of intelligence.

Before the mid 15th century, permanent ambassadorial representation with extraterritorial rights did not exist. Once an interstate alliance...

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