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Shores of Vespucci

A historical research of Amerigo Vespucci’s life and contexts in collaboration with Francisco Contente Domingues


Angelo Cattaneo

This volume aims to advance the analysis about Amerigo Vespucci by considering and connecting several fields of study such as literary history, philology, the history of science and cartography, economic history, and the history of ideas. The multifaceted research frames guide the reader through the complex vicissitudes of Amerigo Vespucci's life. The receptions and implications explore the intense cultural and historical dynamics that shaped the decades between the end of the fifteenth and the first half of the sixteenth century.

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Beyond Iberia: Florentine Bankers and Cabot’s Voyage to the “New Land” (Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli)


Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli

Beyond Iberia: Florentine Bankers and Cabot’s Voyage to the “New Land”

Florentine merchant-bankers and the European expansion

The Inter coetera bull of 1493 and the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494 were clear signs of the Iberian supremacy in the European oceanic voyages. Florentine merchant-bankers, who had a long established presence in both Portugal and Spain, were ready and eager to contribute both men and capital to these ventures, taking advantage of the Crowns’ willingness for them to participate. Lisbon and Seville hosted important communities of Florentine merchants, some of whom invested in the overseas fleets but remained in Europe, whereas others decided to sail across the Ocean. Especially in Lisbon, a few Florentine capitalists provided funds to fit out ships for most of the early voyages of the Carreira da India: Bartolomeo Marchionni (c. 1450–1527) and Girolamo Sernigi (b. 1453) are among the most illustrious of these men.1 Others, including for example Giovanni da Empoli (1483–1517), Francesco Corbinelli (1466-d. before 1526), and Piero Strozzi (1484–1522), decided to go in person.2 Many of those who did go did not return to Europe, dying in Asia after one or more voyages. The organization of the Spanish fleets was different to that of the Portuguese, but Florentines contributed both money and men. For example, the Berardi family contributed financially to Columbus’ voyages, while later on, especially in the 1520s and 30s, other Florentines took part in Spain’s colonial ventures.3 Compared to Portugal,...

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