Crossing boundaries in the Mediterranean: Papal trade licences from the Registra supplicationum of Pope Clement VI (1342–52)

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Abstract / Description of output

This article examines a number of trade licences issued during the pontificate of Clement VI, found predominantly in the unpublished Vatican Registra supplicationum. These licences were privileges granted to merchants exempting them from the papal ban on trade with the Muslim world. The article argues that the licences can demonstrate, amongst other things, that merchants were more concerned with their spiritual welfare and the ramifications of illegal trade than has often been presumed, and that the papacy was aware of the need for merchants to have contact with Muslims, in contradiction to the view of a fundamental opposition between the Church and Islam during the period. They provide a valuable insight into the changing Western attitudes towards contact with different Muslim groups in the Mediterranean, and also shed considerable light on the complex interaction between mercantile objectives and religion in the Middle Ages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-129
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Volume41
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015

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