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A moneylender in Venice: Costantino Bogdano ‘da Patrasso’, c. 1800-44


  • Pepelasis, Ioanna Sapfo
  • Tzavara, Angeliki


Research on the practices of the moneylender, a permanent yet shadowy fixture of society, has focused on England in the early modern period. This paper, however, examines the business operations of Costantino Bogdano, a Greek moneylender active in Venice (c. 1800-44). At a time of transition in finance and cash shortage, Bogdano offered credit at a ‘just’ interest rate with competitive terms, combining profit with enlightened self-interest. Individuals from all walks of life repeatedly turned to him for money without ‘fear of losing their property’. He was patient, granted extensions for repayment and did not prosecute his bad debtors. The incidence of default was rare, testifying to a cautious choice of clientele. He required the usual guarantees of mortgages and jewels and also relied on implicit guarantees from family members linked to one another with bonds of trust. This strategy proved to be financially viable because he died a wealthy man.

Suggested Citation

  • Pepelasis, Ioanna Sapfo & Tzavara, Angeliki, 2011. "A moneylender in Venice: Costantino Bogdano ‘da Patrasso’, c. 1800-44," MPRA Paper 55472, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55472

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kindleberger, Charles P., 1996. "World Economic Primacy: 1500 to 1990," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195099027.
    2. Fratianni,Michele & Spinelli,Franco, 2005. "A Monetary History of Italy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023450.
    3. Minoglou, Ioanna Pepelasis, 2002. "Ethnic minority groups in international banking: Greek diaspora bankers of Constantinople and Ottoman state finances, c. 1840 81," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 125-146, October.
    4. Polsi, Alessandro, 1996. "Financial institutions in nineteenth-century Italy. The rise of a banking system," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 117-137, October.
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    More about this item


    Venice; nineteenth century; moneylender; business strategy; trust; real estate;

    JEL classification:

    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N83 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913


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