I Verleger serici trentino-tirolesi nei rapporti tra Nord e Sud: un approccio prosopografico
For a long period, silk was one of the most important goods to be exchanged between the Italian regions and the territories located beyond the Alps. Indeed, it was responsible for a large amount of both commercial flows and financial transactions. The area corresponding to present-day Trentino also experienced a significant development in silk manufacture and trade in the sixteenth- and seventeenth centuries. The leading actors were the so-called merchant-entrepreneurs or Verleger, who coordinated the production process, distributed silk yarns to the German-speaking countries, and regularly attended the Bolzano fairs, where they engaged in financial activities. The paper shows the preliminary results of a prosopographic study of the Verleger of Rovereto, Ala, and Trento, and presents first-hand information obtained from a series of archival sources, which are still unexplored. Some attempts are made to trace the patterns of entrepreneurial development through a reconstruction of business changeovers. A composite outline is drawn, where foreign intervention joins local entrepreneurial initiatives and municipal efforts to promote the growth of the silk sector.
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