Turcimanarie e carte d’ogni sorte: Translation, Trade, and Paper in Sixteenth Century Venice
MetadataShow full item record
AuthorPérez Fernández, José María
Translation, Trade, Diplomacy, History of Paper, Communication StudiesTranslationTradeDiplomacyHistory of PaperCommunication Studies
The heading of Riccardiana MS 2523 proclaims its nature as a record of prices and tariffs for merchants and goods trading with Damasco and the rest of Siria. Dated on November 25th 1534, the "Tariffe mercantili del Levante" was put together under the supervision of patricians who belonged to some of the most prominent Venetian families. This tariffa was negotiated, drafted and enforced by the Venetian establishment for its deals with the Levant, and it is proof of the sophisticated administrative structures that Venice had developed to regulate and run the exchange of goods, the movement of people, and the circulation of value. This control required an equally complex and sophisticated system for the recording of information and its systematic processing so that the same standards could be applied over different products, locations, and practices. By registering and quantifying expenses incurred by translations and translators, it also incorporates the cost involved in the practice of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic exchange of information—a sine qua non for international trade. It incorporates, in other words, data regarding the material foundations of trade (goods, their prices, their weights and measures) alongside its inescapable immaterial dimension, by quantifying and listing expenses in translation (turcimanarie) and translators.