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The Role Of Egyptian Jews In Sixteenth-Century International Trade With Europe: A Chapter In Social-Economic Integration In The Middle East

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Chapter Summary

The major role of Egyptian Jews in medieval trade, as reflected in the Cairo Genizah documents, particularly from the Fatimid period onwards, has received much scholarly attention. In contrast, the study of Egyptian Jewry's role in fifteenth-century trade is still in its infancy. The role of Egyptian Jews in commercial ties between Egypt and Venice during the sixteenth century has only recently come to light with the uncovering of numerous Genizah documents. It is essential, however, to note the random nature of the information provided both by Genizah documents and rabbinic responsa as far as trade with Venice and other lands is concerned. This chapter specifies some of the commodities imported to Egypt from overseas as reflected in Genizah documents. It briefly surveys some of the commodities exported from Egypt.

Keywords: Cairo Genizah documents; commodities; Egyptian Jews; Venice



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