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The Florentine Scolari Family at the Court of Sigismund of Luxemburg in Buda

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By the beginning of the fifteenth century, European commercial centers had already been filled with trading colonies founded by Florentine merchants. A few of them settled down for life in their host country, developing economic and social ties with local families. During Sigismund of Luxemburg’s reign (r. 1387-1437) as King of Hungary only a handful of these merchants achieved political positions. Undoubtedly the most fortunate among these Florentine citizens was Filippo di Stefano Scolari, known as Pippo Spano (c. 1369-1426), who was granted the significant honor of becoming a member of a small inner circle in the royal court. This article argues that the special status attained by Florentines in Hungarian politics and economy during the first three decades of the fifteenth century can be attributed largely to Pippo Spano’s influence. As cultural mediators, Pippo Spano and his family helped to facilitate relations between their native Florence and their adopted home. This case study focuses on the Scolari family’s migration to the Hungarian Kingdom in order to explore on a small scale the possible push-pull factors of migration flow and its impact on the relationship between the Florentine Republic and the Hungarian Kingdom.

Affiliations: 1: European University Institute

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