The Commercial Networks of the Perulli Family and Georgios A. Melos.

Eftychia D. Liata

Τhe Program of Commercial Networks includes part of the commercial correspondence of Spyridon, Michael and Demetrios Perulli (late 17th century to 1771) who originally came from Athens but permanently settled in Venice. These are letters and letter drafts addressed to commercial partners of the Perulli family, who lived in different parts of the Ottoman-occupied or Venetian-occupied Greece. Specifically, the letters are addressed to persons who were mainly in the Ionian Islands, the Peloponnese, Western Macedonia and Istanbul. The correspondence was kept in three large registers (Copia Lettere di Levante), which contain mainly Greek and Italian letters of the period 1743-1770, but also unbound documents of the period 1675-1740. This archival material, the Archives of the Perulli Family, is saved in the State Archive of Venice with the indication Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Grande Fraterna Sant'Antonino, Archivio Privato dei Conti Perulli, bb. 11, 14, 16, 18. This correspondence mainly refers to the shipment of goods, their prices, the names of the ships used for the transportation, and the places of production and export of commodities.

This commercial activity was a part of the multilateral commercial action of the Perulli house, since the family members were traders, ship owners of a sufficient number of ships, exploiters of salt marshes of Lefkada (Lefkas) and lessors of other monopolies of the Venetian state, such as the tax on tobacco.

Michailaris P., “L’attivita armatoriale di Demetrio Peruli ed il suo intervento al traffic meditarraneo,” Économies méditerranéennes équilibres et intercommunications XIIIe-XIXe siècle, Actes du IIe Colloque international d’Histoire, Athènes 18-25 septembre 1983, τ. 1, Athenes 1985, 175-186.

Ruzza V., La Famiglia Perulli da Atene a Venezia, Vittorio Veneto 2000.

Research directed by: Eftychia Liata. Collaborator: Christina Papakosta. GIS Cartography: Panagiotis Stratakis

In the 1670s, Georgios Antonios Melos, a young Athenian, leaves his country following the trade routes to the West and accompanying commodities of third parties. Very soon he settles in Madrid, where he marries and opens his own shop of colonial goods. Very little is indirectly known about his life, commercial activity, and his forty-year stay in Spain. After 1710 he leaves Madrid, wanders through various places, and in August 1712, he settles in Venice and begins his commercial activity with the collaboration of his two brothers who live in Nauplion (Nafplion).

This commercial network, composed of Greeks and foreigners, expands to Moreas (Morias), the Ionian Islands, Smyrna, as well as to markets in the Italian peninsula, Spain, and Egypt. He circulates, on behalf of third parties but also for himself, diverse commodities of the East to the markets of the West (mainly silk, kermes dye, cotton, coffee, wax) and sends to the Levant items of Venetian production (glassware, textiles, books, trinkets). His commercial activity comes to an end with his death in 1732.

His archive is held in the Greek Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Institute in Venice with the indication “Archive of the Hellenic Institute in Venice, Ε. Οικονομική διαχείριση (Financial management), 1. Διαθήκες, κληροδοτήματα, διαχείριση, δωρεές (Wills, bequests, management, donations), no 118, Reg. 1-18 and B. 1-10.” The data presented here was extracted from this archival material and two brief publications on the life and the commercial activities of Melos:

Liata, Eftychia. “‘G. A. Melos’ Trading Network (Venice, 1712-1732): Structural Characteristics and Temporary Partnerships,” The Historical Review / La Revue Historique 7 (2010), 127-177.

Liata, Eftychia. Ένας έλληνας έμπορος στη Δύση. Πορεία μιας ζωής από τον 17ο στον 18ο αιώνα, στο: Ροδωνιά. Τιμή στον Μ. Ι. Μανούσακα, τ. 1 (“A Greek Merchant in the West. The Route of a Life from the 17th to the 18th Century,” in Rodonia. Homage to M. I. Manousakas, vol. 1), Rethymnon, 1994, 279-297.

Research directed by: Eftychia Liata. Collaborator: Christina Papakosta. GIS Cartography: Panagiotis Stratakis