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vr 14 jun


Leuven, KU Leuven

Dialogues across the Alps?

New Perspectives on exchanges between the Low Countries and the Italian peninsula in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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Tijd en locatie

14 jun 2024, 09:30 – 13:30

Leuven, KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 69. Room 02.22

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In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, both the Low Countries and the various Central and Northern Italian regional states underwent important political, socio-economic, cultural, and religious transformations. Moreover, at the same time span Europeans brought large swaths of the globe in their fold. These were separate, yet closely entangled phenomena. Indeed, thousands of Italian soldiers campaigned in the protracted Dutch Revolt and several of them reflected upon their experiences and on the nature of the nascent Republic in northwestern Europe they fought against. Meanwhile, Italian merchants, both protestant exiles and devout Catholics were attracted by the business opportunities in Antwerp and later onward in Amsterdam. Both cities were important financial centers and served as hubs for the distribution of colonial wares across Europe. By using Italian ports as stop overs in the triangular trade, Italian merchants based in Amsterdam fostered local economies. At the other hand, Flemish and Dutch entrepreneurs engaged in the so-called Straatvaart and established themselves amongst other places in Livorno, Genoa, and Venice. Italian policymakers, such as the Tuscan Medici Grand Dukes and their entourage or the Venetian patricians envied the sudden and unexpected economic, political, and cultural success of the Dutch Republic, they studied the foundations on which it rested and tried to copy those.

This workshop aims to bring together scholars of diverse backgrounds whose recent work has enhanced our knowledge on one or several of the themes outlined above and to stimulate the discussion amongst them. In doing so, hopefully a more integrated vision of the intense exchange between the early modern Low Countries and the various Italian polities, both those which gravitated within the orbit of the Spanish-Habsburg empire and those which remained out of it, will originate.

Click here for the programma.

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