From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants

03 Jul | News, Past events,

FIBIS member, Liz Chater, has just sent us the following which might be of interest to those with  Indo-Armenian ancestry.

This is an amazingly unique opportunity to attend a lecture by Dr. Aslanian who specialises in early Armenian history and the New Julfa trading connections. For anyone with Indo-Armenian interests, he will be in London on the 10th July, full details of the talk is below. I do not have any further information, please direct your enquiries to the School of Oriental and African Studies.


From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean:  The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants  from New Julfa, Isfahan

By Dr Sebouh Aslanian

Date: Tuesday 10th July 2012

Time: 7.p.m.

Place: School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Location: Room 116, Main Building

Google map:  Click here


Drawing on a rich trove of documents, including correspondence not seen for 300 years, this study explores the emergence and growth of a remarkable global trade network operated by Armenian silk merchants from a small outpost in the Persian Empire. Based in New Julfa, Isfahan, in what is now Iran, these merchants operated a network of commercial settlements that stretched from London and Amsterdam to Manila and Acapulco. The New Julfan Armenians were the only Eurasian community that was able to operate simultaneously and successfully in all the major empires of the early modern world— both land-based Asian empires and the emerging sea-borne empires—astonishingly without the benefits of an imperial network and state that accompanied and facilitated European mercantile expansion during the same period. This book brings to light for the first time the trans-imperial cosmopolitan world of the New Julfans. Among other topics, it explores the effects of long distance trade on the organization of community life, the ethos of trust and cooperation that existed among merchants, and the importance of information networks and communication in the operation of early modern mercantile communities. Sebouh David Aslanian is the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair of Modern Armenian History at UCLA. He specializes in early modern world and Armenian history and is the author of two books, including From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa, which received a PEN Center USA/UC Press prize for most outstanding first book from the UC Press as well as the Houshang Pourshariati Iranian Studies book award from the Middle East Studies Association.