University of Oulu

Hautala R. The Loss and Reacquisition of Caffa: The Status of the Geno­ese Entrepôt within the Borders of the Golden Horde. Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2021, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 247–263. DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2021-9-2.247-263

The loss and reacquisition of Caffa : the status of the Genoese entrepôt within the borders of the Golden Horde

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Author: Hautala, Roman1,2
Organizations: 1Marjani Institute of History of Tatarstan Academy of Sciences Kazan, Russian Federation
2University of Oulu Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-07


Research objectives: To analyze both the circumstances of the armed conflict of Genoese Caffa with the troops of the Golden Horde ruler, Toqta Khan, in 1307–1308, which ended with the temporary expulsion of Italian merchants from the Jöchid territory, and their return to Caffa under Toqta’s nephew and successor, Özbeg Khan.

Research materials: The information on the conflict between the Genoese and Toqta Khan is contained in an anonymous continuation of the chronicle of the Genoese Archbishop, Jacopo da Varagine, dating to the middle of the fourteenth century; in the chronicles of the Mamluk authors, Baybars al-Mansuri and al-Nuwayri; and in a local Greek source, namely the Sugdeian Synaxarion. In turn, sources that provide information about the circumstances and conditions of the return of the Genoese are much more diverse. Of course, the most important details are contained in the official documents of Genoa and Caffa. Valuable details are also contained in the missionary sources of the Franciscans preaching the gospel within the Golden Horde. For its part, the Franciscan information is useful to compare with that found in Rus’ian sources regarding the relations of Catholic and Orthodox prelates with the Khan of the Golden Horde.

Research novelty: This study highlights that the use of Franciscan sources appears to be extremely useful to complement the analysis of the relationship of the Genoese entrepôt of Caffa with the local authorities.

Research results: An analysis of the conflict between the Genoese and the local authorities, along with the conditions of their return negotiated with the new Khan of the Golden Horde, reveals the obvious fact that Caffa, having undoubtedly grown in the Golden Horde period due to the activities of the Genoese immigrants, had to recognize its submission to the Jöchid rulers from its very foundation. The Genoese administration likewise recognized this dependence during the restoration of Caffa in the first years of Özbeg Khan’s reign.

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Series: Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie
ISSN: 2308-152X
ISSN-E: 2313-6197
ISSN-L: 2308-152X
Volume: 9
Issue: 2
Pages: 247 - 263
DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2021-9-2.247-263
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © Hautala R., 2021. The content is available under the license Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.