Travelling Across Cultures: Some Aspects of the Safavid Envoys’ Travels to Venice
The paper aims to explore the practical aspects of the Safavid envoys’ travels to Venice in the sixteenth and the first part of the seventeenth centuries. In particular, it will reconstruct the itineraries of the journeys of the Safavid delegates to Venice, analyse the challenges and difficulties of long-distance travel experienced by them and the impact of the Ottoman factor on both the Safavid and Venetian envoys’ travel planning and trajectories. The paper reveals that the first Safavid trade mission to Venice was sent in 1597 and not in 1600, as previously known in the historiography. We will shed light on the social status of the Safavid envoys and clarify the role and duties of the garak-yaraqs (purveyors) of the Safavid Royal Household among them. We will examine the impact of the overall character of the Safavid-Ottoman relations both on the size of the missions and the intensity of the diplomatic and trade contacts between the Republic of Venice and the Safavid Empire.