Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2006—2007 Forum on Travel
Arts and Society in the Middle Ages
Sailing to Byzantium: Medieval Italian Merchants and the East
The Crusades often were seen as the conduit through which western Europe was exposed to the rich intellectual and cultural traditions of the Byzantine and Arab worlds. Yet merchants were active in the eastern Mediterranean before the crusades. Where, when, and why did these merchants travel? What goods did they bring back and from where? How were those artifacts, texts, and ideas understood and expressed in the art, writing, and actions of those who received them?