Megan Curtiss

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20062007 Forum on Travel

Megan Curtiss

Arts and Society in the Middle Ages

College '07

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?