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Armenian Merchant Community in Lviv in the 16th-17th Centuries: Organisation and Trade Peculiarities

Student: Anna Gasparian

Supervisor: Evgeny Khvalkov

Faculty: School of Arts and Humanities

Educational Programme: History (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

Lviv, being located at the crossroads of trade routes connecting the Orient and the West, started to grow in importance as a center for commerce and crafts especially since 1365 when it received the charter of Casimir the Great granting it the Magdeburg Law. This factor which immediately created prosperous conditions for the city's merchants attracted different nationalities to Lvov. The scope of the paper is limited only to the Armenian trade community for which Lviv became one of the main centers of settlement in the Commonwealth. The existing body of the scholarship, though having claimed that Armenians played a significant role in the economic life of the city, has not drawn a particular attention to the very question of the community organization and the way it has been shaped in response to the changes in the political and economic situation of the state in the 16th-17th centuries. Thus, the paper will examine the following questions: what is the Armenian merchant community in Lviv in terms of its internal organization? and how did the commercial activity of Armenians change over a given period under the influence of the processes that took place within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and in the world market?

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