The Third Charter of the Jewish Merchants of Venice, 1611: A Case Study in Complex Multifaceted Negotiations
April 27, 1994
For over twenty years, the Jewish "projector" Daniel Rodriga sought to convince the Venetian government that it could revive its declining commerce with the Levant, which had once been the source of the greatness of Venice, and thereby also greatly increase its diminishing customs revenues, by issuing a charter allowing Levantine and Ponentine Jews (the euphemism used for Iberian New Christians) to settle in Venice as Venetian subjects. Finally, in 1589, the Venetian government responded favorably, as the Senate approved, for ten years, a slightly changed version of a charter-text that Rodriga had proposed. The Venetian government was pleased with the results, and consequently, at Rodriga's request, it routinely renewed the charter for another ten years in 1598.