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LA COMPAGNIE DE LA MER NOIRE OU LA MER PERDUE DES ROUMAINS AU XVIIIe SIECLE

Ileana Mihaila
Université de Bucarest, Institut d’Histoire et de Théorie Littéraire (Académie Roumaine)

Abstract: This study provides information – some of which are being analysed for the first time – concerning 18th-century Romanians and the Black Sea commerce of the time, when Romanians lacked both sea and Danubian ports, which had been converted into rayahs. Nevertheless, the absence of political authority does not exclude the presence of Romanians and their maritime commercial activities. Geographically, the maps that circulated in Europe at the time (based on the models provided by Constantin Cantacuzino and Dimitrie Cantemir) depict them as still being present, which followed the historical tradition and thereby underlined the temporary character of this political situation. Several testimonies from French authors (some of them quite illustrious) and an economical project from 1770, which aimed to open French commerce with Romanians through the Black Sea, provide ample proof thereof.

Keywords: 18th-Century Studies, Moldo-Wallachian Maps, Charles-Lépold Andreu de Bilistein, Jean Baptiste d’Anville, Louis-Félix Guinément de Kéralio