«Nowgorodfahrer» of Lübeck in the 15th century: articulation of issue
The appearance of a guild called "Nowgorodfahrer" as a special purpose trading corporation of Lübeck merchants focused on the Russian market is according to Hanseatic sources chronologically in sync with the transition of governance over the Novgorod German mission to the Livonian towns: Reval (Tallinn), Dorpat (Tartu) and Riga. Regardless of the fact that Lübeck remained the highest appeals instance for Hanseatic merchants, Lübeck's influence on the trade in East Baltic by the middle of the 15th century reduced significantly so it was carried out brokered by the guild of the "Nowgorodfahrer" in large measure. During the 15th century, the "Novgorod guests" had become an important "player" within the Hanseatic trade space and made large bargains, organized the transportation of large batches of goods in the area of the Baltic Sea region. At the same time, considering the fragmentary nature of the source base, the role of the "Nowgorodfahrer" in the Hanseatic trade is underexplored to this date and requires detailed discussion. An integrated study of a number of issues involved with the position of the "Nowgorodfahrer" in the Hanseatic League system in its high noon, expects the elementary definition of the issue area, identifying some significant aspects predetermined the development of the guild in the 15th century or demonstrate the organization nature, and also make it possible to determine the position of the "Nowgorodfahrer" in Hanseatic merchants' world. In view of the fact that the history of the "Nowgorodfahrer" is closely connected with the development of Hanseatic-Russian, Livonian-Russian relations and relations inside th Hanseatic League, it should be impossible to study any aspects of business activities uncoupled from a relevant context. As far as during the 15th century the "Nowgorodfahrer" actively and highly proficiently adapted to the political changes in the Baltic states, tried to be aligned with forward-looking dynamics of European trade, sometimes violating the scripted norms of Hanseatic law, that in many ways predestined the extension of influence of the guild in the East Baltic trade in the mid-to-late 16th-in the beginning of the 17th century. On the same lines, an in-depth analysis of the business activity of the "Nowgorodfahrer", characteristics of the internal structure of the guild and the relationship with other participants of the Hanseatic merchandise exchange can allow us to tap into the specifics of Hanseatic League behavior during its ultimate power.
"Nowgorodfahrer", Lübeck, Veliky Novgorod, Reval, Hanseatic trade.
Artem Ushakov
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