CONF: Configurations of European Fairs. Merchants, Objects, Routes, 1350–1600 (Archivio di Stato di Torino / University of Turin, 29 June – 1 July 2023)

The CoMOR project “Configurations of European Fairs. Merchants, Objects, Routes (1350–1600)” is holding its closing conference between June 29 and July 1st, 2023 in Turin. Fifteen papers prepared by the members of the team and by invited specialists present recent research on the fairs of the end of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Configurations of European Fairs. Merchants, Objects, Routes (1350–1600). The project CoMOR (“Configurations of European Fairs. Merchants, Objects, Routes) is examining the history of European fairs from the perspective of increasing market integration in the period from around 1320 (end of the Champagne fairs) to 1630 (decline of the Besançon fairs).

Towards the end of the Middle Ages, fairs formed a system resting on a tightly organized schedule (“calendar of fairs”) which permitted merchants to meet in specific places on specific dates, known well in advance. At the same time, these fairs facilitated the interconnection between local and regional markets (rural as much as urban) and the transregional commercial networks. During the sixteenth century, a decoupling occurred between merchandise and financial fairs linked to the shift from financing products to pure money markets. The chronological boundaries of the project have as such been chosen in order to best account for these major transformations: from the decline of the old fair systems at Champagne, around 1320, through a cycle dominated by the fairs at Lyon, to the decline of the fairs at Besançon around 1630.

CoMOR is now holding its final conference. The conference program is divided into four main sections: Creating, defining and attending fairs (1); Credit and financial techniques (2); Merchants at fairs (3); Europe and beyond: time and space of fairs (4). The papers will be published in English shortly after the conference.

During the symposium, the CoMOR team will also present the Fairs-in-history website specially created for the project. It includes a scientific database, designed to be developed in a collaborative mode, and the digital catalog of the traveling exhibition “Fairs, cities and merchants” (Lyon, until June 30, 2023; Leipzig, September 1–October 15, 2023):



09:30 am (Turin State Archive, Piazza Castello 209)

Welcome by Gianluca Cuniberti (University of Turin, Department of Historical Studies)


Jean-Louis Gaulin (University Lyon2), Susanne Rau (University of Erfurt)

(1) Creating, defining, and attending fairs

Ulf Christian Ewert (University of Erfurt), Meß and Markt: on the wording of privileges for “new” fairs in the late-medieval Holy Roman Empire

Nicolas Sarzeaud (University Lyon2), Fairs for Relics, or Relics for Fairs? On the Association of the Liturgical and Economic Calendar in the Middle Ages

Jean-Louis Gaulin (University Lyon2), Faire ses courses aux foires de Genève. Les registres des trésoriers généraux du duc de Savoie Amédée VIII

Discussants: Alma Poloni (University of Pisa), Andrea Nicolotti (University of Turin)

02:30 pm

(2) Credit and financial techniques

Armand Jamme (CNRS), Papato, fiere e trasferimenti finanziari tra Due e Quattrocento

Ezio Claudio Pia (CRISM), Interazioni tra mercati regionali e internazionali: Asti, credito e fiere tra Medioevo ed Età moderna

Heinrich Lang (University of Erfurt), Accounting Fairs: Florentine and South German Merchant Bankers at the Fairs in Lyon (16th c.)

Claudio Marsilio (University of Verona), Le fiere di cambio europee di Età moderna. I corsi dei cambi: una preziosa informazione finanziaria

Discussants: Markus Denzel (University of Leipzig), Alessio Fiore (University of Turin)

Presentation of the CoMOR website: Fairs in history

Noémie Lacroix (ENS de Lyon), Jean-Paul Rehr (University Lyon2), Leif Scheuermann (University of Trier)


09:30 am (Turin State Archive, Piazza Castello 209)

(3) Merchants at fairs

Clément Lenoble (CNRS), The De’ Pazzi family business between Avignon and Geneva: note on some bills of exchange and on the Pazzi’s settlement in Lyon

Pauline Gomes (ENS de Lyon), Des marchés de Chieri aux foires de Lyon, retracer la mobilité de la famille Pietraviva (XIIIe–XVe siècles)

Marta Gravela (University of Turin), Lyon merchants and the establishment of fairs: a social group in decline?

Matthias Baumgartl (University of Bamberg), Liquidity management through financial service providers and the role of fairs. The case of the Augsburg merchant David Gauger and the Bolzano merchant David Wagner

Discussant: Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli (University of Florence)

02:45 pm (University of Turin, via Sant’Ottavio 20, Department of Historical Studies, Stanza seminari, 3rd floor)

(4) Europe and beyond: time and space of fairs

Susanne Rau (University of Erfurt), Fair rhythms. On times, spaces, suspensions, reinstatements and experiences of fairs

Boglárka Weisz (Hungarian Academy of Science), Merchants and Trading Routes in the Hungarian Kingdom in Medieval Ages

François Gipouloux (EHESS), Les foires et leurs acteurs: marchands ambulants, boutiquiers et courtiers à la fin des Ming et sous les Qing

Markus Denzel (University of Leipzig), East of Leipzig: Great Annual Markets and Fairs in Poland and Muscowy up to the 17th Century

Discussant: Michel Pauly (University of Luxembourg)



Dr. Marta Gravela, E-Mail:

Prof. Dr. Susanne Rau, E-Mail:


Marta Gravela (Turin), Jean-Louis Gaulin (Lyon), Susanne Rau (Erfurt)

Convening Institution:

University of Turin

Conference Site:

Archivio di Stato di Torino, piazza Castello 209 AND Università di Torino, via Sant’Ottavio 20, Department of Historical Studies

Supported by: ANR, DFG, Università degli Studi di Torino and UNIFI

Source of this call:

For further information on the project: