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Documents on Russian commerce in the Black Sea and the Levant offer eyewitness description, firsthand observation and authentic information. These qualities, to varying degrees, are evinced in this translated memorandum penned by tsarist vice-consul Carlo A. Marracciny in Smyrna in December 1812 and addressed to Foreign Minister Rumiantsev. The Marracciny report merits attention by scholars of Russia's Eastern policy as a reminder that primary sources on Russian trade, and on wider tsarist aims, in the Near East warrant collection and presentation in an accessible format for students and scholars alike. This particular document might very well become a small piece in a published compendium of Russian records and resources on specific aspects of tsarist interaction with the Ottoman Empire, including the commercial dimension of the Eastern Question.


Originally published in Balkanistica 16 (2003): 127- 38

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