Amsterdam's Greek merchants: proteges of the Dutch, beneficiaries of the Russians, subjects of the Ottomans and supporters of Greece
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Merchant diasporas have long attracted the attention of scholars through the narrow prisms of 'nations' and states. The history of Amsterdam's Greek Orthodox merchants, together with the other cases - who left the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth century and established a seemingly controversial range of networks involving the Dutch, Russian, Ottoman and Greek states there - is an oft-quoted example. This article draws attention to some of the problematic aspects of these perceptions of the relations between states and diaspora merchants. The main tenet of the article is that nation- and state-centred perspectives are limited in explaining the full scope of flexibility and pragmatism displayed by the diaspora merchants. Copyright © Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, 2018.