The study of information during the early modern age must take into account the mutual influences that characterize cultural environments and commercial ones. The analysis in the specific dimension of the free port may prove to be of particular interest, since the needs of commerce and merchants favored the development forms aimed at quick, efficient and widespread creation and circulation of news. Communication and information in the free port can be investigated according to different perspectives. In particular, the definitional effort – which between the 17th and 18th centuries triggered a cultural, economic and legal debate and which accompanied the affirmation of the free port as an institution in the Mediterranean – is a process that has not been considered in a systematic way. This definitional process is an operation that is anything but neutral. The attempt to clearly define an object that was economic, political and cultural not only brought along intellectual debates but was a terrain of negotiation and clash between different interests and different agents, in an inseparable intertwining of mutual influences between institutional change and semantic and conceptual evolution. In parallel, the model of the free port spread globally in many variations, generating more and more opportunities for theoretical discussion and international political negotiation.
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