This is an official document belonging to the heirs of an Armenian, Zacarías Arguli.
The document, written in Armenian, was given by the members of a family to two of their brothers to enable them to travel from Armenia to Spain. The purpose of their journey was to settle a debt incurred by a (by then deceased) Armenian named Osaba, owed to their father, Zacarías de Arguli.
This document, written in 1701, is of immense historic and cultural value as a unique document written in Armenian. It still retains the printed circular ink stamps associated with 14 families from what is now Syria.
Once the debt had been settled and the receipt issued, the two brothers returned home. If this document had not been issued, what trace would have remained of their fleeting visit to the city of Cádiz?
This shows the way in which notarial protocols are an extraordinary source of information on the presence in Cádiz of hundreds of people from all over the world. They do not appear in censuses, and the only traces of their visits appear in documents written by the city's public scribes.
This argument gains even more significance in the context of the Armenian community. This community of merchants went from port to port selling their wares, in places such as Venice, Livorno, Cádiz, Tangier, Lisbon, and Amsterdam. They would set up stalls in the main squares of these ports, but rarely stayed to put down roots.
In the city of Cádiz, evidence of the importance of the Armenian community can be seen from at least the 17th century onward. Although they were persecuted as a minority group, they also integrated well, mainly through their affiliation with the Nazarene Brotherhood of the Convent of St. Mary.
Power from the heirs of the Armenian Zacarias Arguli (1701-12-20) by Zacarias Arguli's heirs.Andalusian Archives
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