PROJECT AIMS The project’s aim is to challenge the widely accepted view that systemised intelligence is a modern political trait. Instead, it examines the history of organised intelligence from an economic perspective, postulating the thesis that systemised intelligence, at least in a commercially dominant state like early modern Venice, was primarily developed to protect economic interests. It is not accidental, therefore, that the Venetians ‘smuggled’ intelligence on European affairs to their enemy, the Ottomans, during the First (1499-1503) and Second (1537-1540) Ottoman-Venetian War, as the ‘secret’ registers of the Council of Ten reveal. They did so, to ensure that the Sultan would not impose impeding commercial restrictions on them. Nor is it irrelevant that revealing ‘state secrets’ of thriving Venetian industries, like glassmaking, was a crime punishable by the death in the floating city. On a micro-level, research for the project analyses and compares early modern Venice’s centrally administered intelligence apparatus with the clandestine networks of other Italian and European states, like Milan, Mantua, Rome, England, France, Spain and the Ottoman Empire. There, intelligence served the private interests of powerful individuals, unlike Venice’s centralised intelligence. On a macro-level, it opens up the landscape of historical exploration by examining a) the historical development of organisation both an entity and as a process; and b) the nature of an early modern state’s knowledge culture beyond the political and intellectual spheres.