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Identity and Coexistence in the Eastern Mediterranean, ca. 1600

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2015

Eric Dursteler*
Affiliation:
Brown University, History Department

Extract

Of the many European states that interacted with the Ottoman Empire in the early modern era, few did so as extensively as the Most Serene Republic of Venice, La Serenissima. The two empires shared a lengthy border and a common historical trajectory for almost 500 years, during which time the political and economic fortunes of both were intimately intertwined. While occasionally interrupted by brief periods of open hostility, for the most part this relationship was characterized by peaceful coexistence. Venetian historiography at present, however, is unable to explain this reality. Rather, in painting the picture of Venice’s relations with the Ottoman Empire, scholars have relied on broad strokes that depict a series of rather simple, binary relationships—East/West, Muslim/Christian, Venetian/Turk. This dichotomy is readily apparent in the titles of important monographs on the topic: Islam and the West, Europe and the Turk, Venezia e i turchi.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © New Perspectives on Turkey 1998

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