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Maltese Pirates, Ottoman Captives And French Traders In The Early Seventeenthcentury Mediterranean

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines one aspect of the Maltese pirate-economy, namely the capturing and ransoming of Ottoman subjects, and the commercial and political interests that lay behind such transactions. It was based on a collection of documents preserved in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. In all likelihood, the collection was once the property of Jean Dupuy, French consul in İzmir between 1626 and 1651. The “defter” in question contains 36 Ottoman legal certificates (temessük or hüccet). The importance of the material lies in the fact that 27 of the 36 documents were issued by four different Ottoman kadis held captive on Malta. As per author's knowledge such documentary evidence has not surfaced before, the chapter may now for the first time have an insight into the operation of a very interesting and hitherto little known ransom organisation. The chapter also evokes a number of important features of Maltese piracy.

Keywords: French consul; Maltese piracy; Ottoman captives; ransom organisation



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