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Introduction Ottoman Ecumenical Communities—An Approach To Ottoman History

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Chapter Summary

Ottoman political history was the first topic to interest in Christian Europe and within the borders of the Ottoman Empire since the seventeenth century. Suraiya Faroqhi proposed a concept that did more justice to the economic, political and military developments than the "paradigm of decline" did. She divided up Ottoman history into a "stage of foundation" followed by "expansion" (1453-1575), "crisis and stabilizations" (1575-1768), "new crisis" (1768-ca. 1830) and "contraction" (1830-1918). This structure reflected a transformation in Ottoman studies where social, cultural and provincial history restrained political history. Different ecumenical communities overlapped within the boundaries of a state or in a specific area and gave them their distinctive characters. In Early Modern Europe cross-border ecumenical communities were perceived by state authorities as monolitic entities. Venetian documents spoke of "Turkish" merchants who came to Venice and stayed there in the Fondaco dei Turchi situated in the very heart of the city.

Keywords: early modern Europe; Ottoman ecumenical communities; Ottoman empire; Suraiya Faroqhi

10.1163/ej.9789004165755.i-496.4
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