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Dragomans

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Chapter Summary

A dragoman of the British Embassy was a local expert, and analogous to an 'oriental secretary' at the mission in Teheran, a 'Chinese secretary' in Peking, and a 'Japanese secretary' in Yedo. In Constantinople such men were usually recruited from Christian families of European origin long resident in the Ottoman Empire. In 1804 the Levant Company had agreed to continue to pay the salaries of all the embassy staff other than the ambassador. This included the dragomans involved exclusively in political work, and it continued to pay them all until its demise in 1825. The Levant Company's pressure for a scheme for the training of its countrymen as dragomans having come to very little, the British Embassy remained in this regard in much the same position as most other missions in Constantinople, although it was well behind the French and the Austrians.

Keywords: British Embassy; Constantinople; levant company; Ottoman Empire; political dragomans

10.1163/ej.9789004176393.i-336.21
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