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Shifting Winds: Piracy, Diplomacy, and Trade in the Ottoman Mediterranean, 1624–1626

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Chapter Summary

The 1624 raid and its sequel in 1625, both extraordinarily well recorded in Ottoman, Venetian, and English sources, present an ideal microhistorical case study of a period and place that remain poorly understood and little studied by historians. Occurring at a time when the so-called Barbary Corsairs were at the peak of their powers, when the strength of the Ottoman central administration was at a major low, when the "Northern Invasion" of the Mediterranean postulated by Braudel was becoming undeniable reality, and when the Venetians relied on professional diplomacy to counteract declining naval and commercial capacity, the pirate attacks on Iskenderun in 1624 and 1625 and their aftermath have much to tell us about maritime trade in the first half of the seventeenth century, the economic and political costs of piracy, the changing mechanics of Mediterranean diplomacy, and the financial and administrative connections between the Ottoman center and its periphery.

Keywords: diplomacy; Istanbul; Northern Invasion; Ottoman Mediterranean; piracy; trade; Venetian; Venice

10.1163/9789004274686_004
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