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Turks Reconsidered: Jakab Harsányi Nagy’s Changing Image of the Ottoman

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Chapter Summary

As recent research in the social sciences suggests, stereotypes and "images of the Other" change over time, often following the changes of power relations. However, it is most unusual that the image of a specific Other radically changes within a single person's lifetime. Yet this is precisely what happened in the case of Jakab Harsányi Nagy, a diplomat and author. This dramatic change in his representation of "the Turk" raises a series of important questions, which are addressed in this chapter. The chapter talks about the possible causes for Harsányi's change of mind. The Colloquia is the only known book by Harsányi. It is a collection of conversations about the Ottoman Empire in two languages: Ottoman Turkish and Latin. The world one lives in is full of sins and error, and it is the individual's responsibility to correct them through his own moral and intellectual improvement.

Keywords: Colloquia; Islam; Jakab Harsányi Nagy; Latin; Ottoman Empire; Turkish



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