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6 Between the Porte and the Lion: Identity, Politics and Opportunism in Seventeenth Century Cyprus

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Chapter Summary

The history of Ottoman Cyprus became retrospectively the ideological battleground in the nationalist strife which characterised the island's post Ottoman history. The Catholic rulers were treated with the aggregating mentality of us versus them, with the important element that 'they', being 'them', were seen as being all of the same ilk or, at best, different sides of the same coin. The end of Venetian domination of Cyprus in 1571 brought with it a period of transition to a new era. What we have in seventeenth-century Ottoman Cyprus can be summarised as the interplay between social, economic and political/religious factors at the conjecture of three historical processes: the post-conquest search for a political future of the Venetian elite, the lukewarm imperial aspirations of Catholic states and the counter-reformation and consequent dispatch to the island of Catholic missionaries.

Keywords: Catholic missionaries; Catholic rulers; economic factor; Ottoman Cyprus; religious factor; social factor



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