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Honor in the Early Modern Eastern Mediterranean—an Introduction

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In the last decade, historians have paid renewed attention to the idea of honor in early modern Europe and elsewhere, but until now, the focus has been primarily on individuals. However, this issue seeks to explore the idea of institutional honor and the question of whether a government could possess a sense of honor and what that would mean for its workings and its impact on its subjects. The themes that emerge in these essays are abduction and sexual misbehavior—where honor and sexual crime could be touchstones for the legitimacy of power. If everyone felt honored, then the hierarchical distribution of power could seem fair; but if the subjects of empire felt humiliated, the power that acted on them would become illegitimate. All of these articles see honor, not as a structure, but as a resource that both state and subject could invoke in a crisis.

Affiliations: 1: Siena College


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