Mapping the Ottomans: Sovereignty, Territory, and Identity in the Early Modern Mediterranean

Author(s): Palmira Brummett


Simple paradigms of Muslim-Christian confrontation and the rise of Europe in the seventeenth century do not suffice to explain the ways in which European mapping envisioned the 'Turks' in image and narrative. Rather, maps, travel accounts, compendia of knowledge, and other texts created a picture of the Ottoman Empire through a complex layering of history, ethnography, and eyewitness testimony, which juxtaposed current events to classical and biblical history; counted space in terms of peoples, routes, and fortresses; and used the land and seascapes of the map to assert ownership, declare victory, and embody imperial power's reach. Enriched throughout by examples of Ottoman self-mapping, this book examines how Ottomans and their empire were mapped in the narrative and visual imagination of early modern Europe's Christian kingdoms. The maps serve as centerpieces for discussions of early modern space, time, borders, stages of travel, information flows, invocations of authority, and cross-cultural relations.


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Palmira Brummett is Professor Emerita of History at the University of Tennessee, where she was Distinguished Professor of Humanities, and Visiting Professor of History at Brown University. Her publications include Ottoman Seapower and Levantine Diplomacy in the Age of Discovery (1994); Image and Imperialism in the Ottoman Revolutionary Press, 1908-1911 (2000); The 'Book' of Travels: Genre, Ethnology and Pilgrimage, 1250-1700 (2009), for which she was the editor and a contributor; and Civilizations Past and Present (2000-5), for which she was the coauthor of multiple editions. She has also written numerous articles on Ottoman, Mediterranean, and world history. She has been the recipient of NEH and ACLS fellowships, a Phi Beta Kappa Faculty Award for Scholarly Achievement, and a Bunting Fellowship at Radcliff University.

1. Introduction: mapping empire and 'Turks' on the map; 2. Reading and placing the 'Turk'; 3. Borders: the edge of Europe, the ends of empire, and the redemption of Christendom; 4. Sovereign space: the fortress as marker of possession; 5. Heads and skins: mapping the fallen Turk; 6. From Venice and Vienna to Istanbul: the travel space between Christendom and Islam; 7. Authority, travel, and the map; 8. Afterword: mapping the fault lines of empire and nation.

General Fields

  • : 9781107090774
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : May 2015
  • : 253mm X 177mm X 28mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Palmira Brummett
  • : Hardback
  • : 956.015
  • : 300
  • : 95 b/w illus. 17 colour illus. 1 map