Friends and Rivals in the East: Studies in Anglo-Dutch Relations in the Levant from the Seventeenth to the Early Nineteenth Century

Synopsis

This volume, based on both European and Ottoman sources, investigates the commercial, military and diplomatic relations between the Dutch and the English in the Levant from the early seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. On the one hand there was a more or less constant commercial rivalry and there were moments of outright military hostility between the two powers. On the other a common life in the Near East led to a form of solidarity which transcended the political situation in the home countries. The role of the local population of the Levant, of Ottoman officials, and of the Greeks, Armenians and other eastern Christians who intervened both as merchants and as embassy dragomans or interpreters, was often decisive in influencing the dealings between the Dutch and English residents. The nine papers examine these different aspects of a relationship which has never before been studied in a Levantine context.