Ottoman-Polish Diplomatic Relations (15th-18th Century): An Annotated Edition of 'Ahdnames and Other Documents

Ottoman-Polish Diplomatic Relations (15th-18th Century): An Annotated Edition of 'Ahdnames and Other Documents

Ottoman-Polish Diplomatic Relations (15th-18th Century): An Annotated Edition of 'Ahdnames and Other Documents

Ottoman-Polish Diplomatic Relations (15th-18th Century): An Annotated Edition of 'Ahdnames and Other Documents

Synopsis

This volume deals with the history of the Ottoman-Polish political and diplomatic relations, and with the role and function of international treaties in early modern Europe, especially in the contacts between the Christian and Muslim states. The extensive introduction consists of two parts: Part I examines diplomatic problems concerning capitulations" ( ahdnames), demarcation protocols (hududnames) and other Ottoman and Polish documents related to peace. Part II provides a chronological survey of the Polish-Ottoman relations covering the years 1414-1795, and then follow the texts of 69 documents composed in Turkish (rendered in a Latin transcription), Polish, Latin, Italian, and French. Turkish and Polish texts are provided with English translations. 32 documents preserved in originals are published in full facsimiles as well. The publication is enriched with bibliography, directory of geographical and ethnic terms, index and 3 maps."

Excerpt

The present work actually belongs to a bygone period in Ottoman historiography. In the present era of brilliant studies on prosopography, material culture and the intellectual and spiritual life of our ancestors, a study of international diplomatic relations provided with the apparatus of a typical “nineteenth-century” source edition seems completely obsolete.

The more one studies Ottoman history, however, the more one realizes how valid still is the motto of Leopold Ranke “wie es eigentlich gewesen.” This fact led Colin Imber to introduce his recent study on Ottoman origins with a provocative motto from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, stating that “it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.…”

Meticulous studies by Lajos Fekete, Tayyib Gökbilgin, Halil Inalcik, Mübahat Kütükoglu, Josef Matuz, and Victor Ménage have tremendously enriched our knowledge about the functioning of the Ottoman chancery and the function and composition of the most typical documents. Nevertheless, an extensive list of questions concerning even the most basic historical facts still awaits a response by the modern historian.

One of the most successful enterprises realized in the recent years is the pioneer study by Hans Theunissen, which is devoted to OttomanVenetian diplomatic relations from their initiation up to 1640. This study demonstrates that even an apparently well documented and thoroughly researched historical topic required the serious revision of numerous errors and misinterpretations.

Ottoman-Polish diplomatic relations, the object of this study, have been the subject of much less investigation than the Venetian ones. Nevertheless, a number of individual issues have already been studied by French, German, Rumanian, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Polish

Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire 1300–1481 (Istanbul, 1990).

Hans Theunissen, “Ottoman-Venetian diplomatics: the 'ahd-names. The Historical
Background and the Development of a Category of Political-Commercial Instruments
together with an Annotated Edition of a Corpus of Relevant Documents” "hereafter,
“Ottoman-Venetian diplomatics”". Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Utrecht, 1991.

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