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A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul by Ebru Boyar, Kate Fleet

By Ebru Boyar, Kate Fleet

Utilizing a wealth of up to date Ottoman resources, this e-book recreates the social historical past of Istanbul, a massive, cosmopolitan city and imperial capital of the Ottoman Empire. Seat of the Sultan and a plush foreign emporium, Istanbul was once additionally a urban of violence shaken usually by way of traditional mess ups and via the turmoil of sultanic politics and violent insurrection. Its population, entertained by means of imperial festivities and cared for via the good pious foundations which touched each element in their lives, additionally amused themselves within the a number of excitement gardens and the numerous public baths of town. whereas the booklet is targeted on Istanbul, it offers a wide photo of Ottoman society, the way it was once established and the way it built and remodeled throughout 4 centuries. As such, the e-book deals a thrilling substitute to the extra conventional histories of the Ottoman Empire.

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On Tuesday the city was taken. Valuable plunder was seized. Gold, silver, jewels and all kinds of cloth poured onto the markets, and they began to trade. They enslaved the people, they killed the tekfur [the Byzantine ruler], the warriors embraced the young beauties… On the first Friday after the conquest, prayer was held in Ayasofya. 47 The motivation for the conquest For the Ottomans, this conquest – the death and destruction of the known world for the Latins and Byzantines – was not an extraordinary event, nor was it portrayed as a victory of unprecedented proportions.

231; Doukas, Decline and Fall of Byzantium to the Ottoman Turks, trans. H. J. Magoulias (Detroit, 1975), p. 191. Konstantin Mihailović, Memoirs of a Janissary, trans. Benjamin Stolz (Ann Arbor, 1975), pp. 145, 147. 35 However sharply Piccolomini and many other Latins may have felt the fall, their pain, experienced at a safe distance, was not as acute as that of the Byzantines, for whom Mehmed, Doukas’s ‘truly flesh-bearing demon’,36 spelt the end of their world. 38 Grimly the Byzantines hung on, but to no avail, for they were unable to prevent the collapse of the walls and the entry of the Turkish troops.

Many other items were shipped through it, wheat from further North, metals to and from the Black Sea coast of what is now Turkey, alum from the alum mines of northern Anatolia, silks and luxury items from further East, from Iran and beyond. Mehmed, ever focused on commercial opportunities, was keen to benefit from the revenue potential of his newly established dominance and he issued instructions that all ships, flying whatever flag – Genoese, Venetian, Constantinopolitan or Ottoman, or from Caffa, Trabzon, Amasra or Sinop – of whatever class – trireme, bireme, barque or skiff – were not to pass through the Straits without paying customs duties.

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