2022.12.12: Markus Koller

“Public Debates and Decision-Making Processes in the Ottoman Empire: State Practices of Violence in the 17th and 18th c.”

December 12, 2022. 16h00-18h00 (Berlin Time). Registration: https://forms.gle/A8AJDvdaQyUiG5qD8

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in interest in Ottoman “advice literature,” which had gained importance among Ottoman elites, especially since the 17th century. In their treatises (risâle), the authors discussed, among other things, what a just rule by the sultan or individual governors should look like. Part of the ideal of just rule was that the ruler should be able to protect his subjects from illegitimate violence by state actors. In this context, there was intense debate among Ottoman elites about which violent practices and punishments should be considered legitimate and illegitimate violence. So far, historical research has mainly turned to these elite discussions and has focused less on other milieus of Ottoman society. The lecture will therefore first examine the question of how the use of state violence was discussed in these public spheres, using the written testimonies of Catholic and Orthodox priests as an example. Subsequently, it will be discussed whether and how such debates could have an influence on the state’s use of force.

Markus Koller is Professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaft, Historisches Institut, Lehrstuhl für die Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches und der Türkei (ORT). He is also the Director of the Zentrum für Mittelmeerstudien at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Among his publications: Mediterranean Rivers in Global Perspective, Ed, with J. C. Bernhardt and A. Lichtenberger, Leiden: Brill, 2019; Das osmanische Europa : Methoden und Perspektiven der Frühneuzeitforschung zu Südosteuropa, (ed. cum al.), Leipzig, Eudora, 2014; Eine Gesellschaft im Wandel die osmanische Herrschaft in Ungarn im 17. Jahrhundert (1606 – 1683), Sturrgart, Steiner, 2010; Bosnien an der Schwelle zur Neuzeit : eine Kulturgeschichte der Gewalt (1747-1798), Munich, Oldenbourg, 2004; “Das Papsttum und die osmanische Expansion in Südosteuropa in der zweiten Hälfte des 15. Jahrhunderts”, Zur Debatte. Themen der Katholischen Akademie in Bayern 44,1 (2014, Special Issue), pp. 8-11; Living in the Ottoman Ecumenical Community: Essays in Honour of Suraiya Faroqhi (Ed. with V. Costantini), Leiden, Brill, 2008.

Next Session: February 6, 2023: Malte Fuhrmann, “From Empire to Dromocracy. Building the Infrastructure State in Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire, 1839-1908

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