For the early modern period, it is virtually impossible to imagine an
affective history of Mediterranean mobility without three essential
bodies of sources: erudite travel accounts, captivity narratives, and
inquisitorial apostasy trials. But as valuable as these sources are in
documenting the experience of dislocation across the Mediterranean–and
particularly between its Christian and Muslim halves–these are also
distinctively European sources with no real equivalent in Ottoman
Turkish. How can this apparent asymmetry be explained? What lessons
does it hold? And what kinds of alternative sources does Ottoman
history offer for reconstructing the experience of Mediterranean
mobility “from the other side”?
Giancarlo Casale is Chair of Early Modern Mediterranean History at the
European University Institute in Florence, Italy. A specialist in
Ottoman history, he is the author of numerous studies on the history of
Ottoman trade, travel and exploration, as well as the comparative
history of empires, and the history of geography and cartography. His
most recent projects include “Did Alexander the Great Discover America?
Debating Space and Time in Renaissance Istanbul,” forthcoming in
Renaissance Quarterly (Fall 2019), and Prisoner of the Infidels: the
Memoir of an Ottoman Muslim in Seventeenth-Century Europe by Osman Agha
of Timisoara, currently under review at University of California Press.
Since 2010, Prof. Casale has also served as executive editor of the
Journal of Early Modern History.