FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:   || 2 |

«The Public Defense of the Doctoral Dissertation in Medieval Studies of Tamás Kiss on CYPRUS IN OTTOMAN AND VENETIAN POLITICAL IMAGINATION, C. ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

The Public Defense of the Doctoral Dissertation in Medieval Studies


Tamás Kiss




C. 1489-1582

will be held on

Tuesday, 7 June 2016, at 2:00 pm

in the

Senate Room – Monument Building

Central European University (CEU)

Nádor u. 9, Budapest

Examination Committee


László Kontler (Department of History – CEU


Emrah Safa Gürkan, İstanbul 29 Mayıs University (external reader and external member) Pál Ács, Research Centre for the Humanities of HAS (external member) Tijana Krstić, CEU, Medieval Studies Department (supervisor) György Endre Szőnyi, CEU, Medieval Studies Department (co-supervisor) Marcell Sebők, CEU, Medieval Studies Department (member) External Readers Palmira Brummett, University of Tennessee and Brown University (external reader) Emrah Safa Gürkan, İstanbul 29 Mayıs University (external reader and external member) The doctoral dissertation is available for inspection in the CEU-ELTE Medieval Library, Budapest, 6-8 Múzeum krt.


Cyprus in Ottoman and Venetian Political Imagination, c. 1489-1582 is a doctoral dissertation that draws on a variety of Venetian and Ottoman visual, architectural, narrative and poetic sources to shed light on how groups and individuals in these two imperial polities imagined the political significance of conquering and possessing Cyprus.

The period under scrutiny is between the island’s Venetian annexation in 1489 and the aftermath of its Ottoman conquest in 1571. In investigating the ways in which different Venetian and Ottoman actors attached historical, mythological, political and eschatological connotations to Cyprus or exploited the already existing ones for their political ends, I pick apart various early modern discursive threads about the Venetian and Ottoman occupations of Cyprus, and then study how they were entangled within and across religious and political boundaries in the early modern Mediterranean and beyond.

The result is the only cultural study of how the two major sixteenth-century Mediterranean empires contested the island and what it meant for their respective imperial projects.

The Venetian annexation of Cyprus had a decisive influence on Venetian imperial identity and, consequently, state iconography. The Ottoman attack on Cyprus increased apocalyptic fears throughout the wider Mediterranean region and, after a devastating series of hard-won battles, resulted in one of the last Ottoman major territorial gains in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the formation of a long-awaited Holy League in the West. In 1571 the League, as is well known, defeated the Ottoman navy at Lepanto, thereby inaugurating the Battle of Lepanto as a major theme of literary, artistic, and historical works produced across Europe. Yet, the Veneto-Ottoman contestation of Cyprus has so far received almost no attention from cultural historians.

Modern scholarship typically cites pragmatic reasons for the Ottoman attack on Cyprus in 1570: the newly inaugurated Sultan Selim II (r. 1566-74) needed a military success to prove himself, and the fact that the sea routes between the Ottoman capital and Syria and Egypt were repeatedly disrupted by pirates taking refuge in Venetian Cyprus, made this island a logical target. However, as this dissertation posits, already in the early modern period Cyprus became enveloped in a variety of symbolic discourses and narratives about the conquest by both Venetians and Ottomans that make this story much less straightforward. In what follows I single out four topoi that appear both in early modern and modern scholarly narratives of what taking and keeping Cyprus may have “meant” to fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Venetians and Ottomans.

These four are:

Queen Caterina Cornaro’s supposed gracious ceding of her kingdom to and her adoption by the Venetian state in 1489; the ambiguous casus belli of Sultan Selim II; the Selimiye mosque’s supposed ideological relationship to the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus; and a performance at Prince Mehmed’s circumcision festival in 1582 that allegedly re-enacted the Ottoman occupation of Cyprus.

Notwithstanding their frequent appearance in the literature, as this dissertation demonstrates, ideological claims embedded in these topoi prove unfounded upon closer inspection. I argue that these topoi could survive from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to the modern day only because they have come down to us as parts of dominant western historical narratives. The Venetian state’s mythology was ultimately more powerful than the Cornaro family’s narrative about the state’s forceful seizing of the crown of Cyprus that rightfully belonged to Caterina Cornaro. The topos of the drunkard sultan’s craving for Cypriot wine and other fictitious causes of war discussed in early modern western sources were more relatable than the complex diplomatic machinations behind the attack and internal political debates related to it that have to be reconstructed from Venetian and Ottoman archival sources. Similarly, western sources affirming a western misreading of the purpose of the oddly located (as in, not in the capital) and awe-inspiring Selimiye mosque in Edirne were inevitably better circulated than Ottoman sources revealing the original, eschatologically-inspired purposes of building that mosque. Western first- and second-hand accounts circulating throughout Europe about a mock battle at an Ottoman festival staged to exasperate the Venetian guests were plausible from a western point of view and more readily available to modern historians than those sources which could have disproved them. In this dissertation, I go behind the façade of these dominant historical narratives by untangling the discursive threads that they are made of and decoding their central themes through a dialogue of Venetian/Western and Ottoman sources.

Consequently, in Chapter 1, I unravel the cultural and political context of the Venetian state’s forging a narrative about its annexation of Cyprus against the narrative of the Cornaro family; in Chapter 2, instead of perpetuating the rumours about Selim’s striving for Cypriot wine and his advisor Joseph Nassi’s aspirations for the Cypriot crown, I examine the diplomatic negotiations that preceded the War of Cyprus and the Ottoman casus belli that sought to justify the war to the enemy on the one hand, and to the Ottoman public on the other; I challenge western “misreadings” of the Selimiye mosque and offer a cultural historical context within the framework of a shared Christian-Muslim imperial as well as eschatological tradition lending rationale to both the construction of the mosque and the Ottoman attack on Cyprus in chapters 3 and 4; and in Chapter 5 I investigate the narrative and demonstrative purposes of the performance in 1582 that has been interpreted by both contemporaries and modern historians as the re-enactment of the conquest of Cyprus.

While political imagination about Cyprus in the Ottoman Empire seems to have been used to legitimize Sultan Selim II’s rule, and later to augment the late-sixteenthcentury styling of the House of Osman’s messianic profile, imagining Cyprus for political ends was, in Venice, part of a debate about the very political identity of the republic and its elites. Therefore, in this dissertation I examine how representatives of the city-state, by imagining the political significance of annexing and possessing Cyprus, handled the problem of Venice’s dual political identity through various commissioned artworks, and how the patrician victims of Venice’s imperial expansion responded to it. I also investigate what the specifics of this communication imply about the ways early modern Mediterranean Empires operated.

The early modern “myth of Venice,” or the idealized attributes of “Venetianness” and their expression in various art forms and literary genres, was incompatible with one of Venice’s “equal” patrician families, the Cornaros, holding royal titles and practicing monarchical rights. By flouting the Venetian ideals of modesty and equality, the Cornaros and other patrician families, like the late fifteenth-century Barbarigo doges (Marco and Agostino) attempted to refute the myth (or follow a counter-myth) of Venice. They looked up to the resplendent lifestyles of their Roman and Florentine peers, displaying quasimonarchical power. The ensuing contradictions between political identity and practice of power were addressed by the Venetian state, the doges, and the Cornaro family through allegorical imagery of their direct or symbolic association with Cyprus. The messages through which the representatives of the Venetian state and the city state’s patrician families expressed these political imaginations were aimed predominantly at a domestic audience. Thus, even though these messages were inevitably picked up on by western interpreters (and critics) of Venice’s prosperity and political as well as social stability, the senders and receivers of these messages shared a dominant meaning system (i.e. a coherent network of shared ideas, values, beliefs and causal knowledge—that is ruling ideas).

In parallel with the Venetian examples, I also analyze the ways in which Ottoman individuals imagined Cyprus for their own political purposes, including Selim II, who followed in both Mehmed II’s and Süleyman’s footsteps in legitimizing his power by fashioning himself through the construction of his sultanic mosque as the Emperor Justinian I (r. 527-65 CE) of his time as well as the messianic ruler whose association with Cyprus on the eve of the Apocalypse had been foretold by so many an oracle. However, at the same time, I also observe what communicating these imaginations tell the modern historian about the dynamics of late sixteenth-century Mediterranean empires. Just like with the previous, Venetian example, some messages containing Ottoman political imaginations about Cyprus were aimed at a domestic audience—although perhaps not exclusively. Regardless, western visitors to the Ottoman Empire and sedentary authors alike interpreted these messages with confidence. As a result, the “authorial intent” of Sultan Selim II’s mosque in Edirne was ill-decoded on the western receiver’s end. These misreadings receive special significance in discussing inter-imperial communication.

By borrowing from Stuart Hall’s “Encoding/Decoding” theory I argue that misinterpretations were possible because there was an asymmetry between the Venetian and Ottoman actors’ “meaning structures” which determined the possible “dominant,” “negotiated” and “oppositional” readings of messages. As opposed to his theoretical forerunners like Saussure and Jakobson, Stuart Hall’s model is not about interpersonal but mass communication, which emphasizes the importance of active interpretation. Although originally proposed as a model for television communication in 1973, Stuart Hall’s theory is highly relevant for my analysis of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century intra- and interimperial communication. Firstly, all of the cases discussed in this dissertation involve imperial messages aimed at large audiences, that is to say instances of early modern mass communication, even where interpersonal communication intervened. (Take for instance the Ottomans’ testing their tentative casus belli on the Venetian bailo Barbaro in Chapter 2.) Secondly, Hall’s theory helps explain why some messages containing political imaginations were correctly decoded by the intended audiences while ill-decoded by others. Thirdly, by allowing the notion of “culture” to be bypassed, it helps avoid essentialist explanations such as blaming the different degrees of (un-)successful interpretation on “cultural differences,” which would make little sense in analyzing communication in an early modern imperial setting.

Hall’s theory opened the way for a semiotic approach to communication models such as the cultural semiotic model of Yuri Lotman. According to Lotman, the semiosphere, one of the key concepts of cultural semiotics, is a set of inter-related sign processes (semiosis) with social, linguistic, and even geographical delimitations, outside which “meaning” cannot exist. Consequently, decoding (i.e. translating) a message from outside (or even, in fact, from a different code within the semiosphere) will generate a message different from the original one. Thus, essentially, both Hall and Lotman argue that translation not only happens between two codes (“languages”) but also between the socially, geographically, ideologically (etc.) determined and confined mechanisms within which the “sender” created the message and the “receiver” interprets (“consumes”) it.

Pages:   || 2 |

Similar works:

«CVs Germany and its Neighbors Borders, Identities, Relations hosted by The Minerva Institute for German History Tel Aviv University February 13-14, 2011 Dr. Christiane Brenner Researcher at Collegium Carolinum Munich; editor of Bohemia, a Journal of History and Civilization in East Central Europe. Christiane Brenner studied history and politics in the University of Lyon (France). In 1988/89 she received a scholarship from the DAAD at Prague Charles University. In the years 1990-1994 she took...»

«Çankaya Üniversitesi Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Journal of Arts and Sciences Say›: 9 / May›s 2008 C h a r l i e C h a p l i n ’s S c r e e n P e r s o n a : “ T h e Tramp” as Icon1 Ceylan Özcan2 Abstract Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp figure is perhaps the most famous icon in cinema history. The universal power of this character lies in the fact that he represents the average man. Through a discussion of the Tramp’s outfit and basic characteristics this article presents some of the...»

«WATER OF LIFE A HISTORY OF WINE-DISTILLING AND SPIRITS 500 BC – AD 2000 C. Anne Wilson PROSPECT BOOKS First published in Great Britain in 2006 by Prospect Books, Allaleigh House, Blackawton, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7DL. © 2006 C. Anne Wilson. © 2006, illustrations, Andras Kaldor. © 2006, title page illustrations, James Stewart. The author, C. Anne Wilson, asserts her right to be identified as author of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988. No part of this...»

«1 wholesale football jersey.1 cheap custom nfl jerseys authentic.2 cheap manchester united jersey.3 jaguars jersey cheap accommodation.4 replica football jerseys cheap.5 san jose sharks jersey cheap.6 wholesale nba jerseys from china.7 custom bike jerseys cheap.8 custom steelers jerseys cheap.9 kyle rudolph jersey cheap breaks.10 vikings jersey cheap wholesale.11 cheap custom lakers jersey history.12 cheapest jerseys from china.13 russell wilson jersey seahawks cheap.14 new miami dolphins...»

«Terrorism: The Answer is the Question William M. Arkin, 15 July 2016 Thoughts on the Occasion of the Incidents in Nice Terrorism is forever present and the threat that exists today is no less ominous than it was on that random sunny Tuesday a decade and a half ago when 19 men changed history. And it is not just terrorism. The scale and cruelty of killing ever increases while the fragility of urbanized society makes civilians ever more vulnerable. No country is immune, neither from external nor...»

«291 INTERVIEW OF JOSE R. LIFOIFOI by Howard P. Willens and Deanne C. Siemer February 17, 1997 Willens: Jose R. Lifoifoi has been a distinguished political leader of the Commonwealth for many years and a close colleague of ours from the Third Northern Marianas Constitutional Convention. Mr. Lifoifoi served in the Commonwealth Legislature for 10 years, and during some of those years was Speaker. He has also had an important role in the private sector in his work with UMDA. Joe, thank you for...»

«A Historical Systems Study of Liquid Rocket Engine Throttling Capabilities Erin M. Betts* National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Huntsville, AL, 35812 and Dr. Robert A. Frederick, Jr.† University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, 35899 This is a comprehensive systems study to examine and evaluate throttling capabilities of liquid rocket engines. The focus of this study is on engine components, and how the interactions of these components are considered for throttling...»

«Deep Ecology and Stewardship in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth by Janou Petit – 3147657 MA Thesis Western Literature and Culture Faculty of Humanities Utrecht University Supervisor: Prof. Dr. David Pascoe Second Reader: Dr. Paul Franssen May 2012 Deep Ecology and Stewardship in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth 1 Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. A Brief History of Ecocriticism 3. Tolkien’s Early Life and Writing 4. Leaf by Niggle 5. The Roots of Middle-earth 6. The First Stewards: Elves...»

«Ph.D./M.A. Program in Political Science The Graduate Center of the City University of New York P SC 87800 Comparative Political Orders Spring Semester 2012 Professor Susan L. Woodward Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Office Hours: Mondays 5:00-6:15 pm Seminar Room 5383 Course Description This seminar has two goals: (1) to give students an opportunity to develop a research project in comparative politics, with assistance on how to conceptualize and research it, and (2) to take advantage of a...»

«The HSRCA 1960s Racing Cars Groups M & O Newsletter No 23 – July 2013 Ed Holly, HSRCA M & O Registrar edholly@optusnet.com.au 24th July 2013 The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Historic Sports and Racing Car Association, the HSRCA, nor necessarily those of the editor. The newsletter exists for the benefit of all those who have an interest in the 1960s racing cars, and especially the owners and drivers of these wonderful machines. They say behind every great...»

«Professor: Eric D. Huntsman Office: 3010-Q JKHB, ext. 8-2259 Email: huntsman@jkhbhrc.byu.edu Consultations: MWF 1-1:50 p.m. GREEK 433: THUCYDIDES Fall 1996 TTh 8:00-9:15 a.m. Course Description: Greek 433 this semester will study Thucydides, one of the greatest and most challenging Greek prose authors. A man of affairs in his own day, Thucydides was a politician as well as a historian and a literary master as well a chronicler of events. His historical approach and his written style made a...»

«DIRECTED BY CYLK COZART WRITEN BY JASON RAINWATER SYNOPSIS Richard Redding, nicknamed “Cannonball”, was regarded as perhaps the fastest pitcher in the history of baseball. Born in Atlanta, Georgia in the era of racial segregation, he was functionally illiterate and was not allowed to play in the Major Leagues because of his race. Against all levels of competition he threw seven no-hitters in one year and approximately thirty in his career. Quiet and clean-cut off the field, he was as...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.