Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-century Mediterranean World

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Oxford University Press, 2015 - 604 pagine
In the late sixteenth century, a prominent Albanian named Antonio Bruni composed a revealing document about his home country. Historian Sir Noel Malcolm takes this document as a point of departure to explore the lives of the entire Bruni family, whose members included an archbishop of the Balkans, the captain of the papal flagship at the Battle of Lepanto--at which the Ottomans were turned back in the Eastern Mediterranean--in 1571, and a highly placed interpreter in Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire that fell to the Turks in 1453. The taking of Constantinople had profoundly altered the map of the Mediterranean. By the time of Bruni's document, Albania, largely a Venetian province from 1405 onward, had been absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. Even under the Ottomans, however, this was a world marked by the ferment of the Italian Renaissance.

In Agents of Empire, Malcolm uses the collective biography of the Brunis to paint a fascinating and intimate picture of Albania at a moment when it represented the frontier between empires, cultures, and religions. The lives of the polylingual, cosmopolitan Brunis shed new light on the interrelations between the Ottoman and Christian worlds, characterized by both conflict and complex interdependence. The result of years of archival detective work, Agents of Empire brings to life a vibrant moment in European and Ottoman history, challenging our assumptions about their supposed differences. Malcolm's book guides us through the exchanges between East and West, Venetians and the Ottomans, and tells a story of worlds colliding with and transforming one another.
 

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Inspired by the hunt for an obscure manuscript that essentially marks the beginning of Albanian historiography, Malcolm provides one with a wide-ranging examination of social and military interaction ... Leggi recensione completa

Indice

Ulcinj Albania and Two Empires
1
Three Families
23
Antonio Bruti in the Service of Venice
35
Giovanni Bruni in the Service of God
55
Gasparo Bruni and the Knights of Malta
76
Galleys and Geopolitics
100
Rebellion and Ottoman Conquest
123
The Lepanto Campaign
151
Antonio Bruni and the Jesuits
299
Moldavia Tatars and Cossacks
317
Bartolomeo Bruti in Power
336
Cristoforo Bruti and the Dragoman Dynasty
362
The Exiled Voivod and his Counsellor
379
HabsburgOttoman War and Balkan Rebellion
391
Pasquale Bruti and his Peace Mission
415
The Legacy Antonio Brunis Treatise
430

War Peace and Ottoman Resurgence
175
The Brutis and Brunis in Istria
194
Bartolomeo Bruti and the Prisoner Exchange
206
Espionage and Sabotage in Istanbul
223
Secret Diplomacy and the Grand Vizier
244
Sinan Pasha and the Moldavian Venture
261
Gasparo Bruni and the Huguenot War
278
Glossary
447
Notes
451
List of Manuscripts
529
Bibliography
537
Index
579
Copyright

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Noel Malcolm is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

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