Professor Natalie Rothman 

Department of Historical and Cultural Studies

Member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists 2014


The Dragoman Renaissance: Diplomatic interpreters between Istanbul and Europe

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire ruled three quarters of the Mediterranean basin and exerted significant influence far beyond its borders.  How did Europeans learn about the Ottomans and their diverse histories, languages, religions, and societies? Who were the people who mediated between Istanbul, its resident (yet sometimes clueless) foreign ambassadors, and a growing reading public deeply curious about the Ottoman world? This talk explores the little known careers and networks of Istanbul’s diplomatic interpreters, their surprising family connections, and their profound impact on Orientalism.

A light lunch will be served. Please register at

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