Joshua Michael White F'11
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2011
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Catch and Release: Piracy, Slavery, and Law in the Early Modern Ottoman Mediterranean
This dissertation examines the impact of pirate slave-raiding in the late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Eastern Mediterranean from the Ottoman perspective, focusing on its consequences for the region, the Ottoman state, and, crucially, the individual victim. It argues that increasing maritime violence in the Mediterranean after the 1570s had a tremendous effect on the formation of international law, the conduct of diplomacy, the articulation of Ottoman imperial and Islamic law, and their application in local Ottoman courts. Utilizing a wide range of Ottoman and Venetian archival and manuscript sources, it explores the Ottoman administrative response to piracy and tells the stories of some of those legally and illegally enslaved in Ottoman waters.