Justice and Commerce: Ottoman and Venetian Courts in Istanbul during the Seventeenth Century


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




“Justice and Commerce” deals with the administration of justice in regulating trade exchanges between Venetian and Ottoman merchants in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, in the first two decades of the seventeenth century. It asks how Ottomans and Venetians collaborated in commercial undertakings and solved disputes despite the absence of a system of interpolity law and secular legal regimes in the pre-modern Mediterranean. This project addresses this question through a comparative and microhistorical study of different types of Venetian and Ottoman Muslim courts available to merchants in Istanbul. Overall, this project argues that the Ottoman and Venetian courts jointly supported a trans-imperial regime of norms and practices that allowed them to sustain trade across political and religious boundaries.