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Title: Vernacular Diplomacy in Central Europe: Statesmen and Soldiers Between the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, 1543–1593
Authors: Radway, Robyn Dora
Advisors: Greene, Molly
Grafton, Anthony
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: ambassadors
Subjects: European history
Near Eastern studies
Art history
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg-ruled Holy Roman Empire signed eleven peace treaties, exchanged nearly one-hundred ambassadors, and regularly corresponded across their Central European borderland. Earlier scholarly assessments have claimed that the relationship was overwhelmingly antagonistic and that the Ottomans did not participate meaningfully in the European diplomatic sphere until the eighteenth century. This dissertation offers a revisionist history of the interactions between these two empires in the period between the Ottoman conquest of the Danube River corridor in the 1540s and the outbreak of the Long Turkish War in the 1590s. It recovers the cross-border acts of a wide cast of characters, from the small class of ruling elite at the top down to the common soldiers at the bottom. By drawing on secondary literature in three overlapping academic traditions and archival sources in six languages, it reconstructs a profound shift from expansionist practices to diplomatic engagement and relatively peaceful coexistence. Part one covers the state-centered version of diplomatic history, what I call "official diplomacy." It surveys negotiations and commissioned ambassadors whose operations resulted in the peace treaties signed and sealed by sovereigns in Ottoman Turkish and Latin. Part two examines this relationship from the borderland, what I call "vernacular diplomacy." It explores regional interactions between Vienna and Buda, local interactions between the borderland fortresses of Komárom and Esztergom, and relationships between borderland soldiers, all of whom communicated in the vernacular language of the borderland by the end of the 1570s. A culture of small scale diplomatic practice in the border zones operated somewhat autonomously from the imperial centers that laid claim to them. Each layer had its own strategies for establishing and maintaining cross-border relations. Taken together, these chapters argue that official and vernacular interactions between Habsburg Europe and the Ottoman world must be seen as working in tandem in order to arrive at a better understanding of early modern imperial diplomacy.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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