Education and identity in Constantinople
17 Pages
English
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Education and identity in Constantinople's Latin Rite community, c ...

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17 Pages
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Education and identity in Constantinople's Latin Rite community, c ...

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This is a revised version of a paper presented at the conference of the Renaissance Society of America in Chicago, Illinois, February 2001. Special thanks to Chris Carlsmith for his insights into early modern educa-tion. The research for this paper was made possible by grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and Brigham Young University. Per Whit . 1  Previously, scholars tended to organize greater Constantinople into sharply delineated, ethnic enclaves. For Robert Mantran, for example, Galata was the ‘City of the Infidels’, and Constantinople proper the ‘City of the Ottomans’. Robert Mantran, ˆ stanbul dans la seconde moitié du XVIIe siècle (Paris, 1962), 78 –9; see also Paolo Preto, Venezia e i turchi  (Florence, 1975). Recent research has convincingly challenged this clean division. See Edhem Eldem, ‘Istanbul: from imperial to peripheralized capital’, in Edhem Eldem, Daniel Goffman and Bruce Masters (eds), The Ott  (Cambrid e, 1999), 142–58. 2  P. Matkovic, ‘Itinerario d o i m M a a n r c C i t A y n b t et o w n e i e o n P E i a g s a t f e a t n ta d , WSetstarine , xxii (g1890),113;A.H.deGroot,TheDutch nat 3 ioninIstanbul16001985.Acon,triinbuNti.oBnatrooztzhieasnodciGa.lhBiesrtcohryeto(feBdes)y,og L l e u’ R , elAazniaotnoilicdae , g li 1 4 s ta ( t 1 i 987), 131– 3.  ‘Relazione di Simone Contarini europei . . . nel secolo decimosettimo, Turchia (2 vols, Venice, 1871–2), i , 153 – 4; Collegio – Relazioni (henceforth CollRel), b. 4, fols 81 v 84 v ‘Relaz Tie olo’ , . 4  M. A. Belin, Hi i s o to n i e r e d d i e L la o r L e a n ti z n o i B e d r e n C a o r n d s o tantin p ople (Paris, 1894 2 ), 244; Bailo a Costantinopoli (henceforth BAC), b. 278, reg. 399, np, 22 January 1628; Bartolomé Bennassar and Lucile Bennassar, Les chrétiens d’Allah: l’histoire éxtraordinaire des renégats, XVIe–XVIIe siècles (Paris, 1989), 235; Senato Dispacci – Costantinopoli (hence-forth SDC), b. 18, fols 435 r–v , 18 February 1583 (MV), Gianfrancesco Morosini to X. See also, BAC, b. 278, reg. 400, fol. 60 v , 12 June 1615. © 2004 The Society for Renaissance Studies, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Early modern Constantinople was one of the chief crossroads of the Medi-terranean: it was a cultural middle ground in which East and West met and mixed. As one traveller observed, Constantinople and its chief suburb Galata 1 were a cultural mosaic: ‘The natural inhabitants of this city are Greeks, Turks and Jews; infinite then the other men of various and distant nations who are living here’. 2 The heterogeneous makeup of Constantinople led Europeans to view the city as a liminal space, a place of danger. A Venetian diplomat wrote that Constantinople ‘may be called a golden vase full of poison, and a Paradise inhabited by spirits of Hell, because there is not a vice in the universe that is not found in her’. Another observer opined that ‘the liberty of Turkish living . . . would have the power to make a saint a devil’. 3 Constantinople was especially dangerous for women and children, considered spiritually weaker and morally ‘more exposed to the pressures of the Muslims’. One Venetian bailo (ambassador and consul at the Porte) recommended that youths under the age of twenty not be allowed in the city as ‘once they arrive here we run the manifest peril that they be stolen by Turks with the loss of their souls’. 4
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Eric Dursteler
Renaissance Studies Vol. 18 No. 2