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The Ottoman Age of Exploration


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Table of Contents

Introduction: An Empire of the Mind Chapter One: Selim the Navigator (1512-1520) Chapter Two: Ibrahim Pasha and the Age of Reconnaissance (1520-1536) Chapter Three: Hadim Suleiman Pasha's World War (1536-1544) Chapter Four: Rustem Pasha vs. the Indian Ocean Faction (1544-1561) Chapter Five: Sokollu Mehmed Pasha and the Apogee of Ottoman Power in the Indian Ocean (1561-1579) Chapter Six: A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Mir Ali Beg's Expeditions to the Swahili Coast (1579-1589) Chapter Seven: The Death of Politics Bibliography of Cited Works

About the Author

Giancarlo Casale is Assistant Professor of the History of the Islamic World and the 2009-2011 McKnight Land Grant Professor at the University of Minnesota.


"[A]n important work."--The Historian "Far from being bystanders, the Ottomans emerge from Giancarlo Casale's study as key actors in the sixteenth-century age of exploration. Their 1517 conquest of Egypt made the Empire into a major Red Sea power. It also made the Ottoman sultans the Protectors of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina and gave them claims to being the most prestigious Muslim sovereigns. Exploding conventional opinions about the Ottomans as a land-based power, about their lack of prowess in seafaring, about their inward-looking commercial policy, and about their cultural introversion, Casale has produced a study of enduring significance for the history of the Ottoman Empire and of the whole sixteenth-century world."--Carter V. Findley, author of The Turks in World History "Casale has made a major contribution to the intellectual and cultural history of the Ottoman Empire. He shows that the Ottoman conquest of the Arab world was no mere acquisition of territory. Through the Arab lands, the Ottomans discovered the Indian Ocean and embarked on an intellectual journey through the previously unknown world of medieval Arab scholarship."--Molly Greene, Princeton University "This path-breaking account of Ottoman exploration of the Indian Ocean upends a number of assumptions about imperial aspirations, mercantile aptitudes, and modes of expansion and alliance-building. Giancarlo Casale gives us a wonderfully lively narrative of a century of Ottoman rivalry with the Portuguese, against whom the empire deployed technological know-how, persuasive rhetoric, effective political and geographic intelligence, and above all a series of gifted and daring statesmen and seamen."--Leslie Peirce, New York University "Giancarlo Casale challenges the master narrative that portrays Christian Europeans as the sole maritime explorers of the sixteenth century. Making room for the Ottoman Turks will discomfit world historians, but the power and elegance of Casale's argument and the weight of the evidence he presents cannot be denied."--Richard W. Bulliet, Columbia University "Once in a while, one has the opportunity to read a monograph that changes the way you envision a people, empire or event and, thus, changes the way you teach the particular subject in the classroom. Giancarlo Casale's book on the Ottomans in the sixteenth century accomplishes just that. His arguments are sure to spawn interesting debate and will also find their way into classrooms, providing scholars and students confirmation that the Ottomans were agents of change in the Indian Ocean and its spice trade."--Kathy Callahan, World History Bulletin

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