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Research Seminar: The Social Lives of Soldier-Scholars: Friendship Books from Habsburg-Ottoman Battlefields and Rethinking the History of the Long Turkish War

Radway RS
Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 12:40 pm – 1:30 pm

Scholarly consensus on the Long Turkish War (1591–1606) generally falls into two camps: it was either a turning point in Habsburg-Ottoman relations leading to an extended period of peace, or it was an indecisive series of sieges which produced heavy losses and few results. In this talk, I introduce a body of previously unknown sources from the war: a set of friendship albums or alba amicorum used during and immediately following the sieges of Esztergom, Szekesfehervar, Buda, and Pest. These sources allow historians a glimpse of the social and intellectual currents that briefly took root in the "reconquered" territories of Ottoman Hungary. Amid the chaotic exchange of fortresses, captives, and banners, these albums show how individuals grappled with the effects of sixty years of Ottoman rule inscribed on an urban landscape now being claimed by Rudolf II. They also reveal soldiers and officers negotiating their own imperial entanglements. As part of my new project, I want to raise two central questions: how do these albums encourage a reconsideration of the Long Turkish War and how might they contribute towards a "new military history"?

For joining the seminar via Zoom, click here.

Meeting ID: 910 4231 1206
Passcode: 457034

CEMS Research Seminars are informal, lunchtime gatherings at which CEMS members present their current or recent research in a friendly, low-stakes environment. The presentations are brief (15-20mins) and ample time is left for discussion. The idea is to become more familiar with one another's research and encourage conversations within CEMS. In this way, we hope to strengthen the internal community and benefit from the excellent scholarship in which our colleagues are engaged.