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Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul (Lera Research Volume) Hardcover – December 7, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Rothman's investigation is based on an impressive volume of untapped Venetian primary sources and is backed by copious notes and a vast bibliography. Her incisive analytical approach and persuasive argumentation are combined with a vivid and colorful narrative, richly illustrated by biographical accounts of trans-imperial subjects. This is undoubtedly an important study, with broad implications for a reevaluation of early modern European history."

-- David Jacoby, Sixteenth Century Journal

"Rothman's work wonderfully illustrates a point that ethnographers and historians of race have come to understand in general terms, but that has a much wider significance and deserves a much broader audience.... Whether ancestral, religious, gendered, or ethnic, categories of difference are political constructs that those who do the categorising create and those who are categorised ultimately undermine. Therein lies the potentially liberating relationship between structure and human agency. Natalie Rothman's important and erudite book is a salutary reminder of that potential."

-- Sally McKee, English Historical Review

"E. Natalie Rothman's important and groundbreaking book focuses on persons she dubs trans-imperial subjects. Focusing on the period from the Battle of Lepanto (1571) until the end of the War of Crete (1669), Rothman argues that persons who inhabited and negotiated the interstices between the Venetian and the Ottoman empires served as 'imperial boundary-markers.’ Brokering Empire is a model of careful research, especially in its subtle analysis of petitions and trial records. Very few first books challenge longstanding assumptions and accepted verities and make readers want to head straight to the archives to dig further. Rothman’s book does both. This is a book that deserves a wide and attentive readership, one not confined to those interested in the history of the Venetian and Ottoman empires."

, Renaissance Quarterly

"Consistent in her anthropological method of working on institutional sites, Rothman creates a site, or rather, an archive of various texts and documents in which the term Levantine is used. From that site she then reads its Mediterranean genealogy of alterity. Throughout the book, Rothman's analysis is supported by extensive references and quotations from the sources, and several appendices, which all bring the sites of research and those who 'inhabit' them to the close proximity of the reader."

-- Snjezana Buzov, Journal of Modern History

"Brokering Empire is a dense and rich study of 'trans-imperial subjects', and the intermediaries who moved between Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Rothman argues that between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the way in which Ottoman difference was described in Venice evolved profoundly, from a legal and commercial conception to a more cultural one, based mainly on ethnicity, language and religion. But as she shows throughout this accomplished and stimulating book, identities were fluid, as was the way in which people interacted in Venetian society in the early modern period."

-- Claire Judde de Larivière, European History Quarterly

"The history of trade and diplomacy between Venice and the Ottoman Empire is quite in favor these days and an important contribution is made by E. Natalie Rothman.... Just as the First Crusade benefited the Byzantine Empire and set up what were called for a couple of centuries crusader states, so trade with the East through Venice, chiefly, rearranged political realities and relationships between people."

, Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance


"It has been a long time since a book surprised me, which Brokering Empire did again and again. It represents a rare breakthrough in conception and research. E. Natalie Rothman reveals how early modern Venetian and Ottoman territories and spheres of influence were constantly shaped and reshaped through interactions among people and institutions."

-- Edward Muir, Northwestern University

Product details

  • Item Weight : 0.988 ounces
  • Hardcover : 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0801449073
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0801449079
  • Product Dimensions : 6.12 x 1.06 x 9.25 inches
  • Reading level : 18 and up
  • Publisher : Cornell University Press; 1st Edition (December 7, 2011)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 3 ratings