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Phanariot Knowledge Transfer in Context

11.04.2024 - 12.04.2024

Internationaler Workshop organisiert vom SFB-Teilprojekt C06 „Transfer und Überlagerung. Wissenskonfigurationen in der Zeit der griechischen homines novi im Osmanischen Reich (1641–1769)“

The workshop is designed to round off the series of workshops organized by the project in the past years, which were dedicated to the diverse branches of knowledge and knowledge transfers in the intellectual and cultural context of the early Phanariot elite (https://www.sfb-episteme.de/teilprojekte/handeln/C06/Workshops/index.html). It aims to explore in what ways the project’s research results (Miltos Pechlivanos, Kostas Sarris, Nikolas Pissis) relate to, confirm, expand or challenge the state of the art on the field of the history of knowledge in Ottoman Southeastern Europe and to mark out perspectives of further research and cooperation.

Thus, the workshop brings together specialists particularly of Ottoman as well as Romanian history in order to discuss the broader historical, spatial and cultural contexts of Phanariot knowledge in motion. Beginning with the founder of the Mavrokordatos’ dynasty, the Grand Dragoman Alexandros-İskerletzâde, the workshop will host papers examining him foremost as an Ottoman dignitary (Μüberra Kapusuz, Konstantinos Poulios). Both his son and successor, Nikolaos, and the latter’s son, Konstantinos, acquaintance with Islamic book culture, as well as their positioning in current debates in the Ottoman and Western European milieus will be the subject of papers investigating their erudite activities (Nir Shafir, Nikos Panou). The contextualization of Alexandros, Nikolaos and Konstantinos Mavrokordatos in the cultural and political setting of the Danubian Principalities will be adressed by Ovidiu Olar and Radu G. Păun.

Moreover, the workshop intends to expand its focus onto the aftermath of the Mavrokordatos-dynasty’s ascendancy and onto the “Phanariot century” as a whole. To this purpose it will host contributions on cultural transfers in late eighteenth-century Phanariot courts (Constanţa Vintilă), on perceptions and assessments of the Mavrokordatos-dynasty in Romanian writings up to the early nineteenth-century (Konrad Petrovszky) as well as on the contribution of the first Mavorkordati in the formation of the “Phanariot complex” that prevailed from mid-eighteenth century up to the Greek Revolution of 1821 (Christine Philliou).


Thursday, 11th April 2024

Kostas Sarris, FU Berlin, and Nikolas Pissis, Ionian University, Corfu


Konstantinos Poulios, EUI, Florence

Alexandros Mavrokordatos: A Late-Seventeenth Century Career Ottoman ‘Diplomat’

17:00 Coffee break

Μüberra Kapusuz, EUI, Florence
The Grand Dragoman İskerletzâde Alexandros in the Ottoman Archives: Diplomacy, Property and Family

Ovidiu-Victor Olar, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

The Master of Oracles: Alexandros Mavrokordatos in Dimitrie Cantemir's Hieroglyphic History (Constantinople, c. 1706)

Respondent: Kostas Sarris, FU Berlin

20:00 Dinner

Friday, 12th April 2024

09:30 Coffee

Miltos Pechlivanos, FU Berlin
Revisiting the libraries of the Mavrokordatos Oikos: the French book

Nir Shafir, UC San Diego

The Islamic Library of Constantine Mavrokordatos

Radu Păun, CNRS, Paris

Three tales, one story: Circulating Governance Ideas and Practices between the Bosphorus and the Danube

Respondent: Ovidiu-Victor Olar, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

13:00 Lunch

Konrad Petrovszky, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

The image of the Mavrokordatoi in the Wallachian and Moldavian historiography (late 18th - early 19th century)

Nikos Panou, Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton (online)

Nikolaos Mavrokordatos Against Tobacco

16:00 Coffee Break

Constanța Vintilă, Institute “Nicolae Iorga”, Bucharest
Knowledge at the Courts of the Phanariots: Cultural Transfers in Moldavian and Wallachian Context

Christine Philliou, UC Berkeley

Dilemmas of ‘imperium in imperio’: Phanariots after the Mavrokordatoi, 1769-1821

Respondent: Nikolas Pissis, Ionian University, Corfu

Concluding Discussion


Zeit & Ort

11.04.2024 - 12.04.2024

Freie Universität Berlin
Villa des SFB Episteme in Bewegung
Schwendenerstraße 8
14195 Berlin-Dahlem