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Images of Piracy in Ottoman Literature, 16th to 18th Centuries

Marinos Sariyannis - Principal Researcher, Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Foundation for Research and Technology

 

Abstract

Being one of the dominant phenomena of maritime life in the Mediterranean, piracy was bound to leave its traces in Ottoman literature as well. In particular, popular literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, but also many works of a more learned character, contain several instances of pirates and corsairs, either as heroes and protagonists themselves or as rivals and persecutors of the heroes. This paper analyzes texts such as a pirate novel from the late 17th century, various adventure stories of Ottoman story-tellers (meddah) from the 18th century, as well as more scholarly texts of the 16th and 17th centuries on piracy and on attitudes against it.

 

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