Institute for Mediterranean Studies

JaNet

Janissaries in Ottoman Port-Cities: Muslim Financial and Political Networks in the Early Modern Mediterranean

JaNet investigates the economic and sociopolitical role of the Janissaries in the 18th and early 19th centuries through their examination as a complex of interconnected networks in the ‘extended Mediterranean’ (including major Black Sea and Danubian ports). By studying the Janissary corps, the project brings forward a radically new historical analysis concerning, on the one hand, the role of Muslims in the Ottoman and wider Mediterranean commercial economy – a role largely ignored by the bibliography – and, on the other, the processes that led to the creation of diasporas and the dissemination of people and ideas among various Muslim communities in the area.

 Principal Investigator: Dr. Yannis Spyropoulos 

Funded by: European Research Council – Starting Grant 2019

JaNet investigates the economic and sociopolitical role of the Janissaries in the 18th and early 19th centuries through their examination as a complex of interconnected networks in the ‘extended Mediterranean’ (including major Black Sea and Danubian ports). By studying the Janissary corps, the project brings forward a radically new historical analysis concerning, on the one hand, the role of Muslims in the Ottoman and wider Mediterranean commercial economy – a role largely ignored by the bibliography – and, on the other, the processes that led to the creation of diasporas and the dissemination of people and ideas among various Muslim communities in the area.

According to the project’s thesis, in the period under examination, the Janissary corps became one of the main channels for the participation of various Muslim social strata of the Ottoman periphery in the Empire’s developing credit market and commercial life, as well as a gateway for their involvement in local and imperial politics. Moreover, it became a platform for the exchange of people, goods, and ideas between different localities covering a vast geographical area. When examined from a Mediterranean perspective, this view allows us to look beyond the information provided by Europe-centered sources and to drastically redefine the sociopolitical and financial role of Muslims in the area, an approach which historical analysis sorely lacks.

HOST INSTITUTION: IMS/FORTH

Research team ΙΜS/FORTH:

  • Ass. Prof. Demetris Papastamatiou, Senior Researcher
  • Dr. Anna Sydorenko, Post-doctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Abdulmennan Altıntaş, Post-doctoral Researcher
  • Dr. Youssef ben Ismail, Post-doctoral Researcher
  • Maria Fragopoulou, Coordination and Communication Assistant

 

COLLABORATING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS

  1. ISTANBUL MEDENİYET UNIVERSITY (Second Beneficiary of the GA), Istanbul, Turkey
    • Associate Prof. Mehmet Mert Sunar  
  2. IZMIR KÂTİP ÇELEBİ UNIVERSITY (Third Beneficiary of the GA), Izmir, Turkey
    • Associate Prof. İrfan Kokdaş
    • Dr. Aysel Yıldız 
  3. UNIVERSITY OF DJILALI BOUNAÂMA KHEMIS-MILIANA (Third Party), Khemis-Miliana, Algeria 
    • Assistant Prof. Fahima Amrioui 

Project Team

Anna Sydorenko

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Maria Ernest Fragopoulou

Research & Coordination Assistant (RICONTRANS & JaNet Projects)
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 849911)