The Ottoman empire as a political entity comprised most of the present Middle East (with the principal exception of Iran), north Africa and south-eastern Europe. For over 500 years, until its disintegration during World War I, it encompassed a diverse range of ethnic, religious and linguistic communities with varying political and cultural backgrounds.

Yet, was there such a thing as an ‘Ottoman world’ beyond the principle of sultanic rule from Istanbul? Ottoman authority might have been established largely by military conquest, but how was it maintained for so long, over such distances and so many disparate societies? How did provincial regions relate to the imperial centre and what role was played in this by local elites? What did it mean in practice, for ordinary people, to be part of an ‘Ottoman world’?

Arranged in five thematic sections, with contributions from thirty specialist historians, The Ottoman World addresses these questions, examining aspects of the social and socio-ideological composition of this major pre-modern empire, and offers a combination of broad synthesis and detailed investigation that is both informative and intended to raise points for future debate. The Ottoman World provides a unique coverage of the Ottoman empire, widening its scope beyond Istanbul to the edges of the empire, and offers key coverage for students and scholars alike. 

chapter |8 pages


part I|91 pages


chapter 3|16 pages

The Law of the Land

chapter 4|15 pages

A Kadi Court in the Balkans

Sofia in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries

chapter 5|14 pages

Imarets *

part II|102 pages

Ottomans and Others

chapter 7|13 pages

Royal and Other Households *

chapter 8|14 pages

‘On The Tranquillity and Repose of The Sultan' *

The construction of a topos

chapter 9|13 pages

Of Translation And Empire

Sixteenth-century Ottoman imperial interpreters as Renaissance go-betweens

chapter 10|16 pages

Ottoman Languages *

chapter 11|12 pages

Ethnicity, Race, Religion and Social Class

Ottoman markers of difference

chapter 13|19 pages

The Reign Of Violence

The celalis c.1550–1700

part III|86 pages

The Wider Empire

chapter 14|15 pages

Between Universalistic Claims and Reality *

Ottoman frontiers in the early modern period

chapter 15|17 pages

Defending and Administering the Frontier

The case of Ottoman Hungary

chapter 19|13 pages

On The Edges of an Ottoman World

Non-Muslim Ottoman merchants in Amsterdam

part IV|118 pages

Ordinary People

chapter 20|16 pages

Masters, Servants and Slaves

Household formation among the urban notables of early Ottoman Aleppo

chapter 21|12 pages

Subject to the Sultan's Approval

Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century artisans negotiating guild agreements in Istanbul

chapter 23|15 pages

‘Guided by The Almighty‘

The journey of Stephan Schultz in the Ottoman empire, 1752–6

chapter 24|15 pages

The Right To Choice *

Ottoman, ecclesiastical and communal justice in Ottoman Greece

chapter 26|29 pages

Forms and Forums of Expression

Istanbul and beyond, 1600–1800

part V|60 pages

Later Ottomans