Research Article


DOI :10.26650/iutd.202207   IUP :10.26650/iutd.202207    Full Text (PDF)

The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto

Volkan Dökmeci

The diplomatic missions of Venice’s dragomans and language boys in Constantinople during the difficult political climate of the Conquest of Cyprus and the Naval Battle of Lepanto are the focus of this essay. The release and the exchange of the captives and the resolution of the border contraversions constituted their focus. This article evaluates and analyzes the negotiation methods that the dragomans adopted when they made a contribution to the settlement of the aforementioned problems. The deliberations of the Senate and the letters of the Bailo of the Venetian State Archive were utilized as the primary resources other than secondary resources such as some Italian history books and researchers’ articles.

DOI :10.26650/iutd.202207   IUP :10.26650/iutd.202207    Full Text (PDF)

Kıbrıs ve İnebahtı Seferleri Sırasında Venedik Dragomanlarının Diplomatik Rolleri

Volkan Dökmeci

Bu makalenin temel konusu, İstanbul’daki Venedik dragomanları ve dil oğlanlarının Kıbrıs’ın fethi ve İnebahtı Deniz Savaşı’nın meşakkatli siyasi ortamında gerçekleştirdikleri diplomatik görevlerdir. Esirlerin azadı ve değiş tokuşu ve hudut ihtilaflarının çözümü onların odak noktasını oluşturmuştur. Bu makale, dragomanların bahsi geçen meselelerin çözümüne katkı sağlarken benimsedikleri müzakere yöntemlerini değerlendirmekte ve analiz etmektedir. Birtakım İtalyanca tarih kitapları ve bazı araştırmacıların makaleleri gibi ikincil kaynakların yanı sıra, Venedik Devlet Arşivi’nde bulunan Senato kararları ve Baylos mektupları gibi birincil kaynaklardan da istifade edilmiştir.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


Through the deliberation of the Collegio on February 20, 1550, two voluntary private notaries (nodaro/notario) in the service of the Duchal Chancellery or two Venetian citizens who were not notaries might have been sent to Constantinople with the title of language boy. These language boys had a five years’ education in Turkish, Arabic, and Persian from the School of the Language Boys (La Scuola dei Giovanni di Lingua) which was founded at the residence of the Bailo. There they undertook translation issues with their assignments to the translation office. Besides, the Venetian government required them to be at least 20 years old and to have served for at least for five years. Its principal goal was to ensure a more productive continuance of Venetian–Ottoman relations; to achieve this goal, the translation office had to be transformed into a solid institution with an educational body. The Bailo also had the responsibility of supervising the aforementioned school, presenting a two years’ report to the government to inform about the abilities, performance, and degree of advancement of the first language apprentices. The School of the Language Boys had to cope with two major problems in its process of establishment. 

The first one was the plague, and it appeared several times in Constantinople in the 16th century including the years 1551, 1552, 1553, 1560, 1568, 1575, 1590, and 1592. The second problem was the high prices of the Turkish, Arabic, and Persian language books, which were used in the courses of the language boys. The Ottomans copied these language books by hand, never allowing them to be printed. Because of this attitude, the aforementioned books were so expensive. The issues were dealt with by Bailo Antonio Erizzo; he was on duty between 1554 and 1556. In addition to these problems, the Turkish tutor of the language boys was not qualified in Italian and this created a problem of connection between the tutor and his students. 

The diplomatic missions of Venice’s dragomans and language boys in Constantinople during the difficult political climate of the Conquest of Cyprus and the Naval Battle of Lepanto are the focus of this essay. The release and the exchange of the captives and the resolution of the border contraversions constituted their focus. This article evaluates and analyzes the negotiation methods that the dragomans adopted when they made a contribution to the settlement of the aforementioned problems. The deliberations of the Senate and the letters of the Bailo of the Venetian State Archive were utilized as the primary resources other than secondary resources such as some Italian history books and researchers’ articles.

In this article, it was emphasized that the dragomans of Venice had to be very competent in the Ottoman society, palace, governing class, law, commerce, politics, and the current affairs of the Ottoman land besides having a brilliant comprehension of the select languages. They were entrusted with multitudinous important diplomatic missions on the condition that they were superintended by the Bailos and the Extraordinary Envoys.  

The article also discusses and analyzes in detail when and how the dragomans were included in the aforementioned matters, the regions where they were commissioned and how they affected the process of negotiation and found a solution. Within this context, the Grand Dragoman, who was acting on the Bailo’s orders, negotiated with the Ottoman governing class on these matters. For example, following the Naval Battle of Lepanto, the Dragoman Matteca Salvago dealt with border and debt concerns while also participating in negotiations for the release of the hostages. When he came to the presence of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha, he reported about the Muslim and the Jewish merchants who were the subjects of the Ottoman Empire and were imprisoned in Venice. He also shared with the Grand Vizier the information about their properties. In return for their liberation, he requested for the restitution of the captives who were the subjects of the Venetian Republic and taken as a captive in the Ottoman ruled soils, such as Constantinople, Alexandria, and Syria. In the same period, the Venetian Senate sent the Dragoman Giacomo Ragazzoni to Constantinople. He, like Salvago, was tasked with informing the Ottoman governing class about the Ottoman captives and their properties’ predicament. He informed the Grand Vizier of the Senate’s deliberations and reports on the aforementioned issues. For his travel expenses, he was paid 500 ducats. The Ottoman–Venetian exchange of captives also included Rome. The Dragoman Bartolomeo the 1st Bruti was an intermediary for the restitution of some leading Muslim captives and their conduct to Ancona. The four sons of Müezzinzâde Ali Pasha, namely, Şahin, Melikbuğ, Ahmed, and Mehmed were also rescued with thousands of captives. 


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APA

Dökmeci, V. (2022). The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto. Turkish Journal of History, 0(76), 127-143. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207


AMA

Dökmeci V. The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto. Turkish Journal of History. 2022;0(76):127-143. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207


ABNT

Dökmeci, V. The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto. Turkish Journal of History, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 76, p. 127-143, 2022.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Dökmeci, Volkan,. 2022. “The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto.” Turkish Journal of History 0, no. 76: 127-143. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207


Chicago: Humanities Style

Dökmeci, Volkan,. The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto.” Turkish Journal of History 0, no. 76 (Feb. 2023): 127-143. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207


Harvard: Australian Style

Dökmeci, V 2022, 'The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto', Turkish Journal of History, vol. 0, no. 76, pp. 127-143, viewed 4 Feb. 2023, https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Dökmeci, V. (2022) ‘The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto’, Turkish Journal of History, 0(76), pp. 127-143. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207 (4 Feb. 2023).


MLA

Dökmeci, Volkan,. The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto.” Turkish Journal of History, vol. 0, no. 76, 2022, pp. 127-143. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207


Vancouver

Dökmeci V. The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto. Turkish Journal of History [Internet]. 4 Feb. 2023 [cited 4 Feb. 2023];0(76):127-143. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207 doi: 10.26650/iutd.202207


ISNAD

Dökmeci, Volkan. The Diplomatic Roles of The Dragomans of Venice During the Campaigns in Cyprus and Lepanto”. Turkish Journal of History 0/76 (Feb. 2023): 127-143. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.202207



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Submitted02.12.2021
Accepted21.01.2022
Published Online16.03.2022

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