In the Sultan’s Realm: Two Venetian Ambassadorial Reports on the Early Modern Ottoman Empire

Translated and Edited by Eric R Dursteler - TT12

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The final reports, or relazioni, of Venice’s ambassadors are among the most noted historical documents produced in the early modern era. At the end of their service, all Venetian diplomats were expected to deliver a detailed report to the Senate of their activities and an assessment of the polity to which they had been posted. Because of their incisive political analysis and rich ethnographic detail, the reports of Venice’s highly experienced diplomats were greatly valued in their own day, and have been extensively used by scholars since their presentation. The two documents translated in this volume are excellent examples of these final reports, here translated in their entirety for the first time. They provide a detailed snapshot into the Ottoman Empire and its relations with Venice at a time of transition for both of these Mediterranean powers.

Eric R Dursteler is professor and chair of history at Brigham Young University. He is the author of Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (2006) and Renegade Women: Gender, Identity, and Boundaries in the Early Modern Mediterranean (2011), and the author with Monique O’Connell of The Mediterranean World: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Napoleon (2016).

173 pp. 
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2191-4 (Softcover)
Published: 2018


"Dursteler’s translation and edition of two Venetian relazioni offering two glimpses of the Ottoman administration in 1590 and 1609 constitute a splendid introduction to the Ottoman world, Venetian-Ottoman relations, and the workings of early modern diplomacy." - Margaret L. King, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY

"The two relazioni in this volume rank among the most important sources for Ottoman history, the history of Renaissance diplomacy, and the general history of the early modern Mediterranean. Thanks to Dursteler’s sparkling translation, they are now available in English for the first time." - Giancarlo Casale, University of Minnesota


List of Maps and Illustrations

Venice and the Ottoman Empire
The Bailo
The Relazioni
The Relazioni as Historical Sources
The Authors
Lorenzo Bernardo
Ottaviano Bon
The Translation
Additional Reading

Relazione of Lorenzo Bernardo (1590)

Relazione of Ottaviano Bon (1609)



Ottoman Sultans