Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Iranian Armenians and Ottoman Catholics in Venice: Extraterritoriality and Diplomacy along the 17th-century Silk Routes

November 30, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Portrait image of Ali Humayun Akhtar standing in front of a brick wall wearing a suit and tie

Monday Seminar:

Ali Humayun Akhtar

Kingdon Fellow (2015-2016)

History/Middle Eastern Studies, New York University; Religious Studies/Classical and Medieval Studies, Bates College

How did pre-modern empires negotiate imperial boundaries while facilitating inter-imperial trade? What was the political place of transimperial diplomat and merchant communities in this trade? This talk highlights the Iranian Armenian community of Esfahan and the Ottoman Latin-rite community of Istanbul, examining comparatively how their fluid legal status in Ottoman and Safavid lands played an important role in shaping the Eurasian silk routes to Venice.

Ali Humayun Akhtar is an Assistant Professor at Bates College and is an historian of government, religion, and economy. His research focuses on networks of diplomats, scholars, and merchants who connected Mediterranean Europe with the Middle East and Central Asia in the medieval and early modern eras. His first book traces the political debates over Graeco-Arabic philosophy and Sufism from Cordoba to Cairo (10th-12th centuries) as a larger window into the contested nature of political and religious authority in the medieval world. He is currently working on a new book on law and economy along the Safavid and Ottoman silk routes to Venice (16th-17th centuries). Before arriving at Bates College in 2012, he taught at Bard College and New York University. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. at New York University in History and Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. at Cornell University.


November 30, 2015
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States