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Communities on the Verge: Unraveling the Phanariot Ascendancy in Ottoman Governance

  • Christine Philliou (a1)

Phanariots were an Ottoman Christian elite which, despite structural impediments, imperial ideology, and religious doctrine that would preclude their participation in Ottoman governance, ascended to power in multiple political arenas between the 1660s and 1821. Their rise came about just as the larger imperium was undergoing profound military and political crises precipitated by both internal threats and periodic invasions by the Russian and Habsburg Empires. While some Phanariots were stalwart servants of the sultan, others exacerbated these crises, allying with Russian officials and planning a secessionist uprising that would later unfold into the Greek War of Independence. Their ascendancy, however, is an Ottoman story—a specific outcome of Ottoman responses to the dilemmas of empire in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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Stanford Shaw's Between Old and New: The Ottoman Empire under Selim III 1789–1807 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971)

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Paschalis Kitromilides , Enlightenment as Social Criticism: Iosipos Moisiodax and Greek Culture in the Eighteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992)

Christine Philliou , “Mischief in the Old Regime: Provincial Dragomans and Social Change at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century,” New Perspectives on Turkey 25 (Fall 2001): 103–21

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Charles King , The Black Sea: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
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