93295 - History of the Ottoman Empire (1)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to apply the main techniques for understanding the cultural and historical processes leading to the formation and development of the Ottoman Empire, whether in the specific geo-historical context or through interaction witih other cultural worlds such as Western Christendom, Islam, Byzantium and Central Asia. They will be able to place political, religious and cultural phenomena in historical context, critically examining the interconnections (including comparison with other cultural areas), and use specific cases to illustrate the multicultural dimension of the Ottoman Empire. They will recognise and analyse documentary and textual sources pertaining to the area in question. They will know how to listen, understand and debate respectfully with different cultures and viewpoints, spotting tie-ups among the different disciplines involved in interpreting cultural and historical phenomena.

Course contents

History of the Ottoman Empire: Society, Politics, and Culture

The seminar series intend to deal with the Ottoman history from the 13th to the 20th centuries, from the birth of the Ottoman principality in Anatolia to the end of the empire with the First World War. Political and military developments that brought about the expansion and the dissolution of the empire will be studied alongside the social, cultural, and intellectual aspects. During the course, the consolidation and the expansion of the empire and the crises and reforms of the late Ottoman era will be discussed. 



Monday 15.00-17.00

Tuesday 15.00-17.00

Wednesday 15.00-17.00


1. Compulsory Reading:

Suraiya Faroqhi, L’impero ottomano (traduzione di Lea Nocera), Bologna: il Mulino, 2018.

2. Further Readings:

  1. Erik Jan Zurcher, Porta d’Oriente. Una storia della Turchia dal Settecento a oggi (traduzione di Stefania Micheli e Andrea Piccoli), Roma: Donzelli, 2016, pp. 5-200.
  2. Federico Donelli, Islam e Pluralismo: La coabitazione religiosa nell’Impero ottomano, Firenze: Le Monnier Università, 2017.
  3. Giorgio del Zanna, La fine dell’impero ottomano, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013.
  4. Karen Barkey, Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  5. Leslie Peirce, The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  6. Noel Malcolm, Utili nemici: Islam e Impero ottomano nel pensiero politico occidentale, 1450-1750, (traduzione di Jadel Andreetto), Milano: Hoepli. 2020.
  7. Robert Mantran, La vita quotidiana a Costantinopoli ai tempi di Solimano il Magnifico e dei suoi successori XVI-XVII secoli, Milano: Rizzoli, 1992.
  8. Sean McMeekin, Il crollo dell’Impero ottomano. La guerra, la rivoluzione, e la nascita del moderno Medio Oriente 1908-1923, Torino: Einaudi, 2017.
  9. Stefano Trinchese (a cura di), Le cinque dita del sultano. Turchi Armeni Arabi Greci ed Ebrei nel continente mediterraneo del ‘900, L’Acquilia: Textus, 2005.
  10. Vahakn N. Dadrian, Storia del genocidio armeno, conflitti nazionali dei Balcani al Caucaso, (a cura di A. Arslan, B. L. Zekiyan, traduzione di A. F. D’Arcais), Milano: Guerini, 2003.

Teaching methods

Each seminar includes a lecture and a discussion part.

Assessment methods

Those who attend at least 22 hours over 30 will be considered as attending students.

The exam will take place as an oral interview which is based on the themes and the readings cited above. 

Those who cannot attend the course should read this book alongside the Faroqhi's:

  • Donald Quataert, L’Impero ottomano 1700-1922 (traduzione di Federica Borgogno e Chiara Pasquini), Roma: Salerno Editrice, 2013.

The final mark will be based on these assesments:

A good knowledge of the readings, critical and analytical skills, and knowledge of the academic language treated in the class will bring a good grade.

Acceptable knowledge of the readings and less ability of using the academic language will bring a sufficient grade.

Fragmented knowledge of the readings and weak critical capacity, and inability to use the academic language will be bring a low grade. 



Teaching tools

Power point presentations

Short documentaries and interviews with the historians 

Office hours

See the website of Cigdem Oguz