On Nov. 7, Nabil Al-Tikriti presented a paper entitled “The 1502-1504 Correspondence Between Şehzade Korkud and the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem” to the Mediterranean in History Workshop, which took place on Nov. 7-8 in Venice, Italy. The workshop, which brought together some 24 experts in early modern Mediterranean maritime history, primarily from Italy and Turkey, was hosted by Universita Ca’ Foscari’s Department of Asian and North African Studies, the Archivio di Stato di Venezia, and the region of Venice. Co-organizers included Piri Reis Universitesi and the International Association of Maritime Studies (IAMS). Invited by the conference organizers, Prof. Al-Tikriti presented an English translation and analysis of several letters exchanged between the Ottoman prince Korkud and the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, then based in Rhodes. Organizers plan to complete an edited volume of conference presentations in the months to come.
Following the workshop, with the additional support of UMW’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation, Prof. Al-Tikriti spent Nov. 9-10 visiting sites of historical, cultural, and pedagogical interest in advance of the Cultural Capitals Summer Study Course. This course, which Prof. Al-Tikriti plans to co-lead in the summer of 2015 with Prof. Joseph Romero of the Classics, Philosophy, and Religion Department, will take students to London, Paris, Venice, and Rome. During this three and half week course, students will earn six credits after completing several study projects. In an effort to strengthen course content in the Venice portion of the course, Prof. Al-Tikriti visited numerous sites throughout the city, fostered local contacts, and attained preliminary approval to lead students through certain closed facilities of historical and cultural interest.
Here is Prof. Al-Tikriti’s paper abstract for the workshop:
“Just at the turn of the sixteenth century there broke out a nasty little war between a Vatican-brokered Christian alliance and the Ottomans, which included a major push to siege the port of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. In the immediate aftermath of this siege, and conclusion of hostilities, the Ottoman prince, Korkud, who had been in command of the province under siege was transferred from his Aegean post of Manisa to the Mediterranean post of Antalya. Although it remains unclear why this transfer happened, or whether it was a promotion or a demotion, it appears likely that the prince was tasked with managing the highly sensitive and dangerous relationship with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
In this paper, I plan to explore in detail the extended correspondence which Korkud and the Knights subsequently exchanged between August 1502 and July 1504. In the course of these exchanges, the two parties engaged in a series of negotiations attempting to regularize relations between the two hostile parties and complete several highly sensitive prisoner exchanges. Through an exploration of this correspondence, as well as the relevant narrative sources surrounding this relationship during these years, I plan to draw some preliminary conclusions concerning the nature of Ottoman-Knights relations, the protocols of captivity, and the modalities of conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean during this period.”