A Shared World
Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean. Princeton Modern Greek Studies
Here, Molly Greene moves beyond the hostile "Christian" versus "Muslim" divide that has colored many historical interpretations of the early modern Mediterranean and reveals a society with a far richer set of cultural and social dynamics. She focuses on Crete, which the Ottoman Empire wrested from Venetian control in 1669. Historians of Europe have traditionally viewed the victory as a watershed, the final step in the Muslim conquest of the eastern Mediterranean and the obliteration of Crete's thriving Latin-based culture. But to what extent did the conquest actually change life on Crete? Greene brings a new perspective to bear on this episode and on the eastern Mediterranean in general. She argues that no sharp divide separated the Venetian and Ottoman eras because the Cretans were already part of a world where Latin Christians, Muslims, and Eastern Orthodox Christians had been intermingling for several centuries, particularly in the area of commerce. The true push for change in the region would come later, from northern Europe.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
A much needed reinterpretation of a remarkable period in Crete's history. -- Vernon Egger History This book ... is one of big ideas... The reader is left feeling that Greene not only proposes bold ideas, but undergirds them with serious, and carefully interpreted, primary research. -- K.E. Fleming American Historical Review