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  • 3 years ago
British-Ottoman Diplomacy and the Making of Maritime Law

British-Ottoman Diplomacy and the Making of Maritime Law

Original release date: 22 August 2015 | E197 | This podcast explores murky boundaries in two senses. The first has to do with Anglo-Ottoman commerce and diplomacy in the early modern period. Like the more well-known case of the the British East India Company in South Asia, British diplomatic representation in Constantinople was also controlled by a corporate entity. Known as the Levant Company, the institution ensured that from the late 16th to the early 19th century there was little distinction between merchants and statesmen when it came to British diplomacy in the Ottoman Empire. The blurred lines gave way to what might be called a “cycle of necessity,” in which British diplomats gave gifts to secure commercial privileges for British merchants who would then fund the diplomats to provide gifts again. Yet the cycle did not always proceed smoothly, and discrepancies between translations of agreements often played a key role in hitches, in the process raising basic yet profound questio