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The Ottoman Age of Exploration$
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Giancarlo Casale

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377828

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377828.001.0001

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Selim The Navigator 1512–1520

Selim The Navigator 1512–1520

(p.13) One Selim The Navigator 1512–1520
The Ottoman Age of Exploration

Giancarlo Casale (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the ways in which the opening of a direct Ottoman sea route to the Indies during Selim's reign closely corresponded, in its general contours, with a similar process that had already taken place in Portugal during the 15th century. For the Ottomans, as for the Portuguese before them, this was a process that included three principal components: first, a growing awareness of the cultural and physical geography of an area of the world that was previously almost totally unknown to them; second, a rising interest in the economic potential of trade with the East, most noticeable with reference to the spice trade; and third, the articulation of an entirely new set of political ambitions and imperial claims to universal sovereignty, which would shape the course of future expansion. In order to fully appreciate this parallel development, however, it is necessary to consider the ways in which both the Ottomans and the Portuguese, in the decades before their history of contact with the Indian Ocean had even begun, shared a similar intellectual preparation for the dawning Age of Exploration.

Keywords:   Ottomans, Ottoman Empire, Selim, Portugal, sea route

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