Contemporary Ottoman Views of Catherine the Great

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Abstract

This article is the first to examine views of the Russian empress Catherine the Great (r. 1762–96) in the contemporary eighteenth-century Ottoman Empire. Drawing on Turkish chronicles, embassy reports, and captivity narratives, it reveals extreme hostility but also a fascination with Catherine, whom the sources depict variously as a foreign interloper, usurper, regicide, and trial sent by God. Rather than simple misogyny, the article argues that this vilification stemmed in large part from an Ottoman rejection of Catherine’s legitimacy as well as from their close personal identification of her with the two empires’ geopolitical struggles.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
Early online date22 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2019