Molly Greene

The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, 1453 to 1774

(Edinburgh University Press)

The period of Ottoman rule in Greek history has undergone a dramatic reassessment in recent years. Long reviled as four hundred years of unrelieved slavery and barbarity (‘the Turkish yoke’), a new generation of scholars, based mainly but not exclusively in Greece, is rejecting this view in favor of a more nuanced picture of the Greek experience in the Ottoman Empire.
This volume considers this new scholarship, most of it in Greek, and makes it accessible for the first time to a wider audience. Molly Greene also discusses the changing views of the Ottoman Empire more generally and assesses what this changing historiography can tell us about this period in Greek history.

The book begins with the conventional date of 1453, the fall of Constantinople, and includes debates over the extent to which 1453 represented a real break with the past. The volume ends with the Russo-Ottoman War of 1768-1774, which brought to an end the relative peace and stability of the Ottoman eighteenth century and helped to usher in the nationalist movements in the region.

Key features:
Covers the period from the arrival of Evrenos Bey in Thessaly in 1400 through to 1770
Depicts a Greek world that is very different, both from the well-known contours of Greek antiquity as well as from the modern nation-state of Greece
Includes illustrations, maps, a timeline and a further reading section
Major Themes:
the fate of the 1,000-year Byzantine heritage
the millet system and Ottoman society
the connections between the Greek population and other members of Ottoman society
the Greeks in a European context


Adjudicating Committee verdict:

Molly Greene’s volume (1453-1774) is an original, subtle account of the social, cultural life of the Greeks within the Ottoman empire. Taking account of the latest scholarship, she carefully re-thinks Christian-Muslim relations, and city versus rural conditions, to derive a rich and complex picture of the region.