Chapter

The Fortress: Defining and Mapping the Ottoman Frontier in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

PALMIRA BRUMMETT

in The Frontiers of the Ottoman World

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780197264423
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734793 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264423.003.0002

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Fortress: Defining and Mapping the Ottoman Frontier in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

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The frontiers of the Ottoman Empire, like frontiers elsewhere in the early modern world, were not defined and represented in terms of linear boundaries. The fortress was possessed space, occupied by the soldiers or subordinates (long-term or temporary) of a sovereign entity. Control of territory and of trade routes was counted, in terms of the submission of fortresses. It is that counting and mapping which this chapter proposes to consider. Early modern fortress images vary from the architecturally correct, complete with keys to various features, to the highly impressionistic, to the simply iconic. Maps also show the rhetorical fortress — an emblem of possession. To illustrate that characteristic, this chapter presents a set of maps of fortresses on the Ottoman-Hapsburg-Venetian frontier. These images suggest the ways in which the fortress served to define Ottoman frontiers in the early modern imagination and to stamp sovereignty onto contested regional space.

Keywords: fortress maps; geography; Ottoman Empire; confrontation sites; Ottoman frontiers; Ottoman-Hapsburg-Venetian frontier

Chapter.  8281 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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