Helen Pfeifer

Helen Pfeifer teaches Ottoman history at Cambridge. Empire of Salons comes out in November

Global Morality Play: Selimgate

Helen Pfeifer, 1 July 2021

Thedefeat of the Mamluk Empire in 1516-17 is the most significant conquest most people have never heard of. In the space of six months, Ottoman armies marched from Aleppo to Cairo, routed the Muslim Mamluk dynasty and seized territory that is now Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and (parts of) Saudi Arabia. One moment the Ottomans were a regional power, the next they had an empire...

Good to Think With

Helen Pfeifer, 4 June 2020

Injune 1599, with just six months to go until the apocalypse, the Dominican friar Tommaso Campanella and his friends plotted a revolt against Spanish rule in southern Italy. Their plan depended on an agreement with the grand admiral of the Ottoman navy, Ciğalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha, a convert to Islam who was himself of Italian origin (he had last been seen about a year earlier, visiting...

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