Giancarlo Casale

Giancarlo CasaleProfessor of Early Modern History of the Mediterranean



Fields of research

  • Ottoman History
  • Comparative Early Modern Empires
  • Mediterranean and Indian Ocean History
  • History of Geography and Cartography

Current Research Projects

I am currently working on a history of the Renaissance from the perspective of the early modern Ottoman Empire.  It begins with the simple but surprising fact that the name members of the Ottoman elite used for themselves was not "Ottoman" or "Turk," but rather "Roman."  My research asks to what extent this self-conception as "Roman" intersected with contemporary ideas of the Renaissance about the heritage of classical Greco-Roman antiquity, and what this meant for the emerging concept of "Europe." In addition to my work on this book, I am involved in several smaller projects, including a study of ethnographic modes of writing in Ottoman Turkish, the development of Ottoman naval technology, and a geo-historical study of the earthquake of Dubrovnik in 1667.  Since 2011, I have also served as executive editor of the Journal of Early Modern History.


  • English
  • Italian
  • Turkish
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Arabic


For appointments please contact the Administrative Assistant: Miriam Curci

  • Postal address: 
    Department of History and Civilization 
    Via Bolognese 156 
    50139 Florence - Italy

Office SAMN211 at Villa Salviati, Manica

Current seminars at the EUI

Selected Recent Publications

  •  Prisoner of the Infidels: The Memoir of an Ottoman Muslim in Seventeenth-Century Europe by Osman of Timişoara (Berkeley: University of California Press, Forthcoming 2021).

  • “Le Conquiste di Cortés al Palazzo Topkapı: Una microstoria globale?” in Vittoria Fiorelli, ed., Tracce di Impero: Cortés tra Napoli e Nuovo Occidente (Napoli: Editoriale Scientifica, 2020), 79-102. 

  • “Invented Tradition and the Ottoman Worldview,” Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, 7/1 (2020): 20-23.
  • "Did Alexander the Great Discover America?: Debating Space and Time in Renaissance Istanbul," Renaissance Quarterly 72/3 (2019): 863-919.
  • Riyyās al-Baḥr al-Hindī: ʿAṣr al-Istikshāf al-ʿOthmānī [Arabic translation of The Ottoman Age of Exploration, with original preface from the author], translated by Mostafa Kassem (Kuwait, National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters: 2018).
  • “Vespucci and the Ottomans: New Worlds for All? A Description of the Americas in Seydi Ali Reis’s Book of the Surrounding Sea,”in A. Cattaneo and F. Contente Domingues, eds., Mundus Novus: New Worlds, Ancient Worlds (Bern: Peter Lang, 2018)
  • "An Ottoman Humanist on the Long Road to Egypt: Salih Celalzade's Tarih-i Misr al-Cedid," Dyntran Working Papers no.30 (Online: October 2017).
  • Political Theory and Early Modern Frontiers (A special issue of the Journal of Early Modern History, 19, no.6 (2015).
  • “The Islamic Empires of the Early Modern World,” in J. Bentley, M. Wiesner-Hanks, and S. Subrahmanyam eds., Cambridge World History, Vol.6: The Construction of a Global World, 1400-1800 CE, Part 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • “Tordesillas and the Ottoman Caliphate: Early Modern Frontiers and the Renaissance of an Ancient Islamic Institution,” Journal of Early Modern History 19/6 (2015)

Page last updated on 20 January 2021

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