Max Weber Fellow
Department of History
Max Weber Programme for Postdoctoral Studies
[+39] 055 4685 688
Badia Fiesolana, BF423
Tommaso Stefini is a social, economic, and comparative historian of the early modern Ottoman Empire and the eastern Mediterranean. He holds a PhD from Yale University and an M.A. from Boğaziçi University. His research examines the interrelationships between law, religion, and commerce in the Ottoman Empire, the political economy of empires, and Ottoman/European political and commercial relations.As a Max Weber Fellow, he is working towards revising his doctoral dissertation into his first monograph, tentatively titled 'Ordering Difference: Courts and Cross-Cultural Trade between Istanbul and Venice'. Based on archival research in Italian and Turkish archives, this study examines the day-to-day administration of justice for Venetian and Ottoman merchants in Istanbul in the seventeenth century. It asks how Venetians and Ottomans collaborated in commercial undertakings and solved disputes despite the absence of a system of interpolity law in the pre-modern Mediterranean. This work addresses the question through a comparative and microhistorical study of different types of Venetian and Ottoman Muslim courts available to merchants in Istanbul. Overall, Tommaso argues that the Ottoman and Venetian courts jointly supported a trans-imperial regime of norms and practices that allowed them to sustain trade across political and religious boundaries as a matter of routine. Apart from working on this book project, Tommaso is also preparing an article on the interrelationship between justice administration and the political economy of the Ottoman Empire and Venice in the early modern eastern Mediterranean.