Research

extract from the Nicosia Sicil Defteri no. 5

My research focuses on the study of Eastern Mediterranean social and economic history, from the 16th to the 18th century. I specialise in the history of the Ottoman Empire, Venice and their points of intersection, such as Cyprus. My doctoral thesis investigated the social and economic history of Ottoman Cyprus in the 17th century, based primarily on Ottoman documentation, such as court registers (sicil defterleri).

I have a particular interest in the study of centre-periphery relations, regional notables and the distribution of power and wealth. I have studied the period of emergence of powerful Cypriot notables, such as the dragoman Markoullis (1670s) and Mehmed Ağa Boyacıoğlu (1680s). Moving away from the decline and decentralisation paradigms, I am investigating the power arrangements in regional contexts in an attempt to challenge entrenched perceptions of centre-periphery relations.

Other research interests include the cultivation and trade of cotton and silk in the 17th-century Levant, and the early settlement of French, English and Dutch trading missions in Cyprus and Tripoli/Aleppo. In particular, I am investigating the impact of the competition among these ‘new’ trading partners and the Venetians, and the impact of their activity on the local landholding elites. The evidence from archives can perhaps be corroborated with evidence on the ground, such as archaeological findings and architecture, an aspect which I hope to explore. I am keenly interested in setting these topics in the global context of the 17th century.

I am also interested in family history, as this is reflected in court registers, and especially issues of inheritance, divorce and guardianship. Other interests are: Greek and Turkish historical writing and nationalism, global history, history of European exploration and conquest and American history, especially in the post-Columbian centuries.

Between 2000 and 2004 I participated in the Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project. The Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project carried out interdisciplinary survey in a 160-sq km landscape in the northern Troodos Mountains of Cyprus. Its central aim was to investigate the relationship between people and their environment, from the Neolithic period to the present day. It did so by employing a range of interdisciplinary techniques related to archaeological and geomorphological survey and mapping. In addition, we investigated the area’s architecture, botany, and documentary and oral history, as well as the history of mining, metallurgy and agriculture in the region. I was involved in the study documentary/oral history, as well as surface surveys and architecture mapping.

I have undertaken research in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul and Cyprus, the Archivio di Stato and the Biblioteca Correr in Venice, the British Library, the National Archives in London. and the Archivio di Stato in Siena.