The period of Ottoman rule in Greek history has undergone a dramatic reassessment in recent years. Long reviled as four hundred years of unrelieved slavery and barbarity under 'the Turkish yoke', a new generation of scholars, based mainly but not exclusively in Greece, is rejecting this monochromatic view in favour of a more nuanced picture of the Greek experience in the Ottoman Empire.
This volume considers this new scholarship, most of it in Greek, and makes it accessible for the first time to a wider audience. Molly Greene also discusses the changing views of the Ottoman Empire more generally and assesses what this changing historiography can tell us about this period in Greek history.
Four main themes provide the foundation for the book and run through the individual chapters: the fate of the 1,000-year Byzantine heritage; the millet system and Ottoman society; the connections between the Greek population and other members of Ottoman society, especially in cultural life; and, the Greeks and Europe. The book begins with the conventional date of 1453, the fall of Constantinople, and includes debates over the extent to which 1453 represented a real break with the past. The volume ends with the Russo-Ottoman War of 1768-1774, which brought to an end the relative peace and stability of the Ottoman eighteenth century and helped to usher in the nationalist movements in the region.