This book dedicated to Suraiya Faroqhi shows that the early modern world was not only characterized by its having been split up into states with closed frontiers. Writing history “from the bottom”, by treating the Ottoman Empire and other countries as “subjects of history”, reduces the importance of political borders for doing historical research. Each social, economic and religious group had its own world-view and in most of the cases the borders of these communities were not identical with the political frontiers. Regarding the Ottoman Empire and the other early modern states as systems of different ecumenical communities rather than only as political units offers a different approach to a better understanding of the various ways in which their subjects interacted. In this context the term ecumenical community designates social, religious and economic groups building up cross-border communities. Different ecumenical communities overlapped within the boundaries of a state or in a specific area and gave them their distinctive characters. This festschrift for Suraiya Faroqhi aims to describe some of the close contacts between various ecumenical communities within and beyond the Ottoman borders.
Markus Koller, Ph.D. (2003) in History, University of Bochum, is Junior Professor at the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen. He has published on the Ottoman Balkans including Bosnien an der Schwelle zur Neuzeit. Eine Kulturgeschichte der Gewalt (1747-1797). Munich 2004 and, together with Kemal Karpat, Ottoman Bosnia. A History in Peril. Madison/Wisc. 2004.
Vera Costantini, Ph.D. (2004) in Economic and Social History, "Ca' Foscari" University of Venice/EHESS Paris, is Researcher of Turkish Language and Literature at the "Ca' Foscari" University of Venice. She has published various articles on trading and diplomatic relations between Venice and the Ottoman Empire and on Cypriot social history.