The Power of the Dispersed

Early Modern Global Travelers beyond Integration


Early modern travelers often did not form part of classic ‘diaspora’ communities: they frequently never really settled, perhaps remaining abroad for some time in one place, then traveling further; not ‘blown by the wind,’ but by changing and complex conditions that often turned out to make them unwelcome anywhere. The dispersed developed strategies of survival by keeping their distance from old and new temporary ‘homes,’ as well as by using information from and manipulating foreign representations of their former countries.

This volume assembles case studies from the Mediterranean context, the Americas and Japan. They explore what kind of ‘power(s)’ and agency dispersed people had, counterintuitively, through the connections they maintained with their former homes, and through those they established abroad.

Contributors: Eduardo Angione, Iordan Avramov, Marloes Cornelissen, David Do Paço, José Luis Egío, Maria-Tsampika Lampitsi, Paula Manstetten, Simon Mills, David Nelson, Adolfo Polo y La Borda, Ana M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Cesare Santus, Stefano Saracino, and Cornel Zwierlein.

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Cornel Zwierlein teaches early modern history and conducts research on a Heisenberg Fellowship at the Freie Universität Berlin, Friedrich-Meinecke Institut. His latest monographs are: The Political Thought of the French League and Rome, 1585–1589 (Droz, 2016); Imperial Unknowns: The French and the British in the Mediterranean, 1650–1750 (Cambridge University Press, 2016); Politische Theorie und Herrschaft in der Frühen Neuzeit (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020), and Prometheus Tamed (Brill, 2021).
List of Illustrations
Note on the Editor
Notes on the Contributors
Cornel Zwierlein

Part 1: Dispersed in Ecclesiastical and Diplomatic Networks

1 In Parte d’Infedeli: A Papal Informant in Istanbul (1607–1608)
Edoardo Angione

2 The Album Amicorum of the Athonite Monk Theoklitos Polyeidis and the Agency of Perambulating Greek Alms Collectors in the Holy Roman Empire (18th Century)
Stefano Saracino

3 The Great Imposture: Eastern Christian Rogues and Counterfeiters in Rome, c. 17th–19th Centuries
Cesare Santus

Part 2: Dispersed in the Republic of Letters

4 Nomads in the Early Modern Republic of Letters: The Transient Correspondents of Henry Oldenburg and the Early Royal Society of London
Iordan Avramov

5 Travelling Scholastics: The Emergence of an Empirical Normative Authority in Early Modern Spanish America
José Luis Egío

6 Johann Heinrich Callenberg’s Orient
Simon Mills

7 Solomon Negri: The Self-Fashioning of an Arab Christian in Early Modern Europe
Paula Manstetten

Part 3: Dispersed by War

8 From Erstwhile Captive to Cultural Erudite: The Career of Korean-Born Samurai, Wakita Kyūbei
David Nelson

9 Stories of Spanish Captivity in Istanbul: From Trauma to Empowerment
Ana M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez

10 Between America and the Maghrib: The Marquis of Varinas and the Weapons of the Exile
Adolfo Polo y La Borda

Part 4: Dispersed in Commercial and Political Networks

11 In the Blind Spot of the State: Trieste in the 18th-Century Trans-Imperial Adriatic Society
David Do Paço

12 Religious Feeling and the Construction of a Merchant’s Identity in the Greek Trade Networks of the Late Eighteenth Century
Maria-Tsampika Lampitsi

13 From Bern with Love: The Spy with a Taste for the Exquisite in Early Modern Istanbul
Marloes Cornelissen

14 Dispersed Things: European Merchant Households in the Levant
Cornel Zwierlein

Index Rerum
Index Locorum
Index Nominum

Early modernists who are interested in the dispersed and their remaining powers and capacities abroad; historians interested in the religious, political and economic networks from London and Germany to Rome, Constantinople, the Spanish Americas and Japan. Keywords: global history, Mediterranean history, microhistory, diplomatic history, papacy, Republic of Letters, Christian-Muslim relationships, brokers, merchant companies, Greek Orthodoxy and the West, history of things and inventories, captivity studies, soldiers, samurai.
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