Johann Michael Wansleben’s Travels in Turkey, 1673-1676

An Annotated Edition of His French Report


Johann Michael Wansleben’s Travels in Turkey, 1673–1676 is a hitherto unpublished version of a remarkable description of Istanbul, Izmir, and Bursa by the German scholar traveller Wansleben. Wansleben was in the Ottoman Empire to buy manuscripts, statuary, and curios for the French king, but it is his off-hand observations about Ottoman society that often make Wansleben’s account such a valuable historical source. His experiences add to our knowledge of such diverse topics as prostitution in the Ottoman Empire, taxation, and the French consular system. His visit to Bursa is also noteworthy because few Western travellers included the first Ottoman capital in their tours of the East or described it at such length.

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Alastair Hamilton, Ph.D. (1982), Cambridge, is Senior Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute, London University. He has published monographs and articles on relations between Europe and the Arab world, including Johann Michael Wansleben's Travels in the Levant, 1671-1674: An Annotated Edition of His Italian Report (2018).

Maurits van den Boogert, Ph. D (2001), Leiden, is Senior Publishing Director at Brill. He has published monographs and articles on diplomatic relations between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe, including Aleppo Observed: Ottoman Syria Through the Eyes of Two Scottish Doctors, Alexander and Patrick Russell (Oxford, 2010).

1 The Turkish Journal
Appendix 1: Haraç Collection in Istanbul
Appendix 2: Prostitution in Izmir
Appendix 3: Protocol and Precedence
Appendix 4: The Monetary System
Appendix 5: Jean Foy-Vaillant’s Description of Bursa, 1670
Appendix 6: Westerners Entering Mosques in Istanbul
All interested in the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century and in European antiquarians in the Levant.
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