This book concentrates on the sometimes Greek but largely Roman survivals many travellers set out to see and perhaps possess throughout the immense Ottoman Empire, on what were eastward and southward extensions of the Grand Tour. Europeans were curious about the Empire, Christianity’s great rival for centuries, and plenty of information on its antiquities was available, offered here via lengthy quotations. Most accounts of the history of collecting and museums concentrate on the European end.
Plundered Empire details how and where antiquities were sought, uncovered, bartered, paid for or stolen, and any tribulations in getting them home. The book provides evidence for the continuing debate about the ethics of museum collections, with 19th century international competition the spur to spectacular acquisitions.
Michael Greenhalgh, Ph.D. (1968), University of Manchester; Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, Leicester University (1968-87). Sir William Dobell Foundation Professor of Art History, Australian National University, from 1987. His publications address the survival and destruction of the classical world around the Mediterranean.
All interested in the survival and re-use of the classical world throughout the West, and how prestige objects were brought from the Ottoman Empire as trophies for Western museum collections.