A History of the Jewish Community in Istanbul

The Formative Years, 1453-1566


This volume presents the transformation of the Greek-speaking, Romaniot Jewish community of Byzantine Constantinople into an Ottoman, ethnically diversified immigrant community, showing the influence of the Ottoman conquest on cultural and social values. New and existing sources illuminate a society that was haunted by the dislocation and bereavement of the expulsion from Spain but was nevertheless materialistic and pleasure-seeking, with money and pedigree as supreme values. The society constantly redefined its relationships and boundaries with its former Iberian world and with the Ottoman non-Jewish world around it. The book is important to the study of Istanbul, particularly its Ottoman Jewish community. The chapters on Family Formation and Social Patterns serve family historians studying the early modern period. This second edition contains several pages of corrections and additions.
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EUR €196.00USD $263.00

Biographical Note

Minna Rozen, Ph.D. (1977) in Jewish History, Tel Aviv University, is a Professor of Jewish History at the University of Haifa, Israel. She has published extensively on social history of the Sephardic Diaspora in the Mediterranean basin in Hebrew, English and French, and initiated major documentation projects of Jewish remnants in these regions.

Review Quotes

"...very concise, lucid, methodic and insightful...This book is a milestone in historical studies of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire." – Maria Eftymiou, in: BHMA, 2003
"...full of detail and touching upon every possible aspect regarding the life and times of the early Jewish community of Istanbul…" – Sara Nur Yildiz, in: H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences, 2003
"...a major contribution to Jewish and Ottoman social history" – Avigdor Levy, in: International Journal of Middle East Studies, 2004
"...an important study that offers much insight into the life of Jews in early modern Istanbul" – Marc Baer, in: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient XLVII (2004)


All those interested in the history of the Ottoman Empire, especially the history of Istanbul and/or the history of the Sephardic Diaspora. Members of this Diaspora around the world and Sephardic genealogists.

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