Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World

Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World

by Noel Malcolm


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Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World by Noel Malcolm

In the late sixteenth century, a prominent Albanian named Antonio Bruni composed a revealing document about his home country. Historian Sir Noel Malcolm takes this document as a point of departure to explore the lives of the entire Bruni family, whose members included an archbishop of the Balkans, the captain of the papal flagship at the Battle of Lepanto--at which the Ottomans were turned back in the Eastern Mediterranean--in 1571, and a highly placed interpreter in Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire that fell to the Turks in 1453. The taking of Constantinople had profoundly altered the map of the Mediterranean. By the time of Bruni's document, Albania, largely a Venetian province from 1405 onward, had been absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. Even under the Ottomans, however, this was a world marked by the ferment of the Italian Renaissance.

In Agents of Empire, Malcolm uses the collective biography of the Brunis to paint a fascinating and intimate picture of Albania at a moment when it represented the frontier between empires, cultures, and religions. The lives of the polylingual, cosmopolitan Brunis shed new light on the interrelations between the Ottoman and Christian worlds, characterized by both conflict and complex interdependence. The result of years of archival detective work, Agents of Empire brings to life a vibrant moment in European and Ottoman history, challenging our assumptions about their supposed differences. Malcolm's book guides us through the exchanges between East and West, Venetians and the Ottomans, and tells a story of worlds colliding with and transforming one another.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190262785
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/03/2015
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 561,069
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Noel Malcolm is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

List of maps


Note on names, conventions and pronunciations

Family tree

Ch. 1: Ulcinj, Albania and Two Empires

Ch. 2: Three Families

Ch. 3: Antonio Bruti in the Service of Venice

Ch. 4: Giovanni Bruni in the Service of God

Ch. 5: Gasparo Bruni and the Knights of Malta

Ch. 6: Galleys and Geopolitics

Ch. 7: Rebellion and Ottoman Conquest

Ch. 8: The Lepanto Campaign

Ch. 9: War, Peace and Ottoman Resurgence

Ch. 10: The Brunis and Brutis in Istria

Ch. 11: Bartolomeo Bruti and the Prisoner Exchange

Ch. 12: Espionage and Sabotage in Istanbul

Ch. 13: Secret Diplomacy and the Grand Vizier

Ch. 14: Sinan Pasha and the Moldavian Venture

Ch. 15: Gasparo Bruni and the Huguenot War

Ch. 16: Antonio Bruni and the Jesuits

Ch. 17: Moldavia, Tatars and Cossacks

Ch. 18: Bartolomeo Bruti in Power

Ch. 19: Cristoforo Bruti and the Dragoman Dynasty

Ch. 20: The Exiled Voivod and his Counsellor

Ch. 21: Habsburg-Ottoman War and Balkan Rebellion

Ch. 22: Pasquale 'Bruti' and his Peace Mission

Epilogue: The Legacy: Antonio Bruni's Treatise


List of Manuscripts



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