David Do Paço
My project proposes an integrated and global approach to Habsburg-Ottoman history in the 18th century. Despite the centennial conflicts between the two huge and neighbouring asymmetrical empires that were both multinational in character, trans-imperial patronage networks developed and criss-crossed with established institutional diplomacy. The project will show how leading Austrian ministers used clients from the Ottoman minorities in the Habsburg territories to extend their networks deep into the Ottoman sphere to strengthen their own position in Vienna. The enlightened Austrian elite thus habitually socialized with diverse Ottoman subjects from different religious and cultural backgrounds and through them they acquired crucial “oriental knowledge”, which was of great value to their own political standing and cultural self-fashioning. To analyse the constitution and functioning of trans-imperial bonds the project is based on a hitherto unexplored private correspondence (1779-92) between the Austrian minister Cobenzl and the ambassador in Istanbul Baron Herbert.