Description:"1453 stands as one of the defining dates of modern Greek history. In this talk I will make the case for a different narrative. I will argue that certain alternative geographies and chronologies are just as vital if we want to understand the Greek Orthodox experience in the early centuries of Ottoman rule. By the time the Byzantine capital fell to the Ottomans important parts of the Greek world had been under Ottoman rule for several generations; provincial society had come to its own agreements with the invading forces and these agreements were little disturbed by events in the capital. In addition, the Byzantine recovery of Constantinople in 1261 did not stop a process of fragmentation in the eastern Mediterranean. This meant that the Ottomans conquered not one Greek world, but many, over an extended period of time. Viewed from this perspective, 1453 was not so much the end of the Byzantine Empire but rather the beginning of a very long process of the reunification of the Greek Orthodox world, an accomplishment that would not reach its climax until the eighteenth century."
Biographical Information: Molly Greene is a Professor in the Department of History at Princeton University, with a joint appointment at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies. The Greek experience under Ottoman rule is at the center of her academic work. Professor Greene's first book, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Princeton University Press: 2000), was a study of the transition from Venetian to Ottoman rule on the island of Crete. In 2010 Princeton University Press published her second book, Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Mediterranean. The extended encounter in the seventeenth century between Catholic pirates, principally the Knights of St.John on the island of Malta, and Greek merchants was the focus of this study. Professor Greene is now completing a book that was commissioned by Edinburgh University Press, which is publishing a multi-volume series on the history of the Greeks, from Antiquity to the present. Her volume overs the Ottoman period, from 1453 to1768.