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The participants summarise their talks

  • The clash of two empires for the Mediterranean control
    Miguel Ángel de Bunes

    The territorial expansion of the two Mediterranean states that since mid 15th century were being conformed in the extremes of their limits will cause one the most interesting historical processes of the Modern Age. Spanish and Ottomans, apart from their self-appointment as defenders of their respective religious faiths, had formed empires wishing to introduce themselves to their contemporaries as universal monarchies. The existence of a religious, political, and military competitor would cause the birth of a myth that will mark the ideology and thought of each state for centuries. Curiously, the Ottomans acquired power once they managed to get rid of the Byzantines -orthodox christians- present in their territory, in a similar way as Spain had just managed to subdue the Nasrids in 1492 with the conquer of the city of Granada.

    Although they are two different political and cultural realities, both extremes of the Mediterranean began an ideological and military confrontation that will influence the life in this sea along the 16th and 17th century. The Battle of Lepanto or the Battle of Preveza are the two of the most important military events starring both opponents, confrontations that took place over the decks of the flat boats navigating the Mediterranean, although both the Ottoman Empire and Hispanic Monarchy were more feared for the military power of their land armies. This conflict, regardless of its peculiarities, generates one of the most rich cultural worlds that Europe has lived in its history along the last centuries. East and West, confronted along these centuries in a bloody war, nevertheless fostered the creation of a new culture extending its artistic manifestations to both sides of the Mediterranean. New societies were created where men and religions got mixed, such is the case of the cities devoted to marque, whose influence will be felt in most of the Spanish literature of these decades, with Miguel de Cervantes being one of the most significant examples. 

  • The Mediterranean frontier: the great Turkish Corsairs and the modern economic man
    Emilio Sola
    The figure of the corsair with Christian origin at the service of the sultan of Istanbul -the muladi corsair or the reviled renegades of classical Christian historiography-, supported by Miguel de Cervantes' interpretation, especially with his theatrical play Tratos de Argel, allows to evoke the birth of an economical modern man, and to appreciate through the corsair galiot a plastic emblem of the new economical enterprise. The corsair saga started by the Barbarossa brothers in Algiers, would have its culmination a century later with Ali Pasha, the Calabrian who for two decades was one of the most influential men of the Mediterranean, and whose figure can be equivalent to the "new prince" theorized by Machiavelli. These characters, who were mainly Italians at the service of the Great Turk, allow us to address the classical 16th century Mediterranean as the most intimate historical frontier of Europe, and are of key importance to understand and address the commercial and financial world of the time. 
  • On the holy venture of Greece against the Turks
    José Manuel Floristán

    Due to the its political-religious confrontation with Islam, the domination of the Italian mezzogiorno, and its hegemony in Europe between 1571 and 1621, Spain followed Venezia as the prefered receiver of the Greek petitions for help to have a rebellion against the Sublime Porte. In the conference we will analyze the conditioning factors of this historical event -religious, geostrategic, economical, etc.-, as well as its main manifestations, from the testament of Andreas Palaiologos in favor of the Catholic Kings and the naming of Fernando de Aragón as king of Jerusalem, to the strategical and tactical policies of Felipe II and Felipe III in regards to the "Oriental Issue". We will draft the general lines of the Greek-Spanish relation, of the Turkish policies, of the diplomatic procedures followed, the content of the embassies, and the attitude of the Spanish authorities with them.    

  • The eastern front. The alliance between Persia and Georgia
    Luis Gil

    Once the Iberian union was done, the Portuguese-Spanish Empire limited with the Ottoman in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, where the Portuguese established Ormuz, and also had as a dangerous neighbor the Safavid Empire, whose continuous war with the Turkish Empire restricted its wishes to expand. This is why the proposal of military alliance against the Sublime Porte made by Abbas to Felipe III was seen as a great chance to contain the thirst of conquer of the both the Sultan and the Shah in the Persian Gulf. The alliance was accepted, and a military action against the Turkish was promised but did not happen, so the Shah and Sultan faced an endless military conflict, conjuring the danger of a military intervention of both in the European and Asian domains of the Portuguese-Spanish Empire. This deception lasted until Abbas became aware of the game. Through a number of embassies (from the side of the Shah, the ones of Husein Ali Beg, Pakize Imán Qoli Beg, Roberto Sherley, Danguis Beg and friar Antonio de Gouvea, Roberto Sherley y friar Redempto de la Cruz; and from the side of the Portuguese-Spanish monarch, the ones of Luis Pereira de Lacerda and García de Silva y Figueroa) the fictional friendship was maintained until Ormuz was conquered by the Persian, assisted by an English fleet, in 1622.