Sederi 31 — 2021
Marta Cerezo Moreno
Isabel Guerrero Llorente
José Ruiz Mas. “English travelers in early modern Cyprus: Piety, commerce and anti-Ottoman sentiment.” SEDERI 31 (2021): 93–115.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34136/sederi.2021.5 Download PDF
English travelers in Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus saw the island as the last obligatory stop on their maritime pilgrimage route to the Holy Land. After the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus (1571) the island was visited almost exclusively by English merchants on the lookout for the construction of factories on Eastern Mediterranean shores. They were attracted by Cyprus’s famed fertility and by the abundance of much-valued products to trade with. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries English traders were nevertheless issued with warnings by English travel accounts. These dealt with the danger of over-trusting the paradise-like prospects of the island and remaining there for good, with the subsequent risk of “turning Turk.” In order to discourage English travelers and residents from becoming renegades in Cyprus, travel accounts included abundant morbid information on the brutal repression applied by the Great Turk upon Cypriot cities in the Wars of Cyprus and upon other anti-Ottoman Christian insurrections.
Keywords: Travel accounts; Cyprus; Holy Land; English pilgrims; English merchants; Ottoman occupation of Cyprus.
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