Historiography of Ottoman Europe

History of Mehmet Bey

This is a Key Publication
Persons
Cigala, Giovanni Michele
Author
Bey, Mehmet
Author
Publication Type
Codex
Date
1667
Description
Claiming to be son of the (in)famous Genoese turned Ottoman Grand Admiral Čigala-Zade Yūsuf Sinān († 1605) and to have decided to become Christian, Mehmet Bey / Giovanni Michele Cigala is one of the most interesting early modern European adventurers. Accepted as genuine by the Italian branch of the Cigala family, he was well received all over Western Europe. However, in England, he was denounced as “monstruos imposter” and “perfect Renegado”: the Ottoman prince was in fact a “Valachian Counterfeit”, as John Evelyn has put it. The considerable impact of his story is suggestive for the attitude towards renegates in special and to Islam in general in early modern Europe. When Cigala / Mehmet toured the princely courts of Western Europe, the War of Candia (1645-1669) was far from being over.
Other Version
Secondary Literature
Keywords
renegades , conversion , Čigala-Zade Yūsuf Sinān , adventurers , Cigala family , Impostors , John Evelyn , attitudes towards Islam , War of Candia
Geographic Keywords
Wallachia
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