The Venetian Qur'an | Pier Mattia Tommasino

E364 | Today’s scholars of early modern Europe continue to explore the myriad ways in which Islam and Middle Eastern culture found its way into European society. In this episode, we unravel another thread by focusing on an anonymous, printed Italian Qur’an that appeared in Venice in 1547. The story of this first vernacular Qur’an and its accompanying biography of Muhammad reveals a complicated tale of a text aimed at different levels of readership. Pier Mattia Tommasino shows how this Qur'an, in addition to serving as a general Renaissance guide to Islamic history, was also a manual for European refugees seeking to relocate to the Ottoman Empire. In the second half of the episode, we revisit the classic microhistory, The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg. The tale of the oddball Friulian miller named Menocchio takes another turn when it is revealed that the Qur’an he read is this very same Venetian Qur’an. Re-reading Menocchio’s testimony in light of the Venetian Qur’an allows us to reflect once more on the historian’s craft and the problem of 'distance.' See more at https://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2018/06/venetian-quran.html Pier Mattia Tommasino is an Assistant Professor of Italian at Columbia University. He is currently working on a project on Oriental studies in seventeenth-century Florence. Maryam Patton is a PhD candidate at Harvard University in the joint History and Middle Eastern Studies program. She is interested in early modern cultural exchanges, and her dissertation studies cultures of time and temporal consciousness in the Eastern Mediterranean during the 15th and 16th centuries. Shireen Hamza is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses broadly on the history of science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages, especially in the Indian Ocean world. CREDITS Episode No. 364 Release Date: 26 June 2018 Recording Location: Cambridge, Mass. Audio editing by Maryam Patton Music: Istanbul'dan Ayva Gelir Nar Gelir - Azize Tozem and Sari Recep from Excavated Shellac. Special thanks to Kara Güneş for permission to use the composition "Istanbul" Images and bibliography courtesy of Pier Mattia Tommasino available at https://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2018/06/venetian-quran.html


Ottoman History Podcast