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The sultan’s wrath: The firmans of Mahmut II in 1821



The sultan’s wrath: The firmans of Mahmut II in 1821

Date Issued

May 2021


“This is not a game. The reaya have exceeded their limits.” This edition translates the decrees (firmans) issued by Sultan Mahmud II in 1821, when the Greek Revolution broke out, from Ottoman Turkish into Greek. The sultan was outraged by the revolution. In one of his decrees, he notes, in fact, that he has left his “comforts” to respond “without delay” to the relevant correspondence with the pashas, the vizier and other officials. The published documents are an important source for examining and interpreting the reaction of the government towards the Greek Revolution, the view of the “other” and at the highest level of the Ottoman Empire at that. This reaction was expressed in 1821 with a social engineering project, aimed at mobilising the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire against the revolutionaries, but without impressive results. On the contrary, the Greek Revolution began to consolidate itself from its first year. It did occur to the Ottoman generals who were called to resist the insurgents that the “insolent reaya” would take up arms and be willing to sacrifice their lives until they achieved their goals.

(Edited blurb from publisher’s website)

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Χάρης Πολίτης (Φιλολογική Επιμέλεια)

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