Pollock on Taki, 'Tsar and Sultan: Russian Encounters with the Ottoman Empire'

Victor Taki
Sean Pollock

Victor Taki. Tsar and Sultan: Russian Encounters with the Ottoman Empire. London: I.B.Tauris, 2016. 320 pp. $110.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-78453-184-3.

Reviewed by Sean Pollock (Wright State University) Published on H-Empire (October, 2019) Commissioned by Gemma Masson (University of Birmingham)

Printable Version: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=53879

“Supreme Fictions”? Early Modern Russian Accounts of the Ottoman Empire

Victor Taki’s Tsar and Sultan is the first book-length study of Russian accounts of the Ottoman Empire from the seventeenth to the middle of the nineteenth century. Based on analysis of published Russian diplomatic correspondence, war diaries and memoirs, statistical accounts, and travelogues, Taki asserts that Russians’ evolving perspectives on the Ottoman Empire “constitute a crucial aspect of Russia’s discovery of the Orient and an equally important chapter in the story of Russia’s Westernization.” Framed as a cultural history of Russian empire, diplomacy and war, the book promises to offer “a new perspective on Orientalism in general and Russian Orientalism in particular” (p. 1). Taki is right to emphasize the importance of his sources for understanding the formative period in Russian-Ottoman relations, and he is correct to view it as a period of transition—from Muscovite to self-consciously imperial times, from military parity between the two powers to Russian superiority—one that witnessed the secularization and Europeanization of the study’s informants. And Taki succeeds in presenting consistently stimulating, though not always cogent, arguments concerning two contentious topics in Russian historiography: the process of Russia’s “Westernization” and the applicability of Saidian “Orientalism” to the Russian case. 

The book comprises an introduction, five chapters, a conclusion, almost sixty pages of notes, a bibliography, and an index. Not all works cited in the notes appear in the bibliography, however, and both omit several important studies that could have helped the author support and nuance key claims concerning the Europeanization of Russian diplomatic institutions and ceremonial (for examples, see the discussion of chapter 1 below). The book also includes several handsomely reproduced illustrations and a map of the Ottoman Empire in 1801; none of these, however, is integrated into the text.

Since Taki considers his book to be “above all” a contribution to the study of “Orientalism” and its Russian variant, and since the word “Orientalism” has multiple meanings, it is worth examining how he deploys the term. While taking his cue from Edward Said’s Orientalism, Taki distances himself from Said’s definition of Orientalism as a “Western style of thought for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient,” and states that both Said’s criticism of “Western academic Orientalists” and scholars’ subsequent criticisms of Said’s project are “largely irrelevant” to his own study (p. 6). At the same time, Taki follows Said in viewing Orientalism as “a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between ‘the Orient’ and (most of the time) ‘the Occident’,” where “the basic distinction between the East and West [is accepted] as the starting point for … accounts concerning the Orient, its people, customs, ‘mind,’ destiny, and so on.”[1] Like Said, Taki is concerned with representations of “the Orient,” “a mental construct rather than objective reality.” Much as Said’s informants produced general images of “an Oriental [who] lives in the Orient … lives a life of Oriental ease, in a state of Oriental despotism and sensuality, imbued with a feeling of Oriental fatalism,” so the “operation of substituting the lived experience of Eastern societies by a Western image of the Orient,” according to Taki, can also be found in Russian writings about the Ottoman Empire (p. 7).

Efforts to apply Said’s approach in Orientalism to the Russian case inevitably confront two main problems, one theoretical, the other empirical. The first problem is inherent in Said’s binary mode of analysis, which because it tends to essentialize and reify the categories of Orient and Occident, cannot adequately account for the complexity and variety of European representations of non-Europeans. In the same way, a binary model cannot account for the complexity and variety of Russian representations of the Ottoman Empire, as Tsar and Sultan powerfully yet paradoxically demonstrates.

The second problem has to do with Russia’s historical development. “In Russian experience,” as Susan Layton has observed, “the cognitive boundary between ‘us’ and the oriental ‘others’ often grew blurry because Asia interpenetrated Russia so extensively in geographical, historical, and cultural terms.”[2] Indeed, as David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye and others have shown, Russians’ views of Asia and Europe have always been complex.[3] Taki appears to be aware of these facts, yet deploying words like “ambivalence” and “paradox” in discussing Russian representations of the Ottoman Empire cannot ultimately free him from the theoretical straightjacket of Said’s binary mode of analysis, in which the totalizing and fixed categories of “Europe” and “Asia,” “Self” and “Other” tend to obscure what Homi Bhabha has called the “living perplexity” and “cultural hybridity” of cross-cultural encounters.[4] Because Taki does not discuss the critical literature concerning Saidian Orientalism and its Russian variant, the problems associated with Said’s analysis haunt his own analysis.[5]

Taki’s discussion of the historiography concerning Russian-Ottoman relations is cursory and somewhat misleading. He states that Russian writers after 1725 published more work on the Ottoman Empire than they did on France or Germany, and that the Ottoman Empire was “the subject of the greatest number of publications” (pp. 4, 12). In light of these claims, which are noteworthy but unsubstantiated in the book, it is surprising that Taki views late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russian historians as “the pioneers in this field” (p. 5). In fact, educated Russians had been writing about the Ottoman Empire since the seventeen century—it featured, for example, in apocryphal letters that circulated widely in seventeenth-century Muscovy, and in the work of the country’s poets in the eighteenth century.[6] Nor were Russians the only writers to fixate on the realm of the sultan. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Europeans and Ottomans composed myriad accounts of Russian-Ottoman encounters, including histories of their wars.[7] The Russian-Ottoman War of 1768-74, for example, generated no fewer than twenty publications in English, French, German, and Italian.[8] Ottoman statesman Ahmed Resmî Efendi (1700-83) left an account of the war, while Ottoman historian Ahmed Vâsıf Efendi (ca. 1730-1806), who himself had been captured by the Russians during the war, had much to say in his writings about relations between the two empires.[9] In the eighteenth century alone, there were more than thirteen Ottoman court historians, all of whom, presumably, wrote about the Porte’s northern rival. It would be interesting to know to what extent and in what ways such accounts informed Russian accounts of the Ottoman Empire prior to the middle of the nineteenth century.

In addition, some readers will likely wish Taki had said more about the specific contributions of prerevolutionary Russian and Soviet historians on the subject of Russian-Ottoman relations. The claim that prerevolutionary Russian, Soviet, and Western scholars have provided “a nearly complete picture of Russia’s wars and diplomatic negotiations with the Ottoman Empire” is problematical (p. 6). Consider the historiography of the Russian-Ottoman War of 1768-74, arguably the most consequential of all such wars. A. N. Petrov’s 1866-74 multivolume history of the war (which Taki cites but does not discuss) remains the most thorough examination of the war, and it can hardly be described as unbiased. To my knowledge, no archive-based study of the war has since been published in any language. Meantime, the history of the diplomacy surrounding the war remains understudied.[10] The study of early modern Russian-Ottoman relations, while not in its infancy, appears to be stuck in a kind of protracted adolescence.

The book’s cogency, however, largely turns on how effectively Taki is able to show that Russian accounts of the Ottoman Empire are best understood as representations of “the Orient,” figments of a “Western” imagination, or what Said called “supreme fictions.”[11] Chapter 1 focuses on Russian diplomatic ceremonial and argues that beginning in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, Russian diplomats sought to “Orientalize” Ottoman diplomatic practices in an attempt to assert the power and prestige of the tsar and to undermine that of the sultan, while also asserting Russians’ own “European” identity (pp. 19, 20). It shows that ceremonial was sometimes a source of conflict between Muscovite and Ottoman diplomats, and that while the former went to great lengths to preserve the tsar’s honor by adhering strictly to their detailed instructions, they pragmatically conformed to Ottoman protocol as circumstances dictated. 

Taki is less successful in demonstrating the Europeanization of Russian diplomatic ceremonial. He claims that a 1740-41 Russian embassy to Constantinople was modeled on Habsburg diplomatic ceremonial, but neither describes its salient features nor explains which of them were incorporated into Russian practice. Similarly, he writes of “the European model of international relations” (p. 225n44) without indicating the model’s distinguishing features. This makes it difficult for the reader to assess the extent of the Europeanization of Russian diplomacy. It also raises and important question that Taki never addresses: How best to describe early modern Russian diplomacy? Was it “European,” “Asiatic,” or sui generis? Historians have addressed the question, but Taki appears to be unfamiliar with their answers.[12] More problematical for Taki is the fact that he is unable to show that the leaders of Russia’s “grand embassies” to Constantinople in 1740-41, 1775, and 1793-94 viewed relations with the Ottomans in terms of an East-West dichotomy, or that they insisted on being accorded the ceremonial respect shown to “European” ambassadors. Instead, Taki shows that what mattered most to Russian diplomats with respect to ceremonial was strict adherence to past precedent, not European models. Only one of Taki’s informants is shown to have placed the Ottomans outside the category of “European” nations (p. 43), but his testimony, as discussed in the book, arguably falls short of “Orientalizing” the Ottomans. Even in the nineteenth century, when educated Russians did increasingly deploy “Orientalist” tropes in their descriptions of the Ottoman Empire, at least one Russian consul ascribed to Constantinople membership in the “civilized world” (p. 45).

This is not to deny the reality of the Europeanization of Russian diplomatic institutions and ceremonial in the eighteenth century, but rather to suggest that the process is not clearly explained in the book. Surprisingly, Taki has little to say about the reform of Muscovy’s ambassadorial office (Posol’skii prikaz) under Peter the Great; the creation of the College of Foreign Affairs and a special ceremonial office within it, based on European models; the creation abroad of a network of permanent diplomatic representatives with European educations and knowledge of the subtleties of European politics; the introduction of a system of diplomatic ranks and European nomenclature into the Russian political lexicon; and the recruitment of foreigners into Russian diplomatic service, men like the Piedmontese Count Francesco (Frants Matveevich) Santi and the Swiss Calvinist Baron Georg von Habichtstahl (Gabikhstal’), who as ober-tseremoniimeisters facilitated the adaption and incorporation of Baroque ceremonials into the Russian context. While Taki is right to emphasize the Europeanization of Russian diplomatic ceremonial in the eighteenth century, he passes up opportunities to draw on the work of specialists to support his claims.[13]

In chapter 2 Taki reconstructs the experiences of tsarist subjects in Ottoman and Crimean Tatar captivity. Though few in number in comparison to western European accounts of Barbary captivity, Russian captivity narratives are used by Taki to “illustrate the changing social and cultural profile of their authors and readers,” as well as their familiarity with “Western” accounts of “Barbary slavery” (p. 55). Taki shows that the institutions involved in reintegrating tsarist subjects into Russian society changed over time, moving from the Patriarch’s Office in the seventeenth century to the educated public in the eighteenth century. Noting the secularization of Russian perspectives on captivity narratives in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Taki also shows that they were increasingly represented less as “a problem of individual sin and salvation” than as “a political, social, and economic problem of the state” (p. 65). In the nineteenth century, the authors of captivity narratives emphasized both the “barbarous customs” of their captors (pp. 75-82) and the nobility of their Turkish liberators (pp. 83-86).

In these pages, it is sometimes unclear whether Taki views captivity narratives as reliable sources of information about the past, or as repositories of mythical representations of Ottoman “Orientals” (p. 56). He characterizes one Russian account, for example, as a “description of the Barbary States” (p. 72). The account was written by a participant in the Russian 1770 naval expedition to the Mediterranean Sea, which passed by the shores of northern Africa where the Barbary States were located. This Russian account of the Barbary States is the only one that is shown possibly to have informed a Russian captivity narrative. In any case, the classic Saidian themes of “Oriental backwardness, degeneracy and inequality with the West”[14] do not feature prominently in the texts discussed in chapter, nor do their Russian authors explicitly characterize the Ottoman Empire and its peoples as “Eastern” or “Oriental.”

Chapter 3 focuses on Russian soldiers’ perspectives on the Russian-Ottoman wars of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Taki argues that in making sense of the “peculiarity” of Ottoman warfare, Russian observers tended to assume the superiority of “the Western ‘art of war,’” and to view Ottoman soldiers as “barbarous” (p. 94), and that Russia’s “the systematic adoption of European military institutions and practices conditioned the Russian perception of the Ottoman way of war” (p. 96). The problem here is that Taki does not explain which institutions and practices were adopted by the Russians. It is one thing to say that Russian officers “could learn about” (p. 97; emphasis mine) Habsburg military arts by reading European literature devoted to the subject, and another to show how such literature was used in training the Russian officer corps, and to explain precisely which Habsburg (or other European) institutions and practices were adopted by the Russian military establishment. Nor do Taki’s eighteenth-century informants tend to attribute Russia’s success in wars with the Ottomans to the adoption of European military science. The Russian diplomat Semen Voroontsov was not sure whether to attribute Russian success in the 1768-74 war to Ottoman decline or Russian progress in the military arts, while General Grigorii Potemkin pointed to Russians’ prior experience fighting the Ottomans, and General Mikhail Kutuzov to “the deftness and vigilance of the commander” as keys to success against the Ottoman army (p. 96).  As Taki himself shows, Russian officers questioned the applicability of at least some European military theories to the challenge of fighting the Ottomans and argued that future war plans ought to be based not on theory but on the careful study of previous Russian-Ottoman wars. Indeed, influence appears to have worked at least sometimes in the opposite direction, as Russian innovations in military tactics—here Taki provides specific examples: “rejection of the [sic] linear tactics, attack in small squares and columns,”—“anticipated the post-1789 transformations in the European art of war” (p. 99).

The strongest evidence of Russian borrowing of European ways is in the area of literature. To judge by Taki’s evidence, Andrei Nikiforovich Pushkin, writing in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, was one of the first Russian writers to compare the “military art of the Enlightened nations,” including Russia, to that of the Ottomans, and the “ignorance and ferocity of the Asians” to the “art and cold-bloodedness of the Europeans” (pp. 99-100). Here Taki convincingly demonstrates that Pushkin borrowed the idea of comparing “civilized” to “barbarous” warfare from a Scottish historian, effectively demonstrating the Saidian notion that Orientalism is “a system for citing works and authors.”[15] By this time, it was increasingly common for Russian writers to characterize Ottoman ways as “Asian” and “Oriental.” Curiously, though, Taki treats both negative appraisals of the Ottomans (e.g., their purported “ignorance and ferocity”) and positive ones (e.g., “no army of is more beautiful, majestic and splendid than the Turkish one”) as examples of “the Orientalization of the enemy” (p. 104), leaving this reader to wonder whether it is even possible to write about the Ottoman Empire without “Orientalizing” it.

Chapter 4 examines Russian textual representations of the Ottoman Empire prior to the mid-nineteenth century for what they reveal about educated Russians’ ideas concerning the Ottomans and Russia’s relation to Asia and Europe. Taki claims that Russian authors “followed Western European models” and at the same time used “Western Orientalist idioms” to emphasize Ottoman weakness, assert Russians’ membership in “European civilization,” and also question the meaning of that very term. Taki also claims that following defeats in wars against Russia, the Ottoman government sought to “emulate Petrine policies of military modernization,” thereby following the Russian example of adopting European military models (p. 130). Taki succeeds in showing the diversity of Russian perspectives on the Ottomans. Some Russians praised certain aspects of Ottoman administration while others emphasized the perceived weakness of its political and military establishment; some viewed the Ottoman “Other” primarily through a religious lens, while others focused on secular aspects of Ottoman statecraft. Taki also shows that the theme of Ottoman “decline” became more pronounced in Russian accounts over time.

The problem here is that Taki too often claims but does not show that western European models informed the Russian accounts discussed in the first half of the chapter. In the second half of the chapter, Taki helpfully provides multiple examples of eighteenth-century Russian translations of European texts that Said himself might well have characterized as Orientalist. Unfortunately, Taki provides neither summaries nor analysis of the translations, and what he claims about “academic Orientalism in [Petrine] Russia”—that it amounts to “in many respects a false start” with limited influence on Russian society (p. 143)—would seem to undermine his argument concerning the “Westernization” of Russian perspectives on the Ottoman Empire. In discussing the development of academic Orientology (vostokovedenie) in late imperial Russia, Taki wisely relies on the work of David Schimmelpennink van der Oye and Vera Tolz and concludes, surprisingly given his own theses, that “the primary Saidian meaning of Orientalism as a Foucauldian nexus of Western knowledge about the Orient and Western power over it does not apply to Russia’s encounter with the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the nineteenth century.” Instead, Russian Orientalism was, according to Taki, “a style of thought based on an essentializing binary distinction between the ‘Orient” and the ‘Occident’” (p. 144). “A highly ambiguous practice,” the borrowing of Western Orientalist idioms amounted to the Orientalization of the Ottoman Empire while revealing “the limits of Russia’s own integration into the ‘Occident’” (p. 145). 

Interestingly, Taki shows that Russian authors selectively borrowed Western Orientalist idioms and were careful to omit passages that might invite readers to view Ottoman and Russian institutions as more similar than different. Because Western perspectives on the Ottoman Empire were diverse, however, the Orient-Occident distinction was not always emphasized. For one French constitutionalist commenting on the Greek uprising of 1821, the problem was not that Ottoman society was “Oriental,” but that it constituted an illegitimate society within Europe. For other contemporary observers, though, Ottoman empire was the creation of “wild Asiatic peoples … determined to remain Asiatic barbarians,” who created a “prison for all the Europeans who dwell in it” (p. 150).    

In chapter 5 Taki observes that Russian-Ottoman wars provided educated Russians with more information concerning the Balkan subjects of the Ottoman Empire. As a result, Russians came to view “European Turkey” through the lens of specific Balkan peoples. Taki shows that educated Russians’ perspectives on Greeks were “ambiguous” (p. 178), oscillating between images of classical learning, philanthropy, and heroism, on one hand, and modern ignorance, cupidity, and victimhood, on the other. Taki also shows that these two models informed Russian representations of other Balkan peoples. Montenegrins appear in Russian accounts as implacable enemies of the Ottomans given to internecine fighting and banditry; Serbs as virtuous, Orthodox “noble savages” with an anemic economy; Bulgarians as the most oppressed—by Turks and Phanariots alike—of the sultan’s Balkan subjects; and the population of the Danubian principalities as victims of its Phanariot and local overlords. Ultimately, Russian accounts of Balkan peoples depended on the circumstances surrounding the creation of the accounts. This helps explain why individual Balkan groups appear in Russian accounts as possessing contradictory qualities: they might be depicted as heroic or villainous, erudite or ignorant, industrious or indolent, or some combination thereof, depending on context. 

In the book’s conclusion, Taki asserts that Russian accounts of the Ottoman Empire “contributed to the emergence of the [sic] modern Russian identity” (p. 205), and rightly concludes that the relationship between the Europeanization of Russian writers and the “Orientalization” of Ottomans in their writings was “not all that straightforward and unambiguous” (p. 206). He shows that Russians and Ottomans had different ways of conducting diplomacy and waging war (though there were similarities, too), that the difference is “ultimately irreducible to the clash between ‘Europe’ and the ‘Orient,’” and that Russian principles and practices in these areas “deviated from European patterns” (p. 11). Ultimately, Taki succeeds in demonstrating that modern Russian identity was complex, that Russians’ ideas about Europe and Asia, the Ottoman Empire and its subject peoples, and their own continental identity varied over time. Rather than “Orientalizing” Ottomans, it appears that early modern Russian writers typically employed the ancient rhetorical device of “othering,” sometimes stressing Ottomans’ purported Asiatic qualities, sometimes emphasizing their place within Europe. The realm of the sultan was, after all, at least to some minds, the “sick man” of Europe.

Tsar and Sultan deserves to be read and debated. The above criticisms notwithstanding, Taki has made an important contribution to the study of the political, military, and cultural history of Russian-Ottoman encounters. The book can be profitably used in teaching the history of Russian empire, and scholars and students alike should appreciate the author’s erudition, lively style, and enthusiasm for the material.


[1]. Edward Said, Orientalism, 25th anniversary ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 2003), 2-3.

[2]. Susan Layton, “Nineteenth-Century Russian Mythologies of Caucasian Savagery,” in Russia’s Orient: Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700-1917, eds. Daniel R. Brower and Edward J. Lazzerini (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,) 82.

[3]. David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, Russian Orientalism: Asia in the Russian Mind from Peter the Great to the Emigration (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010); Tat’iana Stepanishcheva, “Oppozitsiia ‘Evropa i Rossiia’ u pozdnego Viazemskogo,” in Evropa v Rossii: Sbornik statei, ed. Pekki Pesonen, Gennadii Obatin, and Tomi Khuttunen (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2010): 162-82.

[4]. Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994), 157, 4.

[5]. For an introduction to both literatures, see Diane Long Hoeveler and Jeffrey Cass, eds., Interrogating Orientalism: Contextual Approaches and Pedagogical Practices (Columbus: The Ohio State University, 2006); and Michael David-Fox, Peter Holquist, and Alexander Martin, eds., Orientalism and Empire in Russia: Kritika Historical Studies 3 (Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2006). Neither title appears in Taki’s bibliography.

[6]. Daniel Clarke Waugh, The Great Turkes Defiance: On the History of the Apocryphal Correspondence of the Ottoman Sultan in Its Muscovite and Russian Variants, foreword by Dmitrii Sergeevich Likhachev (Columbus, OH: Slavica, 1978); Harsha Ram, The Imperial Sublime: A Russian Poetics of Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003).

[7]. Early examples are Giovanni Battista Chiarello, Historia degl’avenimenti dell’armi imperiali contro a’ribelli, et Ottomani: confederationi, e trattati seguiti frà le potenze di Cesare, Polonia, Venetia, e Moscovia : negotiati, & aleanze del conte Tekely con la Porta Ottomana : accampamenti, guerre, assedij, piazze, e conquiste di città, e provincie: battaglie, rotte, e vittorie variamente successe nelle quattro campagne degl'anni 1683, 1684, 1685, 1686 (Venice: Presso Steffano Curti, 1687); and Sieur de La Croix, Guerres des Turcs avec la Pologne, la Moscovie et la Hongrie (Paris: Chez Michel Guerout, 1689). As Taki knows, the theme of Russian-Ottoman relations also figures in Dimitrie Kantemir’s Historia incrementorum atque decrementorum Aulae Othomanicae. Completed in Russia in 1717, it was first published in English translation (1734-35, 1756) then in French (1743) and German (1745). See Mihai Maxim, “Dimitrie Kantemir (1673-1723),” Historians of the Ottoman Empire website, ed. Cemal Kafadar, Hakan Karateke, and Cornell Fleischer, accessed September 10, 2019, https://ottomanhistorians.uchicago.edu/en/historians/27.

[8]. See Russian-Ottoman Relations Online, Part 1: The Origins 1600-1800, advisor M. van den Boogert (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006), accessed September 10, 2019, https://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/russianottoman-relations-part-1.

[9]. Ahmed Resmî Efendi, A Summary of Admonitions: A Chronicle of the 1768-1774 Russian-Ottoman War, ed. and trans. Ethan L. Menchinger (Istanbul: Isis, 2011); Virginia H. Aksan, An Ottoman Statesman in War and Peace: Ahmed Resmi Efendi, 1700-1783 (Leiden: Brill, 1995); Ethan L. Menchinger, The First of the Modern Ottomans: The Intellectual History Ahmed Vasif, Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), and “Contemporary Ottoman Views of Catherine the Great,” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 42, no. 1 (2019): 84-100.

[10]. The subject is addressed in part 4 of Mariya Vladimirovna Amelicheva, “The Russian Residency in Constantinople, 1700-1774: Russian-Ottoman Diplomatic Encounters” (PhD diss., Georgetown University, 2016), accessed September 10, 2019, https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/bitstream/handle/10822/1041841/Amelicheva_george....

[11]. Said, Orientalism, xvii.

[12]. For example, Nikolai Ivanovich Veselovskii, Tatarskoe vliianie na russkii posol’skii tseremonial v Moskovskii period russkoi istorii (St. Petersburg: Tipografiia B. M. Vol’fa, 1911); and Ol’ga Genievna Ageeva, Diplomaticheskii tseremonial imperatorskoi Rossii. XVIII vek (Moscow: Novyi khronograf, 2012).

[13]. The most glaring omission in this respect is the work of Ol’ga Genievna Ageeva, who has published, in addition to the monograph cited above, two others addressing the Europeanization of Russian diplomacy and court life: Evropeizatsiia russkogo dvora 1700-1796 gg. (Moscow: Rossiiskaia Akademiia Nauk, Institut Rossiiskoi Istorii, 2006), and Imperatorskii dvor Rossii, 1700-1796 gody (Moscow: Nauka, 2008).

[14]. Said, Orientalism, 206.

[15]. Said, Orientalism, 23.


Citation: Sean Pollock. Review of Taki, Victor, Tsar and Sultan: Russian Encounters with the Ottoman Empire. H-Empire, H-Net Reviews. October, 2019. URL: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=53879

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