Giancarlo Casale

Contact Me

1237 HellerH

271 19th Ave S

I am a specialist in the history of the early modern Ottoman empire, although I also have interests in the history of geography and cartography, global exploration, and comparative empires. My first book, "The Ottoman Age of Exploration" (Oxford, 2010) was about the history of Ottoman expansion in the Indian Ocean during the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Based on extensive research in the archives of both Turkey and Portugal, it explored the ways in which the growth of the Ottoman Empire was part of the same historical process that witnessed the expansion of numerous other imperial powers, ranging from the overseas empires of Spain and Portugal to rival Islamic states like Mughal India and Safavid Iran. Currently, I am completing work on my second monograph, tentatively titled "Muslim Rome: Horizons of the Renaissance in the Ottoman Mediterranean." The entry point for this study is the simple but surprising fact that the elites of the early modern Ottoman empire referred to themselves not as "Ottomans" or "Turks," but rather "Romans." My book asks to what extent this self-conception as "Roman" intersected with contemporary ideas in Renaissance Italy about the heritage of classical Greco-Roman antiquity. In addition to my work on this book, I am also involved in several smaller projects, including a study of ethnographic modes of writing in Ottoman Turkish, the development of Ottoman naval technology, and a geo-historical study of the earthquake of Dubrovnik in 1667. Since 2011, I have also served as the co-executive editor (with Nabil Matar) of the Journal of Early Modern History

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2004.


  • Ottoman Empire
  • Pre-modern and early modern world history
  • Modern Turkey
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Executive Editor: Journal of Early Modern History
  • Editorial Board Member: IJMES
  • “Ottoman Warships in the Indian Ocean Armada of 1538: A Quantitative and Statistical Analysis,” in Dejanirah Couto, Feza Günergün and Maria Pia Pedani, eds., Seapower, Technology and Trade: Studies in Turkish Maritime History (Istanbul: Denizler Kitabevi, 2014), 89-102.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “Seeing the Past: Maps and Ottoman Historical Consciousness,” in Erdem Çipa and Emine Fetvac?, Writing History at the Ottoman Court: Editing the Past, Fashioning the Future (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), 80-99.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “From Hungary to Southeast Asia: The Ali Macar Reis Atlas in Global Perspective,” The Journal of Ottoman Studies 39/1 (2012): 55-62 Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “Imperial Smackdown: The Portuguese between Imamate and Caliphate in the Persian Gulf,” in Rudi Matthee and Jorge Flores, eds., Portugal, The Persian Gulf, and Safavid Persia (Leuven: Peeters, 2011), 177-90. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “16 Yüyila ait Türkçe Dünya Haritasinda Avrupa Düsüncesi,” in Dejanirah Couto, ed., Harp ve Sulh: Avrupa ve Osmanlilar, trans. Sirin Tekeli (Istanbul: Kitap Yayinevi, 2010), 57-82. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo, Carla Rahn Phillips, Lisa Norling. "Introduction to 'The Social History of the Sea' Special Issue." Journal of Early Modern History 14/1-2 (2010): 1-7.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. The Ottoman Age of Exploration. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "Global Politics in the 1580s: One Canal, Twenty Thousand Cannibals, and an Ottoman Plot to Rule the World." Journal of World History 18 (2007): 267-296. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "The Ethnic Composition of Ottoman Ship Crews and the 'Rumi Challenge' to Portuguese Identity." Medieval Encounters 13 (2007): 122-144. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "The Ottoman 'Discovery' of the Indian Ocean in the 16th Century." Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Global Cultures, and Trans-Oceanic Exchanges (2007): 87-104.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "The Ottoman Administration of the Spice Trade in the Sixteenth-Century Red Sea and Persian Gulf." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 49 49/2 (2006): 170-198. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "His Majesty's Servant Lutfi: The career of a previously unknown sixteenth-century Ottoman envoy to Sumatra based on an account of his travels from...." Turcica 37 (2005): 43-81. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "An Ottoman Intelligence Report from the Mid Sixteenth-Century Indian Ocean." Journal of Turkish Studies 31/1 (2007): 181-88. Download
  • Casale, Giancarlo. "Ottoman 'Guerre de Course' and the Intercontinental Spice Trade." Itinerario 32/1 (2008): 59-79. Download
  • “The Islamic Empires of the Early Modern World,” in Jerry Bentley, Merry Wiesner-Hanks, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam eds., Cambridge World History, Vol.6: The Construction of a Global World, 1400-1800 CE, Part 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp.323-346.
  • Casale, Giancarlo. “Tordesillas and the Ottoman Caliphate: Early Modern Frontiers and the Renaissance of an Ancient Islamic Institution”. , 2015.
  • Fernand Braudel Fellowship, European University Institute, 2017
  • Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, 2014
  • Villa I Tatti Senior Research Fellowship, 2012 - 2013
  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship, 2009 - 2011
  • Koc Senior Research Fellow in Anatolian Civilizations, Spring 2009
  • Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Fall 2008
  • NEH/ARIT Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2004 - 2005
  • Fulbright-Hayes Research Fellow, 2002 - 2003

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