The research examines the cultural translation activities of the Jewish Ottoman Camondo family, which became an important merchant dynasty in the 18th century Ottoman Empire. Besides trading between the Ottoman and Habsburg territories, the Camondos also acted as dragomans for Ottoman ambassadors to Vienna and Berlin as well as for European embassies in Istanbul. They were financial agents at the Ottoman court and influential intermediaries of the Jewish communities in the Mediterranean region. An analysis of the family’s rise can offer new perspectives on the figure of the intercultural broker in the Ottoman-European context. The better understanding of the multifaceted translation activities of these cultural brokers can then contribute to a revision of the role of Ottoman Jews in the 18th century.
The research project of Dr Irena Fliter is affiliated with the University of Göttingen.
Project website at the University of Göttingen.