The project aims to undertake a comprehensive reconstruction of the career of the Syrian Christian Salomon Negri (Sulaymān b. Yaʿqūb al-Shāmī al-Ṣāliḥānī, also known as Sulaimān al-Aswad, c. 1665–1729), his activities as a scholar, librarian, language teacher, and interpreter, as well as his work as a translator. Negri, whose checkered career led him to Paris, London, Halle, Venice, Rome, and Constantinople, among other places, is regarded as a representative figure for the group of Christian scholars from the Middle East who played a notable role in early modern transfers of knowledge and culture between East and West, and who engaged in processes of mediation and translation between the European Republic of Letters and the Ottoman-Arab world.
The project is situated at the intersections of three research areas: the history of cultural brokers; the history of cultural exchange between the Ottoman-Arab world and the Christian Occident; and the history of language learning, especially the acquisition and study of Oriental languages. Salomon Negri is considered as a cultural mediator who built bridges between Orient and Occident.
The project, which is located at the University of Bamberg, led by Prof Dr Mark Häberlein and worked on by Dr Paula Manstetten, combines micro-historical, anthropological and philological concepts and methods; it also reconstructs Negri’s scholarly and religious networks.
Project website at the University Bamberg.