MEDITERRANEAN BASIN. The advent of the early modern era in the Mediterranean Basin is easy to identify, thanks to two quite spectacular events. In 1453 the Turkish Ottomans conquered the great city of Constantinople and put an end to the Byzantine Empire. Although help for the Byzantines had been fitful and reluctant, Christian Europe was shocked nevertheless.
At the other end of the inland sea the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I (ruled 1474–1504) completed the centuries-long reconquest, as they called it, of the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, when they defeated the last Muslim kingdom, Granada. In that same momentous year they expelled the Jews from their domains, and Columbus landed on the shores of American islands.
The Spanish and Ottoman achievements put an end to the political fragmentation and unstable alliances that had been so characteristic of the medieval period. In the east, the central fact had been the quickening pace of Byzantine collapse. Although the Byzantines had managed to take Constantinople back from the Latins in 1260, this did not halt the steady dwindling of Byzantine power, especially on the sea. An assortment of political entities—both Muslim and Christian—fought for control of the eastern Mediterranean during the fourteenth century. The Ottomans managed to emerge triumphant, besting both Muslim and Christian rivals. Once again the eastern Mediterranean was ruled from Constantinople, now Istanbul, by an imperial power.
Prior to their conquest of the capital city, the Ottomans had established their control over western Anatolia and much of the Balkans. After 1453 they consolidated their rule in both places, reproducing and extending the borders of the now vanquished Byzantine Empire.
From the Muslim point of view, the stunning feat of the conquest of what they called Istanbul suggested that a preeminent Muslim power might be emerging. As in the Mediterranean, the medieval Islamic world had also been characterized by the proliferation of small states following the Mongol destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate at Baghdad in 1258. Ottoman supremacy was confirmed in the early sixteenth century, when Sultan Selim I (ruled 1512–1520) defeated the Mamluks in Syria and Egypt. By so doing he also became master of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, a fact of the utmost symbolic power in the Islamic world. Ottoman primacy also meant a historic shift westward in terms of the political and cultural center of the Islamic world. Not since the Umayyads made Damascus the capital of their dynasty in the seventh century had the Mediterranean figured so prominently in the Muslim world.
The unification of Spain took a giant leap forward in 1469, just sixteen years after the Ottomans took Istanbul. In that year Ferdinand II of Aragón married Isabella I of Castile. When Ferdinand succeeded to the crown of Aragón in 1479, the two formerly independent kingdoms (which together make up most of modern Spain) became one. Ferdinand and Isabella were determined to extinguish Muslim power on the Iberian Peninsula, and in 1492, with the defeat of Muslim Granada, they achieved their aspirations. The reconquest was complete, and a united, although admittedly fractious, Spain had emerged to take the place of the patchwork of kingdoms and emirates of the medieval period.
Control over Mecca and Medina had catapulted the Ottomans to leadership (albeit contested) of the Islamic world. Similarly the actions of Isabella and Ferdinand led them to see themselves, and to be seen by others, as the leaders of Christian Europe. In 1494 Pope Alexander VI bestowed upon them the designation of Catholic kings (Reyes Católicos) in recognition of their many services to Christianity, namely the conquest of Granada, the discovery of the New World, the expulsion of the Jews, and their leadership of the Spanish Inquisition. Both states then derived a good deal of their legitimacy from their militant offensive against the religious "other," and both states were now the preeminent powers in their respective halves of the Mediterranean. Combining these two facts, it is not surprising that in the sixteenth century the Ottomans and the Spaniards now turned to face each other. The Spanish-Ottoman rivalry meant that in the early modern era the Mediterranean was a prime site for the enduring conflict between Christianity and Islam.
But this was not all. In the sixteenth century the Mediterranean Basin became an extension of the intense rivalries of European politics, a contest in which the Ottomans were full participants. These rivalries often ignored the religious divide that was so fundamental in Spanish-Ottoman hostilities. Two levels of conflict then, one old and one new, wove their way through the tumultuous history of the sea in the early modern period.
The first phase of the Ottoman-Spanish confrontation took place in North Africa and was directly related to the Spanish reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Even before the fall of Granada, privateers from the eastern Mediterranean had made their way to the western half of the sea, exploring the opportunities for holy war and enrichment. Some settled in the various port cities of North Africa, and over time the local populations came to view them as a source of help against the Spaniards. The North Africans had good reason to fear Spain. The enormous consequences of the Spanish and Portuguese discoveries in the New World have led historians to neglect the continuing salience of a crusade against Islam for Spanish elites after 1492. An important segment of the Spanish nobility wanted the monarchy to direct its energies toward a conquest of Muslim North Africa rather than commercial exploration of the West African coast.
The Ottoman sultans at this time—Bayezit II (ruled 1481–1512) and Selim the Grim (Selim I, ruled 1512–1520)—were unwilling to engage in warfare with the Spaniards. They contented themselves with the trouble the corsairs caused for Spain and the intelligence they brought back to Istanbul from time to time. Thus hostilities early in the sixteenth century took the form of low-level raiding between North Africa and Spain. Full-scale conflict between the two empires did not commence until the 1530s, and at that point (Spain was now part of a much wider empire in Europe) it reflected Ottoman-Habsburg rivalry on the Continent as much as it did the contest between Christianity and Islam in the Mediterranean.
In 1532 Emperor Charles V (ruled 1519–1556) attacked the Ottoman city of Coron in southern Greece. The move was intended to divert the Ottoman armies from their campaign in the Balkans, which was putting pressure on Charles's Austrian territories. The move did succeed to the extent that Sultan Suleiman (ruled 1520–1566) had to call off the Balkan expedition, but it also had the effect of galvanizing him into action in the Mediterranean. The Turkish corsair Hayreddin Barbarossa (Khayr ad-Dīn) was summoned from Algiers and put in charge of the Ottoman fleet. In 1534 he sailed to Tunis, where the Hafsid dynasty had been allowed to continue a semi-independent existence. In short order Barbarossa occupied the city and put down the meager resistance offered by the reigning sultan. The Ottomans now controlled one side of the Sicilian channel. This victory was short-lived, however. Just one year later Charles launched four hundred ships carrying over twenty-six thousand men and retook the city. For the next forty years the central Mediterranean was a major battleground between the two empires.
A string of Ottoman victories followed the Spanish recapture of Tunis. In 1541 the Spanish tried to take Algiers, but the attempt turned into a debacle. They had to withdraw with a major loss of men and matériel. The city of Tripoli fell to the Ottoman armada in 1551, and the Muslim threat grew apace. In the summer of 1558 the Ottomans wiped out an entire contingent of Spanish troops stationed on the Algerian coast and raided the island of Minorca. Truly alarmed, Philip II (ruled 1556–1598) sent his galleys once again to the central Mediterranean, where they met a spectacular defeat at the island of Gerba in 1560. Ghislain de Busbecq, the ambassador of the Holy Roman emperor in Istanbul, was there for the triumphant return of the Ottoman fleet. He watched as columns of Christian prisoners were paraded through the streets. The Ottomans were now firmly in control of the central Mediterranean, and the Christian world waited with dread as the spring of 1561 turned to summer; they fully expected the Ottoman armada to reappear and to attack some portion of the Italian or Spanish coastline. In the event, however, the armada never came and in fact did not reappear for four summers. The long-expected assault did not come until 1565, when Suleiman finally launched an attack on Malta. Incredibly the Knights were able to hold the attackers off long enough for disease, heat, and food shortages to do their work. When Spanish reinforcements arrived in early September, the Ottomans decided to abandon the siege; by 12 September "the last Turkish sail had disappeared over the horizon" (Braudel, p. 1019).
The defeat at Malta returned the initiative to the Spanish. Now instead of worrying about where and when the sultan would strike, observers wondered whether the Spanish—who had vast, even global, commitments—would choose to press their advantage in the Mediterranean. Initially they did not. The ongoing difficulties in the Netherlands turned into full-scale war in 1567, and Philip could not fight in both arenas simultaneously. It would take the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus (summer of 1570) to bring the Spanish back into the Mediterranean in force. Philip's decision to go to the aid of Venice led directly to the justly famous 1571 battle at Lepanto (Návpaktos), where the allied Christian forces scored a tremendous victory over their Muslim foes.
It has often been remarked that, for such a renowned event, Lepanto was strangely inconsequential. Venice surrendered Cyprus anyway, and the Spanish did not press their advantage any farther east. Within a year the Ottomans had rebuilt their fleet, yet they too did not launch a single-minded pursuit of the enemy (although they did take Tunis back for the last time in 1574.) Lepanto was followed not by an accelerating spiral of warfare but by a gradual disengagement that proved permanent over time. This perhaps unexpected result reflects the fact that the Battle of Lepanto, for all the rejoicing it caused in Europe, was the last spasm of a system that was slowly grinding to a halt, collapsing under its own weight. Throughout the sixteenth century the cost of galley warfare steadily escalated. Loaded with more and more guns, the galleys had to be bigger and stronger. Thus governments had to search out even more manpower, the perennial Mediterranean problem, and this meant more provisions at a time when prices were rising. In 1520 ship biscuits accounted for just under 25 percent of the total cost of operating a galley. By 1590 that figure was between 30 and 50 percent (Guilmartin, p. 222). The final conquest of Tunis was probably the most expensive Ottoman campaign of the sixteenth century.
In the last quarter of the sixteenth century, then, both the Ottomans and the Spaniards retreated into their separate corners of the Mediterranean, unwilling to pay a higher and higher price for increasingly marginal gains. Thus the age of "great wars" drew to a close, and each side gave up the dream of hegemony over the Mediterranean in its entirety.
THE OTTOMANS AND EUROPEAN POLITICS
The Ottomans, of course, were not the only foes or even the principal foes of the Spanish Habsburgs in the sixteenth century. The wars of religion and the ambitions of other monarchs, the French crown in particular, ensured that Spain was resented, even hated, across much of the European continent. With its vast resources and proven ability to confront Spanish power both on the Continent and in the Mediterranean, the Ottoman Empire was thus a potential ally for many on the European political scene.
The French king Francis I (ruled 1515–1547) made his intentions clear as early as 1533. Meeting with Pope Clement VII at Marseille, he declared, "Not only will I not oppose the invasion of Christendom by the Turk, but I will favor him as much as I can the more easily to recover that which plainly belongs to me and my children, and has been usurped by the Emperor" (Knecht, p. 301). The following summer an envoy from Hayreddin Barbarossa met with Francis just one month before the former captured Tunis and expelled the Tunisian king, who was a Habsburg ally. In 1535 Francis sent Jean de La Forêt to Istanbul with a view to gaining the sultan's help in a future war with the Habsburg emperor. On the way La Forêt stopped in North Africa and offered Barbarossa ships and supplies in return for help against Genoa. The French mission to Istanbul and rumors of a signed agreement scandalized Christian Europe, but more was to come. In the early 1540s France and the Habsburgs were at war again, and Suleiman informed Francis that he was placing Barbarossa's fleet at his disposal. The fleet duly set sail from Istanbul with the French ambassador onboard; on its way to Marseille it raided the coasts of Sicily and Italy. After a combined Ottoman-French bombardment of the Habsburg-occupied town of Nice, the Ottoman fleet wintered at Toulon.
The Habsburg-Ottoman confrontation in the Mediterranean in the sixteenth century then cannot be disentangled from the rivalries on the Continent. But once the two old foes disengaged (a truce was signed in 1580), conflict in the Mediterranean changed both in nature and in significance. The Ottomans were no longer useful as an ally for those who wished to confront Spain. Ottoman struggles therefore became decoupled from European rivalries, and Ottoman activity in the Mediterranean had only a local significance. Indeed once the two superpowers departed from the stage, the age of "little wars," as Fernand Braudel (1976) put it, commenced. Pirates and corsairs reclaimed the sea both east and west and worked for their own interests through a skillful combination of trade and piracy.
THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
The English presence in North Africa provides a good example of this new phase in Mediterranean history. English privateers originally entered the Mediterranean as combatants in England's war against Spain. Having engaged the Spanish in the Atlantic as early as the 1560s, the English by the turn of the century had taken up residence in the ports of North Africa, particularly Algiers. From there the entire southern coastline of Spain lay open to their assaults. Ottoman sailors and soldiers were happy to join the English in their raiding activity, but they were not directed by Istanbul and were not pursuing any larger Ottoman agenda on Spain. The English Queen Elizabeth I (ruled 1558–1603) may have asked, in negotiations with the sultan at the end of the 1570s, that the Ottoman fleet be sent out to confront Spain, but the Ottomans did not respond.
Hostilities between England and Spain came to an end in 1604, but the "Barbary pirates" (the term originally referred to the English in North Africa, not to the Muslim population) did not go home. If they had initially come to confront Spain, now they stayed on to enjoy the life of a corsair in the Mediterranean. Over time the Barbary States (as they came to be known) evolved into formidable corsair capitals with an international population that operated on its own account, independent of both Europe and the Ottoman Empire. The North African corsairs were adept practitioners of the "little wars" that characterized the Mediterranean in the seventeenth century, but they were not the only ones. The distinguished historian of Marseille, Robert Paris, has described much of the seventeenth century as an "interregnum." In using this term he draws attention to the lull that attended between the decline of the Spanish and Portuguese navies and the rise of the northern powers of England, France, and Holland in the Mediterranean. This was the age of the great Mediterranean entrepôts of Algiers and Tripoli (on the Muslim side) and Valletta and Livorno/Leghorn (on the Christian side), which grew wealthy through a skillful combination of trade and piracy. The brisk trade in captured goods linked markets on either side of the religious divide. A Venetian commentator wrote the following early in the seventeenth century: "Livornese, Corsican, Genoese, French, Flemish, English, Jewish, Venetian and other merchants are settled in Algeria and Tunisia. They buy up all the stolen merchandise and send it to the free port of Livorno and from there it is distributed all over Italy" (Balbi de Caro et al., p. 37). The Greek archipelago was another center of pirate activity in this chaotic century. Although it was nominally under Ottoman control, the actual Ottoman presence on these rocky islands was minimal, and it became even more so during the long Ottoman-Venetian wars of the second half of the seventeenth century.
To a certain extent the corsairs were operating on their own initiatives and were motivated by economic self-interest. But they were also part of a larger story. A historic shift in the Mediterranean balance of power was being worked out in the seventeenth century. It was in this period that the Dutch, the English, and to a lesser extent the French put an end to Italian commercial supremacy in the Mediterranean, and piracy was a vital instrument in this assault.
The English pirate, for example, was not confined to North Africa. Pirates slowly worked their way east, where they became hated and feared figures, particularly for the Venetians. A Venetian administrator in Crete in 1604 vented his frustration at the English pirates who hampered the island's provisioning: "These damn bertons which sail in these waters to their heart's content, stealing from and plundering everyone, and not permitting even one caramousal, loaded with grain, to approach, as they used to" (Spanakes, pp. 523–524).
Piracy was only one prong in a many-sided northern assault on the commercial status quo in the Mediterranean. The English and the Dutch undercut Italian, particularly Venetian, power by circulating cheap imitations of Italian goods throughout the Mediterranean. At the same time, under the controlling eye of mercantilist governments, northern manufacturing began to produce a wide range of new goods, particularly textiles, that were both cheap and popular in Mediterranean markets. Commercial companies, such as the English Levant Company, which received its charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1581, imposed a discipline on merchants that further strengthened the power of English and Dutch trade. All of these factors are in the bitter comments of the Venetian ambassador at Constantinople in 1636:
Among the bales of cloth I noticed some which [the English] call "anti-Venetian" which means in imitation and for the destruction of ours, a prejudice which is increased by many other advantages which the English have in trading in these parts, both from the Capitulations which they have with the Porte and because their trading is done by means of a company. . . . They are not only exempt from half the duties which may be remitted to them, but they have a thousand chances of smuggling, which assuredly they do not miss. (Rapp, p. 511)
These remarks made in Constantinople underscore how attractive and important the vast Ottoman market was for both older commercial powers, such as the Italians, and northern newcomers. The classic view of European exploration and expansion in the early modern period emphasizes the extent to which the Spanish and the Portuguese wanted to cut out the Muslim middleman, who stood between them and the luxury goods of the Far East, someone who was both a commercial rival and a religious enemy. This view is not incorrect, but it is not the entire story. Northern maritime powers, that is, the English and the Dutch, did of course continue the encirclement of the Mediterranean that was begun by the Iberians. Ottoman customs inspectors on the border with Iran notified the government that the volume of Iranian silk coming into the Ottoman Empire was diminishing and asked what should be done about it. (The Iranians of course were selling the silk to the English agents of the East India Company.) But at the same time northern merchants were interested in buying up whatever they could in Ottoman markets and selling northern goods as well. Beginning in the seventeenth century then, and with ever increasing speed in the eighteenth, the trade in staples and foodstuffs between the Ottoman Empire and western and central Europe began to grow. It replaced in importance the old luxury trade, in which the eastern Mediterranean had functioned as a transit point for luxury goods coming from the Far East.
The older cities associated with the overland luxury trade—places like Bursa and especially Aleppo—declined, or at least failed to grow, over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At the same time formerly modest towns along the coast began their slow but steady transformation into the cosmopolitan entrepôts that would reach their full flower in the nineteenth century. The freewheeling, multiethnic, multilinguistic cities of the eastern Mediterranean that so captured the imaginations of Western travelers and writers—cities like Alexandria, celebrated by Lawrence Durrell in his four-volume The Alexandria Quartet (1957–1960)—got their start in the seventeenth century.
Izmir, or Smyrna as Europeans called it, on the western coast of Anatolia, was one of the first examples of this new type of Ottoman urban development. Throughout most of the sixteenth century Izmir was just one of many small port towns along the Anatolian coast. Whatever modest amount of agricultural surplus might become available was sent along to the imperial capital. Istanbul encouraged this relationship; the sultan was anxious to ensure the provisioning of the city and did not want the empire's foodstuffs diverted to Western merchants. Toward the end of the century this quiet situation began to change. There had always been some Western merchants operating in the area, and low-level smuggling, made easier by the jagged coastline with its many inlets, was an enduring fact of life. With the repeated grain crises of the 1590s, the number of Western merchants—first Venetians, then Dutch, English, and French merchants—began to grow, as did the amount of smuggling. Izmir was at the center of this trade. Attracted initially by grain, the Westerners soon discovered that the fertile valleys of western Anatolia produced many other products as well: honey, fruit, nuts, cotton, wool, and tobacco, to name just a few. Later in the seventeenth century Izmir became famous as the Mediterranean outlet for silk coming from the east. Fueled by a combination of Western demand, low prices, and Ottoman willingness to trade, Izmir began to grow rapidly. In 1600 fewer than five thousand people inhabited the town; by 1650 that number had risen to thirty or forty thousand as both Europeans and Ottoman subjects moved in. Whereas no European consuls were resident in Izmir in 1600, the Dutch, the English, the French, and the Venetians all had representation by 1620. Travelers had rarely mentioned or visited the town prior to this period, but after 1620 no tour of the Levant was complete without a mention of the bustling port. Izmir's intimate relationship with the world of Mediterranean and Atlantic trade was clear even in the geography of its settlement; western Europeans installed themselves along the road that ran beside the city's quay. It came to be known as the Street of the Franks, and the taverns, coffee-houses, and even churches that graced the cities of western Europe proliferated along this street as well.
Although it had not planned or even anticipated Izmir's development, the Ottoman government was not long in recognizing the potential benefits of the new commercial patterns that were turning the city into an international emporium. By the second half of the seventeenth century favorable tax policies, implemented by the powerful vizier Köprülü Mehmed Pasha (served 1656–1661), encouraged the city's trade and sent more of the surplus back to Istanbul. The Köprülü family viziers also initiated an extended public construction campaign, and the khans, covered markets, and baths that characteristically graced important Ottoman cities were erected in Izmir as well. Perhaps most significantly, a castle, Sancakburnu Kalesi, was built at the entrance to the city's harbor. Completed in the late 1650s, the castle vastly increased the state's ability to protect the harbor from attack and to collect customs duties from seaborne commerce. The Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi noted this with satisfaction some years later: "The vessels of the community of misbelievers used to carry freight and donate whatever customs they wished, or, drawing anchor and fleeing, nothing at all." However, "with the completion of this castle, no ship of the misbelievers could avoid paying customs" (Eldem et al., p. 108).
TOWARD THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
Earlier in the century the Ottoman government had resisted Izmir's new role and had railed in vain against the smugglers and pirates and their collaborators within Ottoman society. Gradually the state came to terms with the commercialized agriculture that was increasingly common along the Aegean coastline. This flexibility was one of the reasons (a return of security to the Anatolian countryside was another) they were able to regain control, at least relatively speaking, over the Mediterranean coastline and over seaborne commerce more generally. Not only the Ottomans reasserted their control over the Mediterranean as the century drew to a close. The actions of other states too signaled that the age of the corsair and the pirate was coming to an end (a similar phenomenon can be observed in the Caribbean). In the last quarter of the seventeenth century the French government, which dominated Mediterranean commerce in the eighteenth century, turned resolutely toward the sea and began a systematic expansion of French commerce. An important part of this project was the reining in of the piracy, both Christian and Muslim, that had flourished throughout the century. In 1679, for example, Louis XIV (ruled 1643–1715) issued an order forbidding French subjects from serving on Maltese corsair ships on cruises in the Levant. More generally the king exerted heavy pressure on the Knights of Malta to halt all their activities, which included the harassment of French trade, in the eastern Mediterranean. Closer to home the French tried to regularize their relationships with the North African states through a series of treaties. By the middle of the eighteenth century corsair activity across the Mediterranean was sharply down.
The end of the age of piracy, however, did not usher in an age of normalized trading relations allowing merchants and ships to move freely from port to port. In fact the eighteenth-century Mediterranean was more and more the domain of western Europeans and to a certain extent local Christians. These Ottoman Christians, mostly but not exclusively Greek, sometimes collaborated with Western merchants and sometimes competed against them, but in any event benefited from the protection extended to them by European governments for a variety of reasons. Muslim merchants, while still extremely active in the internal trade of the empire (which continued to dwarf external trade), found that the sea was not so friendly, particularly outside the eastern Mediterranean basin.
The port of Marseille, which was the port for France's Mediterranean trade, was a different place than Venice had been in its prime. Muslims had been a familiar if still exotic presence in the city of the lagoons. Documentation from the sixteenth century demonstrates that Ottoman Muslim merchants were able to make complaints over ill treatment; it also shows that the Venetian authorities repeatedly tried to find suitable space to lodge all the merchants, including Muslims, coming from the Ottoman Empire. In the same century too the town of Ancona sought to provide lodging and ware-housing facilities for Muslim merchants.
No such hospitality was extended by the Chamber of Commerce of Marseille to North Africans, who were the principal Muslim communities interested in trading with Marseille. If they managed to reach the port, they found there was no storage space for their goods, no translators for them, or no small craft available to take their merchandise into the harbor. Sometimes they were forbidden to sail into the harbor on the grounds that they must be pirates and not peaceful merchants bent on commerce. North Africans in Marseille were on uncertain territory, no matter the formal state of relations between the government in Paris and the regencies of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers. In 1674, for example, eight Algerians managed to flee the Spanish galleys where they were enslaved and sought refuge in a small French port, given that France and Algeria were then at peace. But the unfortunate runaways were seized and sent to the galleys of Marseille. Following protests from the ruler of Algiers, the French minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert ordered their release, but his instructions were not followed.
Just a little over a century earlier, of course, the Ottoman fleet wintered at Toulon, to the east of Marseille, after collaborating with the French in bombing Habsburg-held Nice. Now the Ottoman sultan reacted not at all to the ill treatment of individuals who were, nominally at least, Ottoman subjects, and the governor of Algiers found that his protest was ineffectual. The contrast suggests the extent to which, over the course of the early modern period, the Mediterranean Basin became an extension of European and particularly northern European power. Although much of the vast interior of the Ottoman Empire was never colonized by Europe, by the nineteenth century many of the empire's port cities were under European control, either through direct colonization (as in Algiers) or through the more indirect machinations of international finance and diplomacy.
See also Habsburg Territories ; Levant ; Ottoman Empire ; Piracy ; Venice .
Balbi de Caro, Silviana, et al., eds. Merci e Monete a Livorno in Età Granducale. Milan, 1997.
Brummett, Palmira. Ottoman Seapower and Levantine Diplomacy in the Age of Discovery. Albany, N.Y., 1994.
Earle, Peter. Corsairs of Malta and Barbary. London, 1970. One of only a few comparative studies of corsairing.
Eldem, Edhem, Daniel Goffman, and Bruce Masters. The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir, and Istanbul. Cambridge, U.K., 1999.
Emerit, Marcel. "L'essai d'une marine marchande barbaresque aux XVIII siècle." Cahiers de Tunisie 11 (1955). Emerit is one of a number of older scholars whose diligent work in the French archives has unearthed a wealth of information on North African commercial history.
Goffman, Daniel. Izmir and the Levantine World, 1550–1650. Seattle, 1990. A masterful study of the city's rise to prominence.
Guilmartin, John. Gunpowder and Galleys: Changing Technology and Mediterranean Warfare at Sea in the Sixteenth Century. London, 1974. This classic work on Mediterranean warfare in the sixteenth century has yet to be surpassed.
Hess, Andrew C. The Forgotten Frontier: A History of the Sixteenth Century Ibero-African Frontier. Chicago, 1978. The only study of the border that takes the story beyond 1492.
Knecht, R. J. Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I. Cambridge, U.K., 1994. Knecht provides surprisingly hard to come by details on the negotiations between Francis and Suleiman the Magnificent.
Paris, Robert. Histoire du commerce de Marseille, V, de 1660 a 1789: Le Levant. Paris, 1957.
Rapp, Richard. "The Unmaking of the Mediterranean Trade Hegemony: International Trade Rivalry and the Commercial Revolution." Journal of Economic History 35, no. 3 (1975): 499–525.
Spanakes, Stergios. "E ekthese tou douka tes Kretes." Kretika Chronika 3 (1949): 519–533. The reports of Venetian administrators in Crete, many of which have been published by Greek scholars, provide an extremely valuable perspective on the early modern eastern Mediterranean.
Tenenti, Alberto. Piracy and the Decline of Venice, 1580–1615. Berkeley, 1967.
"Mediterranean Basin." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mediterranean-basin
"Mediterranean Basin." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Retrieved August 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mediterranean-basin