The 2021 Fritz Stern prize lecture will be delivered by Richard Calis for his dissertation, "Martin Crusius (1526-1607) and the Lutheran Discovery of Ottoman Greece." The prize is kindly sponsored by the Friends of the German Historical Institute.
From the comfort of his Tübingen home, and in ways that were both innovative and conventional, a Lutheran professor of Greek by the name of Martin Crusius (1526-1607) compiled the early modern period’s richest record of Greek life under Ottoman rule. Through analyses of an extraordinary well-preserved set of sources—hundreds of Crusius’s books and manuscripts have survived in Tübingen—my talk reconstructs the particular confluence of historical circumstances that allowed Crusius to become the period’s foremost expert on Ottoman Greece. I show how religion furthered ethnography and how unknown forms of Mediterranean mobility turned a deeply gendered professorial home into a site of trans-national and cross-cultural encounter, bookish, social, and otherwise. Telling Crusius’s remarkable story thus reveals how three fields of inquiry now often studied separately—the Lutheran Reformation, the history of the early modern Mediterranean, and the history of cultural encounter—were once a single arena of experience and investigation.