Viorel Panaite, Radu Dipratu, A Forgotten Capitulation (‘ahdname): The Commercial Privileges Granted by Sultan Ahmed I to Emperor Matthias in 1617

Viorel Panaite - Institute for South-East European Studies, Bucharest
Radu Dipratu - Institute for South-East European Studies, Bucharest
TOME IV 1966 1-2
pp. 51-90
Online publication date: 
diplomacy; Ottoman-Habsburg relations; trade; ‘ahdname; capitulation; diplomatics

Among the impressive collection of original Turkish documents kept in the The Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv in Vienna lies a most interesting ‘ahdname (capitulation) obtained during Herman Czernin von Chudenitz’s and Cesare Gallo’s embassy to Constantinople in 1617. This document, only briefly known so far through a couple of nineteenth-century translations, can be best described as a commercial ‘ahdname, drafted on the model of those granted to the Porte’s Western commercial partners, and therefore very different from other known Habsburg ‘ahdnames, which mainly concerned military and border-related affairs. The present article offers a general survey on the Ottoman capitulatory regime, and an analysis on the historical context in which the 1617 ‘ahdname was produced. Appendixes containing the document’s transliteration, translation and facsimiles are given at the end.