Episode 27- Looking East: Constantinople and Troy in the Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Imagination

Episode 27 with David Reher

In 1453 CE, the Ottoman Empire conquered the city of Constantinople and destroyed the last vestiges of an empire that had existed for over a thousand years. The event sent shockwaves throughout Europe, and contemporary writers were forced to think about Constantinople—and its symbolic importance within European identity and culture—in new and innovative ways. In Spain, individual authors built upon a long tradition of using representations of the “East” as a space to construct identity and beliefs. In this episode, Dr. David Reher discusses the importance of the cities of Constantinople and Troy in both the medieval and early modern Spanish imaginations, and he explores how later accounts were shaped by the conquest of Constantinople and the growth of the Ottoman Empire.  

The Episode

The Guest

David M. Reher earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies from the University of Chicago, where he has finished his dissertation entitled Constantinople in the Spanish imagination: 1400-1650. He is currently a lecturer in Spanish at the University of Chicago. His research interests lie in Spain’s view of religious Others, in particular the Ottomans. In addition to a forthcoming publication on giants in Don Quixote, he is currently working on additional articles on the Jewish pair Raquel y Vides in the Cantar del Mio Cid, as well as another on the framing of orientalism in the fifteenth-century Embajada a Tamorlán.

Suggested Reading

  • Akbari, Suzanne Conklin. Idols in the East: European Representations of Islam and the Orient, 1100-1450. Cornell University Press, 2012.
  • Bisaha, Nancy. Creating East and West: Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
  • Garcia Salinero, Fernando. Viaje de Turquía (la odisea de Pedro de Urdemalas). Madrid: Catedra, 1986.
  • Herrera, Antonio Urquízar. Admiration and Awe Morisco Buildings and Identity Negotiations in Early Modern Spanish Historiography. Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Marotell, Joanot, ed. Los Cinco Libros Del Esforçado e Invencible Cavallero Tirante El Blanco De Roca Salada. Biblioteca Virtual Joan Lluís Vives, 2002. Biblioteca Virtual Miguel Cervanteswww.cervantesvirtual.com/obra/los-cinco-libros-del-esforcado-e-invencible-cavallero-tirante-el-blanco-de-roca-salada–0/.

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