Il divano di Istanbul

Alessandro Barbero

Il divano di Istanbul



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Il divano di Istanbul is an interesting reconstruction by professor Alessandro Barbero, who tells the story of Turkey throughout the centuries. Barbero looks at the key events in the Ottoman Empire from the fourteenth to the twentieth century. He skillfully mixes historical facts with the biographies of the country’s most prominent historical figures to tell the story of the great Ottoman Empire, of which nothing is left today but the tales of great battles, mythological and real, and a rich and varied culture. The Turkish Empire clearly proved to be one of a kind, unique in its attempt to unite Asia and Europe, with the hope of establishing itself as a decisive power in the world.

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Analysis and key concepts


The birth of the Ottoman Empire and the assertion of its power


Constantinople is the Capital of the Ottoman Empire and a key trading hub


The battle of Lepanto in 1571 changed the course of Turkish history


The real decline of the Ottoman Empire began with the defeat of the Turks in Vienna in 1683


The arrival of Kemal Ataturk and the prospect of the restoration of Turkish power




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Discover the history of the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Understand the meaning of old sayings about the Turks.
  • Imagine life in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and the ancient heart of international business.

Alessandro Barbero is a historian, academic and a writer. He is an excellent communicator and populariser who teaches mediaeval history at the University of Eastern Piedmont and Vercelli. In 1996, his novel ‘Bella vita e guerre altrui di Mr Pyle, gentiluomo’ won him the Premio Strega, the most prestigious Italian literary award. Since 2007, he has worked with Rai television on Superquark with Piero Angela, and other programs. Some videos he published on YouTube went viral and made him a web star.

Publishing house:

Sellerio Editore