The American School of Classical Studies at Athens
ASCSA
04/03/2012

“Mr. Turkey Goes to Turkey. How a Dutch Diplomat Wined and Dined in 18th-century Constantinople.”


Joanita Vroom specializes in Medieval and Post-Medieval archaeology in the eastern Mediterranean (from the 7th to the 20th centuries after Christ), and takes a particular interest in the social-economic aspects (production and distribution) and the cultural aspects (cuisine and dining habits) of Byzantine, Islamic, Ottoman and Early Modern ceramics. After finishing her PhD at the University of Leiden (NL), she is active as pottery specialist for international excavations and surveys in Albania (e.g., Butrint, Apollonia, Durrës, Rembeç), in Greece (e.g., Aetolia, Athens, Boeotia, Thebes, Kythera, Antikythera), in western Turkey (e.g., Ephesus, Limyra, Sardis), in eastern Turkey (e.g., Avkat/Euchaita, Kalehöyük, Horum Höyük, Tarsus, Zeytinli Bahçe), in the Ukraine (e.g., Chersonesos) and in Cyprus (e.g., Troodos Mountains). Until now, she has been working with 23 universities (12 European, 11 non-European) and 13 scientific institutes (8 European, 5 non-European). Earlier she published her Ph.D. thesis After Antiquity. Ceramics and Society in the Aegean from the 7th to the 20th century A.C. A Case Study from Boeotia, Central Greece (Leiden, 2003) in the Archaeological Studies Series of Leiden University (NL), and a second monograph with the title Byzantine to Modern Pottery in the Aegean. An Introduction and Field Guide (Utrecht, 2005). She is currently employed as Associate Professor at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University (NL).

See also http://archaeology.leiden.edu/organization/staff/vroomjac/html and http://byzottarch.hum.uva.nl The aim of this lecture was to catch a glimpse of the wining and dining habits at the Ottoman court in Constantinople/Istanbul as seen through the eyes of an outsider, in this case, the eighteenth-century ambassador of the Dutch Republic at the Porte, Cornelis Calkoen (1696-1764) whose name means literally 'turkey'. Apart from describing his audience at the Sultan’s court in a detailed report to his principals, Calkoen also commissioned the French painter Jean-Baptiste Vanmour (1671-1737) to paint this important event. In addition to a description of Calkoen’s audience, this lecture dealt with the Ottoman rules of etiquette relating to eating and drinking, often derived from Islamic doctrine, and in a wider sense with the development of dining manners in the Aegean area from the late fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Special emphasis was put on the kitchen utensils and dining equipment used in the Imperial Kitchens of the Topkapi Palace in Constantinople/Istanbul, where Chinese porcelain, copperware and local tin-glazed pottery (such as Iznik Ware and Kütahya Ware) were stored.

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This year the Gennadius Library would like to thank Lloyd E. Cotsen and Margit Cotsen for their generous support.