Introduction: western travel writing and the city in the Muslim world
The City in the Muslim World: Depictions by Western Travel Writers
Taylor and Francis Inc.
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This chapter focuses on the era of the city when Ali Pasha was in power, namely from 1788, when he was recognized by the Ottoman Porte as ruler of the Pashalik of Jannina, to 1822, when he was taken down by Sultan Mahmud II's forces, following a two-year violent struggle. During the first two decades of the nineteenth century, Jannina, the city of Epirus in western Greece, comprised a regional economic, administrative, military and cultural centre. The marginal proximity to the Ottoman Empire's western boundary during a time of political rearrangements with overtones of the French Revolution, in combination with Ali Pasha's comparatively long rule, increased the mobility of foreign, mainly European, observers, travellers and adventurers. Jannina also hosted a number of foreign, European travellers, delegates of their governments or advisers to the ruler; thus, a number of memoirs and reports including descriptions of the city were published, along with depictions of it, its environs and its leader.