Nordic Journal of Renaissance Studies 16 • 2019

Peter Madsen
Introduction: Framing 'Turks'

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Depending on their specific situation vis-à-vis the Ottomans and the events leading up to and during the defense of Vienna in 1683, authors treating the confrontation with the Turks had each their frame of interpretation, yet in various ways they all applied patterns of thought and imagination derived from the tradition, whether it was stereotypical negative depictions of Islam or 'Turks', historical or biblical analogies, or general religious views of historical developments. In this sense, certain continuities in reactions from the Fall of Constantinople through the second siege of Vienna are obvious, yet attitudes were not at all uniform during that span of time, and as the variety of reactions to the fall of Constantinople among leading men of the church likewise were meant to demonstrate, even within the Christian elite, attitudes varied. Nor did interpretations in terms of religious confrontation correspond to commercial relations, pragmatic political alliances, and personal experiences of real-life relations. The contributions brought together here demonstrate to what an extent the presence of the 'Turks' had a literary and intellectual impact and how varied reactions and representations were, depending on the interaction of preconceived ideas, information, personal experience, and the broader framework.