In the second half of the sixteenth century, most of the Christian states of Western Europe were on the defensive against a Muslim superpower - the Empire of the Ottoman sultans. There was violent conflict, from raiding and corsairing to large-scale warfare, but there were also many forms of peaceful interaction across the surprisingly porous frontiers of these opposing power-blocs. Agents of Empire describes the paths taken through the eastern Mediterranean and its European hinterland by members of a Venetian-Albanian family, almost all of them previously invisible to history. They include an archbishop in the Balkans, the captain of the papal flagship at the Battle of Lepanto, the power behind the throne in the Ottoman province of Moldavia, and a dragoman (interpreter) at the Venetian embassy in Istanbul. Through the life-stories of these adventurous individuals over three generations, Noel Malcolm casts the world between Venice, Rome and the Ottoman Empire in a fresh light, illuminating subjects as diverse as espionage, diplomacy, the grain trade, slave-ransoming and anti-Ottoman rebellion. He describes the conflicting strategies of the Christian powers, and the extraordinarily ambitious plans of the sultans and their viziers. Few works since Fernand Braudel's classic account of the sixteenth-century Mediterranean, published more than sixty years ago, have ranged so widely through this vital period of Mediterranean and European history. A masterpiece of scholarship as well as story-telling, Agents of Empire builds up a panoramic picture, both of Western power-politics and of the interrelations between the Christian and Ottoman worlds.
Historians have long held that during the decades from the end of the Habsburg-Valois Wars in 1559 until the outbreak in 1618 of the Thirty Years' War, Spanish domination of Italy was so complete that one can refer to the period as a "pax hispanica." In this book, based on extensive research in the papers of the ambassadors who represented Charles V and Philip II, Michael J. Levin instead reveals the true fragility of Spanish control and the ambiguous nature of its impact on Italian political and cultural life. While exploring the nature and weaknesses of Spanish imperialism in the sixteenth century, Levin focuses on the activities of Spain's emissaries in Rome and Venice, drawing us into a world of intrigue and occasional violence as the Spaniards attempted to manipulate the crosscurrents of Italian and papal politics to serve their own ends. Levin's often-colorful account uncovers the vibrant world of late Renaissance diplomacy in which popes were forced to flee down secret staircases and ambassadors too often only narrowly avoided assassination. An important contribution to our understanding of the nature and limits of the Spanish imperial system, Agents of Empire more broadly highlights the centrality of diplomatic history to any consideration of the politics of empire.
With the support of Zionists such as Mark Sykes and Wyndham Deedes, Gribbon and Aaronsohn set in train an intelligence operation which greatly helped General Allenby to defeat the Turkish Army in the Levant to give Britain its 'moment' in the Middle East and lay the foundations for a Zionist state.
The period between the 1860s and the 1920s saw a wave of female migration from Britain to Canada and Australia, much of which was managed by women. In Agents of Empire, Lisa Chilton explores the work of the women who promoted, managed, and ultimately transformed single British women's experiences of migration. Chilton examines the origins of women-run female emigration societies through various aspects of their work and the responses they received from emigrants and settled colonists. Working in the face of apathy in the community, resistance by other (usually male) managers of imperial migration, and agency exerted by the women they sought to manage, the emigrators endeavoured to maintain control over the field until government agencies took it over in the aftermath of the First World War. Agents of Empire highlights the aims and methods behind the emigrators' work, as well as the implications and ramifications of their long-term engagement with this imperialistic feminizing project. Chilton provides tremendous insight into the struggle for control of female migration and female migrants, aiding greatly in the study of gender, migration, and empire.
"While exploring the nature and weaknesses of Spanish imperialism in the sixteenth century, Levin focuses on the activities of Spain's emissaries in Rome and Venice, drawing us into a world of intrigue and occasional violence as the Spaniards attempted to manipulate the crosscurrents of Italian and papal politics to serve their own ends. Levin's account uncovers the vibrant world of late Renaissance diplomacy in which popes were forced to flee down secret staircases and ambassadors too often only narrowly avoided assassination."--BOOK JACKET.