Henning Sievert will present the letter correspondence of Ebu Bekr Pasha, who served as Ottoman governor-general in the Ottoman province of Abyssinia (Habesh Jeddah) from 1725. Correspondences of this kind have rarely survived. However, they allow insights into practices of correspondence and travel, transregional and personal relations, problems and conditions in Jeddah and on the Red Sea before the dominance of Western great powers. The province lay on both shores of the Red Sea and thus on both the African and Arab sides. From Constantinople's point of view, it was a remote region on the one hand, but close to the centre of the Muslim world on the other. Less is known about this world than about other parts of the Ottoman Empire, because the sources bubble up less richly here than elsewhere.
Henning Sievert studied Islamic Studies, Medieval and Modern as well as Eastern European History in Kiel and Cairo, received his doctorate in Bochum and his habilitation in Zurich, and has been head of the Department of Islamic Studies at the Seminar for Languages and Cultures of the Near East at Heidelberg University since 2018, with a focus on Arabic and Turkish Modern History and Ottoman Studies. Important publications cover historiography and ruler change in the Mamluk Empire of the 15th century, education, book culture and elite networks in the Ottoman Empire of the 18th century, knowledge and political communication in Ottoman Libya around 1900.
Participation in the lecture is free of charge, access is via the following link: https://uni-erfurt.webex.com/meet/veranstaltungen.fb.