Vol. 24 (2021): Cromohs
Emotion, Diplomacy and Gift Exchanging Practices in the Ottoman Context

Ottoman Messages in Kind: Emotions and Diplomatic Gifts

Hedda Reindl-Kiel
University of Bonn
Cover image: Alcázar Palace, Seville: the Salón de Embajadores (Hall of the Ambassadors). Watercolour, attributed to E.S., ninetheenth century. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain
Published June 8, 2022
  • Diplomatic gifts,
  • emotions,
  • Mamluks,
  • Iran,
  • Court of Vienna
How to Cite
Reindl-Kiel, H. (2022). Ottoman Messages in Kind. Cromohs - Cyber Review of Modern Historiography, 24, 70 - 86. https://doi.org/10.36253/cromohs-13631


The article brings the theory into question that emotions in the Ottoman realm centred on love and investigates whether and if, how, emotions played a role in the empire’s diplomatic gift traffic. The gift exchange with the Mamluks and Iran was largely influenced by specific political situations and feelings were mainly acted out in the domestic sphere. There were, however, several items, which as gifts signalled intimate friendship. Yet, the Ottomans utilised only by way of exception as diplomatic gifts. On the diplomatic stage the main function of presents was to convey messages, be it a thread, or be it an exhortation.