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

Gift Exchanging Practices between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Ottoman Empire: ‘Cose Turche’ and Strange Animals

Rosita D'Amora
Università del Salento
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
Keywords
  • Ottoman History;,
  • Kingdom of the Two Sicilies;,
  • Diplomatic Gifts;,
  • Naples;,
  • Teatro di San Carlo
How to Cite
D’Amora, R. (2022). Gift Exchanging Practices between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Ottoman Empire: ‘Cose Turche’ and Strange Animals. Cromohs - Cyber Review of Modern Historiography, 24, 108 - 122. https://doi.org/10.36253/cromohs-13645

Abstract

Between  August 1741 and the spring of 1743, following the conclusion of a treaty between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Porte, Naples became the stage of a series of attentively choreographed events starring two special guests:  Hacı Hüseyin Efendi, an envoy of the sultan Mahmud I and an elephant, presented as a sultan's gift to the King Charles of Bourbon. Both guests became a public spectacle, aroused great curiosity, and generated many written and visual responses. Resorting to both the Neapolitan court-sponsored  textual and visual reconstructions and to unpublished archival documents, this article shows how the both on- and off-stage performances arranged to present the envoy, and the sultan's gifts,  had the clear intent of leaving a long-lasting impression on the new Ottoman ally, but also  aimed to assert the power of the Bourbon king inspiring sentiments of wonder, admiration and devotion in his subjects.