Pier Mattia Tommasino

Heteroglossia and religious propaganda in the Mediterranean of the modern age

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The paper deals with the use of Italian language in the Ottoman Empire as a code of religious propaganda during the 16th and the 17th centuries. So far scholars have focused on the diffusion of Italian in the Mediterranean area as spoken and written language used by European diplomatic and consular corps in relations with the Ottoman Empire and the States of the Barbary Coast, as well as among Europeans living in Muslim countries. The paper aims to demonstrate that: 1) the Italian language was a Mediterranean code of religious propaganda; 2) its practical uses in the Mediterranean and European literary vogues were complementary aspects of the supremacy of Italian culture in the Euromediterranean area; 3) the travel to the Ottoman empire was the continuation of the "peregrinatio academica" and the "Grand Tour" to Italy; 4) the "lingua toscana in bocca romana" was diffused by Catholic missions in the Middle East.


  • Italian language
  • religious propaganda
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Catholic Church


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