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Telling time like an Ottoman: MEMO in Conversation with Maryam Patton

Did you know that the Ottomans use a number of different calendars to take into account the lives of their diverse communities? But how did this affect its operations? And what role did astrologers and advancements by neighbouring countries play in the Empire?

November 29, 2023 at 4:00 pm



What was the actual difference between western Mediterranean countries like Spain and Italy and the Ottoman Empire in the early modern period? Did they learn from each other and exchange scientific knowledge? The Ottoman Empire had a diverse range of communities within it, how did they mark time and what holidays did they celebrate? How important was astrology in everyday life? Join us as Maryam Patton takes us on a deep dive into these questions and along the way we meet court astrologers, run into time-pieces and learn about the multiple calendars the Ottomans used.

Maryam Patton is a PhD candidate in the joint History and Middle Eastern Studies programme at Harvard University. She focuses on the late medieval and early modern period and is especially interested in cross-cultural transmission across the Mediterranean, especially in the fields of book history and the history of science. Her dissertation examines the historical understanding of time and temporality in the Ottoman Empire from approximately 1330 to 1600. She received her MPhil in European History from the University of Oxford where she was an Ertegun Scholar. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, where she majored in History with a minor in Arabic. She is also a frequent host and editor at the Ottoman History Podcast.

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