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English dragomans and oriental secretaries: the early nineteenth century origins of the anglicization of the British embassy Drogntanat in Constantinople

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This article begins with a brief account of the role of the dragomans in Constantinople and the evolution of the drogmanat in the British embassy up to the beginning of the nineteenth century. It then argues that the push for an infusion of 'natural-born' Englishmen into this institution at this point came chiefly from the Levant Company and not, as sometimes supposed, from the diplomatic service or the Foreign Office. The upshot was a drogmanat infused with English Levantines and watched over by a British-born oriental secretary. The article concludes with a postscript on developments up to the end of the nineteenth century.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2003

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