Fear of the Turks produced a lengthy ‘pamphlet’ war in Europe. Of these pamphlets the Arcadian Library has an exceptional collection, issued from the early sixteenth to the late eighteenth century, which includes a group of rare Portuguese publications concerning events in Constantinople. Following the traumatic earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755, this pamphlet published two years later recounts a similar catastrophe that befell the Turks.
The Ottoman Empire is one of the longest enduring empires in history. During its golden era in fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, most of the Arab world, together with a sizeable part of Eastern Europe, had been incorporated into its borders. Throughout its lifespan, the Ottomans played a significant role in European history, acting as either ally or enemy to various different European states.
The field in which Arab and Persian contributions to progress was most widely acknowledged in the West was science. In spite of criticisms which started in the Renaissance and increased during the scientific revolution preceding the Enlightenment, Arabic writings on science were consulted from the eleventh century, when they were first translated into Latin, to the eighteenth century, when efforts were still being made to establish satisfactory versions of certain texts.