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Les petites Arménies d’Europe et de Méditerranée

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Loin de l'Ararat... Les petites Arménies d'Europe et de Méditerannée - Les Arméniens de Marseille

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Mamluks, drogmans, scientists and authors

Other figures helped to make the Armenian a familiar figure on the European landscape : drogmans and other diplomats, missionaries of the Armenian cause, students, artists, political exiles and so on.

The Mamluks brought tens of thousands of Armenian slaves to Egypt not only after 1375, but also in 1426, following the capture of Cyprus. Many were sold in slave markets. Others, who were converted to Islam and trained in the use of weapons, were recruited into the Mamluk army. The role played by Armenians in the Mamluk army is fairly well known. In 1798, they fought Napoleon’s revolutionary armies ; later, Bonaparte recruited twenty of them, including Mamluks of Armenian origin, the most famous being Rustam.

Armenian diplomats included Ignatius Mouradgea of Ohsson (b. in Constantinople in 1740, d. in Bièvres in 1807), the author of the famous Tableau général de l’Empire ottoman [General Table of the Ottoman Empire] (Paris, 1788-1804, 7 vols.). He was the son of Claire Pagy, the daughter of an employee of the French Consulate in Smyrna and Ohannès Mouradgea, drogman to the Swedish Consulate, a position ignatius himself occupied before being appointed secretary to King Gustav III and fulfilling various diplomatic functions for the Ottoman Empire and Sweden. His son, Abraham Constantin Mouradgea d’Ohsson (1779-1851), who was raised in France before pursuing studies at Uppsala University, continued in his father’s footsteps in the Swedish diplomatic service and also as a historian (on the Mongols).

Illustration emblématique

Légende :

Napoleon wounded at Ratisbonne and the renowned Mamluk Rustam, detail of a hand-coloured bois de fil woodblock engraving, Georgin François (engraver), Pellerin Epinal (printer, bookseller, publisher), 1863, 42,1 x 64,1 cm, MuCEM

Copyright MuCEM 2007 : Musée des Civilisations d'Europe et de Méditerranée