Sabancı Üniversitesi


History Seminar: Henry Shapiro


Grigor Daranaḷts‘i and The Rise of Armenian Istanbul 


(Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences)





FASS 2034

Abstract: This lecture will consider the life and work of the Armenian priest and chronicler Grigor Daranaḷts‘i (1576-1643) as a window into a fundamental turning point in the demographic and cultural history of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.  Before the seventeenth century, Istanbul was not a major Armenian cultural center. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, however, it had become the most important Armenian literary and demographic center in the world. This presentation will document how Armenian Istanbul gradually came into being in the aftermath of a mass migration and refugee crisis, describing the transition through the eyes of a seventeenth-century Armenian refugee and political leader.  

Bio: Henry Shapiro specializes in the history of the early modern Islamic World, focusing on the Ottoman Empire. He completed his PhD in 2018 at Princeton University, with a dissertation entitled “The Great Armenian Flight:  The Celali Revolts and the Rise of Western Armenian Society.”  Previously he had earned degrees from Brown University (BA in Classics, 2005), Harvard University (Master of Divinity, 2008), and Sabancı University in Istanbul, Turkey (MA in History, 2011).  In 2017, he was awarded the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, the Princeton Graduate School’s top honor.

Shapiro conducts research based on Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Armenian, and Greek primary sources, and he has written articles in English, Turkish, and Armenian. His most recent publications include “The Great Armenian Flight:  Migration and Cultural Change in the Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Empire,” Journal of Early Modern History 23 (2019):  67-89.