Charles Ingrao, Nikola Samardžić, and Jovan Pešalj, editors. The Peace of Passarowitz, 1718. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2011. Central European Studies series. ISBN 978-1-55753-594-8. Figures. Illustrations. Maps. Notes. Index. Pp. xiv, 310. $39.95.
This is a collection of essays from the international conference on the Peace of Passarowitz (1718) held at Požarevac (Passarowitz), Serbia, in 2008. The conference covered the history of war and peace in Southeast Europe from the Great Turkish War (also known as the War of the Holy League) (1683-1699) and the Peace of Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci) (1699), to the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-1718 and the Peace of Passarowitz (1718), to the end of the Russo-Turkish War of 1736-1739 and Austro-Turkish War of 1737-1739 and the Peace of Belgrade (1739). Military action, diplomatic talks, and peace settlements, as Nikola Samardžić states, “helped shape modern international relations, international law, and international borders that replaced what were then only mythical frontiers” (p.vii).
The collection of eighteen essays is grouped into four sections, including The General Outlook; International Relations, Diplomacy and Warfare; Society, Economy, and Trade; along with Ideas, Arts, and Culture. The first two sections will be the most appealing for those readers interested in international history.
In the first section, Charles Ingrao, Professor of History at Purdue University (United States), provides a brief overview of the Habsburg-Ottoman wars. Nikola Samardžić, Professor of History at the University of Belgrade (Serbia), delivers an introduction to international relations and conflict from the Peace of Karlowitz (1699) to the Peace of Belgrade (1739).
For those readers interested in war and diplomacy, the second section is the most important. In the first essay, Harald Heppner, Associate Professor in History at the University of Gratz (Austria) and Daniela Schanes, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Gratz, discuss the impact of the Peace of Passarowitz on the Austrian Habsburg monarchy. They note that Austria’s power base increased in both the 1699 and 1718 treaties. Egidio Ivetic, Lecturer in East European history at the University of Padua (Italy), examines three Venetian-Ottoman conflicts (the War of Candia, 1645-1669; War of the Morea, 1684-1699; and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1714-1718) and the importance of the Peace of Passarowitz in Venice’s Balkan policy. Rhoads Murphey, Reader in Ottoman Studies at the University of Birmingham (England), explores the diplomatic negotiations, mediated by British and Dutch diplomats, between Austrian, Venetian, and Ottoman diplomats that resulted in the Peace of Passarowitz. Gábor Ágoston, Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University (United States), explores the changing military balance of power between Austria and the Ottoman Empire from the War of the Holy League to the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-1718. He writes that by “1716-17, the Habsburgs not only matched the Ottomans numerically and logistically, but thanks to Eugene of Savoy’s military leadership and reforms under his three-decade-long tenure as president of the Court War Council (1703-36), Habsburg armies were also better trained and possessed superior leadership” (p.105).
The section titled Society, Economy and Trade contains two valuable essays. Enes Pelidija, Professor of History at the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia), discusses the influence of the Peace of Passarowitz on Bosnia. Dan D.Y. Shapira, Professor of Ottoman Studies at Bar-Ilan University (Israel), explores the involvement of the Crimean Tatars in the Austro-Ottoman wars.
This is an fascinating collection of essays that consider war and diplomacy in Southeast Europe, focusing on conflicts involving Austria and the Ottoman Empire. Although the title gives one the impression that the work is solely about the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-1718 and the Peace of Passarowitz, many of the essays cover military and diplomatic action from the 1680s (if not before) to the end of the Austro-Turkish War of 1737-1739. The discussions explore the conflicts and impact of the Peace of Karlowitz (1699) and Peace of Passarowitz (1718) that favored the Austrian Habsburgs. Austrian victories at Petrovaradin (Peterwardein) (August 1716), Temesvár (October 1716), and Belgrade (August 1717) led to the greatest expansion of Austrian power in Southeast Europe. Austrian power reached to the Banat of Temesvár (the last important Ottoman stronghold in Hungary), Belgrade and parts of northern Serbia, northern Bosnia, and Lesser Wallachia (Oltenia). However, Austria would lose northern Bosnia, Habsburg Serbia (including Belgrade), and the southern parts of the Banat of Temesvár and Lesser Wallachia in the Peace of Belgrade (1739) that ended the Austro-Turkish War of 1737-1739. All in all, this is a valuable study.
Dr William Young
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota