Dr Dimitri Kastritsis

Dr Dimitri Kastritsis

BA (Chicago), PhD (Harvard), FRHS - Lecturer

Contact Details

E-mail - dk19@st-and.ac.uk
Telephone - +44 (0)1334 463055
Fax - +44 (0)1334 462914

Research Profile on Research@StAndrews





Teaching and Research Interests

I came to St Andrews in 2007 on an RCUK fellowship, following studies in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago (BA 1995) and History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard (PhD 2005). In addition to Ottoman, Byzantine, and medieval Islamic history, my background includes extensive training in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and other languages. My research focuses on the Ottoman Empire, which at its height in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries extended from Budapest to Baghdad and from Algeria and the Sudan to the Crimea. My career as a researcher began with an examination of a neglected but crucial decade of civil war and political instability in the empire's early history (1402–13) in which the Ottomans struggled to survive after Timur (Tamerlane) put an abrupt end to their first attempt at empire. This research, which resulted in my first book (The Sons of Bayezid) got me interested in questions of late medieval political culture, legitimacy, and narrative representation. The first Ottoman historical narratives to have come down to us date from this time, but are difficult to disentangle because they circulated widely and in many languages (Turkish, Persian, Greek, even Latin). My most recent book (An Early Ottoman History) is the first translation into English of a full-length Turkish history of the early Ottoman Empire, and includes a detailed historical study of its contents. I am currently writing a book on the early Ottoman imperial project from the late fourteenth century to 1453. This will be a study of international politics, cultural exchange, and narrative representation in a period that coincides with late Byzantium and the Italian Renaissance, but which has been neglected from an Ottoman perspective. This neglect is all the more striking given the fact that internationally, the rise of the Ottomans was one of the greatest stories of the time, and one that continues to resonate today.

Main Publications


  • An Early Ottoman History: The Oxford Anonymous Chronicle (Bodleian Marsh 313). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017.
  • Bayezid’in Oğulları: 1402–1413 Osmanlı İç Savaşında İmparatorluk İnşası ve Temsil. Istanbul: Kitap Yayınevi, 2010. [Turkish translation of The Sons of Bayezid].
  • The Tales of Sultan Mehmed, Son of Bayezid Khan. Annotated English Translation, Turkish Edition, and Facsimiles. Cambridge, MA: Harvard NELC, 2009 [backdated 2007].
  • The Sons of Bayezid: Empire Building and Representation in the Ottoman Civil War of 1402-1413. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Cunning Viziers and Drinking Parties: Interpreting Early Ottoman Narratives of State Formation.” The Flux and Reflux of Late Medieval State Formations: Integration, Negotiation and Political Order Across Fifteenth-Century Eurasia. Edited by Jo Van Steenbergen. Leiden and Boston: Brill, in press.
  • “Some Further Remarks on the Turkish Captions of the Byzantine Alexander Romance in Venice (Istituto Ellenico, Codex Gr. 5).” Âb-ı Hayât-ı Aramak: Gönül Tekin’e Armağan. Edited by Ozan Kolbaş and Orçun Üçer. Istanbul: Yeditepe, 2018: 587–608.
  • “Legend and Historical Experience in Fifteenth-Century Ottoman Narratives of the Past.” How the Past was Used. Essays in Historical Culture. Edited by Peter Lambert and Björn Weiler. Oxford: Proceedings of the British Academy, 2017: 121–40.
  • “The Alexander Romance and the Rise of the Ottoman Empire.” Literature and Intellectual Life in Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-century Anatolia. Edited by A. C. S. Peacock and S. N. Yıldız. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2016: 243–83.
  • “The Historical Epic Ahvāl-i Sultān Mehemmed (The Tales of Sultan Mehmed) in the Context of Early Ottoman Historiography.” In Emine Fetvacı and Erdem Çıpa, eds., Writing History at the Ottoman Court: Editing the Past, Fashioning the Future. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013: 1–22.
  • “Ferīdūn Beg’s Münşeʾātü ’s-Selāṭīn (‘Correspondence of Sultans’) and Late Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Views of the Political World.” Imperial Geographies in Byzantine and Ottoman Space. Edited by Dimiter Angelov, Yota Batsaki and Sahar Bazzaz. Washington, DC: Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, 2013: 91–110.
  • “The Revolt of Şeyh Bedreddin in the Context of the Ottoman Civil War of 1402–13.” Halcyon Days in Crete VII. Political Initiatives “From the Bottom Up” in the Ottoman Empire. Edited by Antonis Anastasopoulos. Rethymnon: University of Crete Press, 2012: 233–250.
  • “Conquest and Legitimacy in the Early Ottoman Empire.” Byzantines, Latins, and Turks in the Eastern Mediterranean World after 1150. Edited by Jonathan Harris, Catherine Holmes, and Eugenia Russell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012: 221–245.
  • “The Trebizond Alexander Romance (Venice Hellenic Institute Codex Gr. 5): The Ottoman Fate of a Fourteenth-century Illustrated Byzantine Manuscript.” In Memoriam Angeliki Laiou. Edited by Cemal Kafadar and Nevra Necipoğlu. Journal of Turkish Studies 36 (2011): 103–131.
  • “Religious Affiliations and Political Alliances in the Ottoman Succession Wars of 1402–1413." Medieval Encounters 13 (2007): 222–242.


Administrative Duties

Member of the Centre for Anatolian and East Mediterranean Studies
Member of the Institute for Iranian Studies
Member of the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies
Member of the St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History

Teaching Duties

I participate in teaching on MH2002 and other subhonours modules, and offer the following honours courses:


Research Students

I am happy to supervise students interested in Ottoman history before the nineteenth century, late Byzantine history, and the history of the Medieval and Early Modern Middle East.

Current Research Students

Alasdair Grant, "Cross-Confessional Interfaces in the Late Byzantine World"

Main Publications

The Tales of Sultan Mehmed