Essay Example on the Great Migration: Istanbul in 1569

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1005 Words
Date:  2023-05-08

During the sixteenth century, people moved to cities for various reasons. According to some individuals, they were escaping the wrath of leadership unleashed on them by their rulers, while others were in search of better and broader opportunities. By looking at the reading, Fire Engulfs Istanbul (1569), by Marcantonio Barbaro, essential details about Istanbul are highlighted through letters. During Barbaro's stay in the Ottoman, the capital of Istanbul between 1568 to 1574, he provided a proper description of how Istanbul looked like before the tragic fire that consumed the city. In detail, specific elements are noted, which significantly contributed to the movement of people to Istanbul. For example, there was a significant opportunity for both the people living in Venice and Istanbul since both governments had democratic ties that promoted trade interests. In the first letter dated 1569, Marcantonio Barbaro quotes that;

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I would first like to tell you that this enormous city of Constantinople (Istanbul), built on many hills in a triangular shape, had never been so fully built, populated, and enriched by the ruin of other provinces, especially that part facing Pera. Your Serenity should believe that presently it has been at its highest peak for many years (302).

Through such a description, Barbaro shows the previous view of Istanbul as a city filled with people from different provinces. Most people were drawn to Istanbul due to its position as a trading center. Also, the town was built in a modernized and wooden manner that individuals enjoyed as they traversed through the city during their trade activities. With the availability of such a serene location, such urban societies offered opportunities for the people, better living means, as well as trading opportunities in Asia. Throughout the letter, Barbaro tries to compare the previous view of Istanbul with the present, which is covered with smoke after the destructive fire that broke out in the city.

Moreover, moving into the seventeenth century, there was more movement of people into cities with discoveries and inventions. For instance, the reading, The Discovery of Jupiter's Moons (1610) by Galileo Galilei, provides a significant description of some of the reasons as to why people moved to cities like Venice. In the reading by Galilei, he argues that the spread of scientific knowledge, particularly the study of moons, was a significant reason for people to migrate to other cities. Primarily, some of the factors that promoted the movement of people are based on the Scientific Revolution in Europe. They include improvements in clock making optics, and metal-smithing, as well as printing and long-distance transport. As Galilei presents his discovery of Jupiter's Moons, he tries to create awareness about the need for more studies and technology revolutions to aid in the invention. He states that;

We advise them again, however, that they will need a very accurate glass like the one described at the beginning, lest they undertake such a study in vain (308).

By far, such statements make it evident that more inventions for the scientific knowledge were relevant to ensure that discoveries remain true. In different ways, these advancements promoted the movement of people to other cities as they wanted to acquire and get exposure to scientific knowledge. Such urban societies offer the opportunity to develop and encounter nee inventions, as shown by Galilei through his discovery. Looking at the primary argument, which involves scientific knowledge, this particular reading offers a specific definition of the events occurring during the early 17th century.

Furthermore, the reading, On the Number of Metals, and Placed Where They are Begotten (1640), by Alvaro Alonso Barba, resonates with Galilei's discovery of Jupiter Moons and adds essential information concerning the Scientific Revolution. As Barba made metallurgical and geological observations in the Andes, he provides a significant development to the scientific knowledge available for the people. With the onset of inventions and discovery now and then, the individual felt accustomed to moving to cities like Venice as they wanted to explore and learn about the scientific revolution. As the reading ends, Alonso Barba states that;

When we wish to attribute something of concordance of the metals to the planets, we should remember that it is not even sure that there are only seven planets; today, with other instruments like telescopes, others are seen (309).

This describes the significance of the scientific revolution as people moved to other cities. Also, such modern societies offered the ability to acquire more knowledge and contribute to studies. Further, the cities provided people the chance to view the discoveries themselves and receive first-hand information on what was happening.

With Peter Tolstoi's reading, Travel Diary (1698), it provides vast information concerning the movement of people to other cities. During his time, Tolstoi spent around two years between 1697 to 1699 in Venice and traveling in Europe. According to him, he relates the urge for people to move to other cities on interest to learn. For instance, people moved in search of knowledge on how to build and arm ships. Serving in the government post of a Russian ambassador in the Ottoman, Tolstoi has a proper focus on the customs of the people and tried to understand their movement. As Tolstoi provides a view of how Venice looks like, he highlights some of the key reasons as to why people move to cities like Venice. Tolstoi quotes that;

There are always a high number of traveling individuals in Venice: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, English, Scottish, Persian, Swedish, Armenian, among other, who come here not only for the trading business or study but also stroll around for every kind of amusement (314).


As such, Tolstoi elaborates on the reasons as to why people may choose to move to a city like Venice. Although there are other reasons such as Operas and Comedy, most of the ideas involve study, entertainment, and adventure. However, through such societies, they offer exceptional opportunities, both socially and economically. With the main aim of the reading involving the travelers in Venice, it provides a proper understanding of how people are drawn to cities like Venice and the advantages from such urban settings.

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