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Visualizing Ali Pasha Order: Relations, Networks and Scales

Ioannina, Fisher, Son & Co. London (Ca. 1850)

The primary focus of the MapOE is what we call the Ali Pasha Order in Epirus, which was constituted by complex political, economic and patronage relations among several dynamic entities. One of the innovative aspects of the MapOE project is the ability to examine these relationships through exploratory data analysis tools employing traditional and network visualization methods. We  anticipate analyzing relations between and among (1) Ali Pasha; (2) Ali Pasha's household; (3) his network of administrative, fiscal and military officers, contractors, and partners; (4) rural, urban, mountain, and coastal communities and their community leaders; (5) regional, imperial and trans-imperial merchant networks; (6) Muslim Sufi orders, Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate, monasteries; (7) military engineers, medical doctors, and natural scientists; (6) imperial office-holders representing the imperial center and the imperial Harem; and (7) diplomatic missions of foreign powers. These diverse relations often were manifested in different document set. For visualization of the Ali Pasha Order, we examine various documents from the Ali Pasha's regional archive (letter exchanges, memoranda, collective declarations, debt and sale contacts) and from the Ottoman Imperial Archives (imperial decrees, letters between Ali Pasha and other imperial grandees, reports about the affairs of Ali Pasha and political devepments in the region, and various fiscal documents concerning tax collection process and financial relations during or after Ali Pasha's rule)

From these materials, we anticipate generating a variety of synoptic and integrative visualizations to reveal how such a networked system can be understood across time and space. In doing so, we also intend to automate the identification of certain keywords in our documents, which represent certain aspects of relations. Our early efforts in this area have been elucidating. As such, we aim to comprehend (a) the nature of these relations (negational, hierarchic, submissive, contractual, consensual, confrontational, violent, trust-based...); (b) their basis (tax, debt-credit, trade, surety, gift-exchange, provisioning, military recruitment, infrastructure contacts, hostage-taking, ransom, bridge of trust, mutiny, crime and punishment...); (c) their geographical scale (local, regional, imperial-wide, trans-imperial...) and geographic dimensions (urban, rural, mountain, sea) (d) their temporality (episodic, periodical, ongoing, seasonal), (e) mobility patterns in these relations (mobility of documents, people, information, objects), and, (f) their quantitative aspects (financial quantity, demographic quantity, military value...).








The Ali Pasha Networks

Below, one can see various visualizations of the network structured around Ali Pasha and his sons, Veli and Muhtar, between the 1790s and 1822. These graphics were created under the light of the letter exchanges between Ali Pasha, his sons and various associates of his regime. Some of these associates were local notables, ecclesiastical authorities and foreign diplomats in Epirus and neighboring regions; some others were Ali Pasha's men, who were constantly travelling in the regions under his control or influence; some others were his agents, such as financiers (sarraf) or representatives in the region or in Istanbul.