Dr Christopher Markiewicz

Dr Christopher Markiewicz

Department of History
Associate Professor in Ottoman and Islamic History

I am the Associate Professor in Ottoman and Islamic History  in the Department of History and a member of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies. My research focuses on the intellectual and political history of the Ottoman Empire between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. I am particularly interested in how ideas about history and the nature of kingship in the Ottoman Empire were connected with wider intellectual, cultural, and religious currents across the Islamic world in the early modern period.


  • PhD in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, University of Chicago
  • MA in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago
  • BA in History, University of Chicago
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Birmingham


I studied history as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. One year after graduating, I took up studying Arabic in Lebanon and Egypt before returning to Chicago for a master’s in Middle Eastern Studies. I stayed on for a doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. In the course of these studies, I spent one year studying at Bilkent University in Ankara and another year conducting research in Istanbul. Immediately before coming to Birmingham, I spent two years as a research fellow at Exeter College, Oxford. In 2016, my doctoral dissertation was awarded the Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in the Humanities from the Middle East Studies Association of North America. 


Undergraduate teaching

  • Practicing History
  • Living in the Medieval World, 1050-1500
  • The Early Modern World
  • Cities of the Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean: Monuments and Memories
  • After the Mongols: Political Authority in Islam, 1200-1600
  • Islamicate Empires: The Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals in the Early Modern World

Postgraduate teaching

  • Global Histories: Comparisons and Connections
  • Introduction to Early Modern History

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to discuss supervising postgraduate research in all aspects of Ottoman history, as well as the political and intellectual history of Islamic lands after the arrival of the Mongols (thirteenth-seventeenth centuries).

Find out more - our PhD Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I am currently working on a book project that focuses on an examination of the life and work of Idris Bidlisi, visionary historian of the Ottoman dynasty, influential adviser to sultans, and principal architect of the Ottoman incorporation of Kurdistan in the 1510s. Through examination of Bidlisi, the book examines the impact of itinerant scholars and secretaries upon the development and adaptation of new ideas on kingship among Muslim courts across large parts of Asia in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.


Recent publications


Sowerby, TA & Markiewicz, C (eds) 2021, Diplomatic Cultures at the Ottoman Court, c.1500-1630. Routledge Research in Early Modern History, 1st edn, Routledge, New York. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003000211

Markiewicz, C 2019, The Crisis of Kingship in Late Medieval Islam: Persian Emigres and the Making of Ottoman Sovereignty. Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization, Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108684842


Markiewicz, C 2018, 'Europeanist trends and islamicate trajectories in early modern Ottoman history', Past and Present, vol. 239, no. 1, pp. 266-281. https://doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gty009

Markiewicz, C 2017, 'History as science: the fifteenth-century debate in Arabic and Persian', Journal of Early Modern History, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 216-240. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700658-12342525


Markiewicz, C & Sowerby, TA 2021, Languages of diplomatic gift-giving at the Ottoman court. in TA Sowerby & C Markiewicz (eds), Diplomatic Cultures at the Ottoman Court, c.1500-1630. 1st edn, Routledge Research in Early Modern History, Routledge, New York, pp. 53-84. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003000211-3

Markiewicz, C 2021, Persian secretaries in the making of an anti-safavid diplomatic discourse. in TA Sowerby & C Markiewicz (eds), Diplomatic Cultures at the Ottoman Court, c.1500-1630. 1st edn, Routledge Research in Early Modern History, Routledge, New York, pp. 27-52. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003000211-2

Markiewicz, C 2019, Books on the Secretarial Arts and Literary Prose. in G Necipoğlu, C Kafadar & C Fleischer (eds), Treasures of Knowledge: An Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library (1502/3-1503/4) (2 vols). Leiden, pp. 657-672. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004402508_022


Sowerby, TA & Markiewicz, C 2021, Introduction: Constantinople as a centre of diplomatic culture. in TA Sowerby & C Markiewicz (eds), Diplomatic Cultures at the Ottoman Court, c.1500-1630. 1st edn, Routledge Research in Early Modern History, Routledge, New York, pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003000211-1

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