Dr Rhoads Murphey

Department of History
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

The History of the Turks, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern, has been my avocation since my first visit to Turkey as a teenager in 1966 and my principal occupation since I completed by doctoral studies at the age of thirty.


  • BA (Columbia)
  • MA, PhD (Chicago)


My training in the field of Turkish and Ottoman Studies was completed under the expert guidance of three acknowledged masters of the discipline in London with Victor Menage, in New York with Tibor Halasi-Kun and in Chicago with Halil Inalcik where I remained for 7 years (1973-1979). After a ten year-stint (1982-1991) at Columbia University in New York, serving two departments as both language instructor and historian, in 1992 I started a new career at Birmingham with responsibility for coverage of Turkish history and culture at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. The result of this transatlantic transplantation has been the widening of my intellectual and academic horizons to encompass the wider Mediterranean and Balkan worlds and the opportunity of pursuing new avenues of research that were closed to me as a younger practitioner in academia.


Main areas of interest: Ottoman state structures, archival and fiscal registers and treatises; Fürstenspiegel of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the Ottoman army and navy, logistical structures, administration, military technology; relations with the early modern and modern West; Ottoman Turkish language and literature, esp. historiography; Balkan and Middle East (Slav and Arab) nationalism; modern Turkish social and political history.



  • R. Murphey. 2009 Essays on Ottoman Historians and Historiography (Istanbul: Eren Yayıncılık)
  • R. Murphey. 2008. Exploring Ottoman Sovereignty: Tradition, Image and Practice in the Ottoman Imperial Household, 1400-1800 (London: Continuum Books)
  • R Murphey. 2007. Studies on Ottoman Society and Culture, 16th - 18th Centuries, Aldershot, Hampshire, Ashgate

Chapters in collective works

  • R. Murphey. 2010. “Ottoman Military Organisation in South-eastern Europe, 1420s-1720”, in F. Tallet and D. J. Trim (eds.), European Warfare, 1350-1750 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 135-158
  • R. Murphey.2009. “The garrison and its hinterland in the Ottoman East, 1578-1605” in A.C. S. Peacock (ed.), The Frontiers of the Ottoman World: Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 156 (London: British Academy, 2009), pp. 353-370
  • R. Murphey. 2009. “Syria’s “Underdevelopment” under Ottoman Rule: Revisiting an Old Theme in the Light of New Evidence from the Court Records of Aleppo in the Eighteenth Century” in J. Hathaway (ed.), The Ottoman Lands in the Ottoman Era Minneapolis, MN 2009[Minnesota Studies in Early Modern History, No. 2], Chapter 9, pp. 209-230
  • R. Murphey. 2007. A Comparative Look at Ottoman and Habsburg Resources and Readiness for War (In Guerra y sociedad en la Monarquia Hispánica, I & II, 75-102). Maffi GH-D (Editor), Ediciones Laberinto, Madrid


  • R. Murphey. 2008. “ The Development of Istanbul’s Commercial
  • Potential Between 1700 and 1765”, Acta Orientalia Academiae
  • Scientiarum Hungaricae, Vol. 61 (2008), pp.149-157