BAZAROVA T.A. “Send for Your Great Sovereign Affairs...”: Embassy of D.М. Golitsyn to the Sublime Porte in 1701


Tatyana A. Bazarova

Candidate of Sciences (History), Head of the Scientific and Historical Archive and the Group of Source Studies,

Saint Petersburg Institute of History of RAS,

Petrozavodskaya St, 7, 197110 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. In January 1701, Prince D.M. Golitsyn was sent to Sultan Mustafa II for ratification of the Peace Treaty of Constantinople (July 3, 1700). He became the first Petrine diplomat sent to the Sublime Porte with the rank of grand ambassador.

Methods and materials. The comprehensive study of archival sources (Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts), comparison of the data they contain with published materials make it possible to analyze the mission of Golitsyn in the context of the policy of Peter I towards the Ottoman Empire in the early 18th century.

Analysis. Due to the hostilities by Narva, the dispatch of the embassy was delayed. The ambassador delivered the ratification of the peace treaty five months later than the agreed date. Golitsyn was the first Russian diplomat to wear a French dress during ceremonies at the Ottoman court. Besides, he not only followed the established ambassadorial custom, but also took into account the experience of his Western European colleagues. In addition to the ratification, Golitsyn had other tasks, the main of which was the conclusion of a trade agreement with the Sublime Porte. The conditions on which the ambassador was supposed to sign the agreement were fixed in a special instruction. The analysis of that instruction and reports of the ambassador showed that for Peter I the priority was not the development of mutually beneficial trade with the Ottoman Empire, but the opportunity to withdraw his fleet from the Azov to the Black Sea. Delivery of goods by Turkish ships or by dry route was considered only as an addition to the Russian Black Sea shipping. The conditions set in the instruction did not give to Golitsyn the opportunity to negotiate with the Sublime Porte, which categorically prohibited the entry of European ships into the Black Sea.

Results. The sending of a grand ambassador by the tsar to the Ottoman sultan marked the transition of relations between the two states to a new level. Besides, a precedent was created for the reception of high-ranking Peter’s diplomats by the Sublime Porte.

Key words: Russian-Turkish relations, Peter the Great, D. Golitsyn, diplomacy, ratification of the Treaty of Constantinople (1700), trade agreement.

Citation. Bazarova T.A. “Send for His Great Sovereign Affairs...”: Embassy of D.М. Golitsyn to the Sublime Porte in 1701. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 194-206. (in Russian). DOI:

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“Send for Your Great Sovereign Affairs...”: Embassy of D.М. Golitsyn to the Sublime Porte in 1701 by Bazarova T.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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