Emese Muntán

Emese Muntán

Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fellow
Papal Diplomacy, Catholic Agents, and Networks of Knowledge in Early Modern Ottoman Europe
Emese Muntan


Emese Muntán earned her PhD from Central European University (CEU), Department of Medieval Studies in June 2021. She is a historian of early modern Southeast Europe, and her research focuses on the encounters and entanglements among the agents of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Islam in this region. She was a junior researcher in the ERC research project, “The Fashioning of a Sunni Orthodoxy and the Entangled Histories of Confession-Building in the Ottoman Empire, 15th –18th Centuries (OTTOCONFESSION, 2015-2021),” led by Dr. Tijana Krstić at CEU. She was a teaching fellow at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (2018/19) and in Princeton University’s Global History Lab (GHL) and History Dialogues project (2021/22).

Project Summary

This interdisciplinary research examines the network-building and mobility strategies of the various agents who were involved in the organization and local realization of Catholic missionary and diplomatic endeavors in the European provinces of the Ottoman Empire between the second half of the sixteenth and end of the seventeenth century. At the same time, the envisioned project seeks to explore how these networks and strategies formed different methods and channels to create, transform, and disseminate knowledge in and about Ottoman Europe in the period under analysis. The research primarily focuses on the Ottoman-governed territories of Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, the Banat, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Bulgaria and draws on a large corpus of primary sources: 1.) published and unpublished Catholic missionary letters and reports; 2.) diplomatic correspondence pertaining to the missions; 3.) published and translated Ottoman documents relating to Catholics in Ottoman Europe; and 4.) inscriptions from Orthodox liturgical books and objects.