Marinos Sariyannis, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH

Abstract: Studies on the perception of time, leisure and timekeeping in the Ottoman Empire have focused in the Tanzimat period, as the main paradigm is the development of such attitudes and practices during the rise of capitalist economy in Europe, now identified with the rise of “modernity”. The paper questions the use of “early modernity” as an interpretational tool and tries to assess developments and transformations in these perceptions during the earlier Ottoman history, in order to locate established mentalities and their changes. For this aim, different sources are analyzed, including diaries, chronicles and travel accounts in Ottoman Turkish and Greek. It is shown that, while there is a strong tendency for the use of temporal precision in various fields of everyday life and of state institutions throughout the eighteenth century, the use of clocks in labor appeared with a considerable delay, in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Keywords: Time, Time-Keeping, Leisure, Ottoman Empire, Early Modernity