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Islam, the Turks and the Making of the English Reformation

The History of the Ottoman Empire in John Foxe’s «Acts and Monuments»

Christopher Toenjes

John Foxe wrote the first English history of the Ottoman Empire in his magnum opus, The Acts and Monuments. He exceeds contemporary representations in his extremely negative image of Islam and the «Turks,» who are identified as Antichrist and the epitome of wickedness. By juxtaposing Foxe’s work with that of his sources, fascinating conclusions can be drawn. The author analyzes the factors prompting Foxe to insert a lengthy digression on a topic that does not directly concern the main theme of his ecclesiastical history, shedding new light on the established notions of his historiographic methodology and his perception of Catholicism as the greatest enemy of «true religion».
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The original orthography for all of my source texts has been preserved, except for long s. Although The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online (TAMO) was frequently consulted, on account of the discrepancies between the paging of the online version and that of the original prints coupled with the fact that much of the research for this present project had been carried out using the original prints prior to the launching of TAMO, footnote references will refer the reader to the former. Where page indications are absent, I refer the reader to the page signature (sig.) when available, whereby I have simplified the numbers of the signatures by replacing Roman numerals with Arabic ones. The same applies to Roman numerals used in folio pagination.

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