The Mediality of Diplomatic Travel Reports

The Itinerarium of Johann Georg Metzger


Johann Georg Metzger’s travelogue depicts the internunciature of Johann Rudolf Schmid zum Schwarzenhorn to Constantinople. It combines the author’s impressions with contemporary historical, scientific and ethnographic knowledge. The report includes several maps and drawings. One of this sub-project’s purposes is a historical-critical edition with an extended academic introduction. At the same time, the report will be analysed from a media-studies perspective.sub-project A.

Johann Georg Metzger (d. 1698) travelled to Constantinople in 1648 in the entourage of internuncius Johann Rudolf Schmid zum Schwarzenhorn. The main purpose of the mission was the renewal of the peace treaty between the Sultan and the Emperor due to the ascension to the throne of Mehmed IV. It was Metzger’s task as secretary to document the journey. His travelogue consists of 419 pages and includes several maps and more than 50 drawings. It features descriptions of the journey as well as negotiations with the grand vizier, the kaymakam and the Sheikh ul Islam. Also included are festivals in the Topkapı Palace, the life of women, city fires, epidemics, Ottoman music (including notes), and so forth. The report is almost unknown, as the original was lost in World War II. Fortunately, a microfilm exists. However, it was made in the 1930s, and much of it is no longer legible. Today, the film is kept in the city archive of Stein am Rhein (Switzerland).

The sub-project’s main purpose is a historical-critical edition with an extended academic introduction (both digital and printed). Moreover, Schmid’s correspondence on the mission as internuncius and his recently discovered secret report to the Emperor will also form part of the edition. The report will be analysed from a media-studies perspective and the results will be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Staff: Lisa Brunner, BA, Anna Huemer, Bakk. Komm, MA