This talk revisits the story of David Ha-Reuveni, an impostor that showed in early 16th century Rome with grandiose plans to defeat Islam, and the Ottoman Empire for the small fee of a large navy and Palestine for the Jews. Against a line of interpretation that situated David within the contours of Jewish history and Jewish mysticism, this talk situates the story within the broader context of a global 16th Century "Theater of Operation" that brings together Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Indian Ocean during the very early age of sail.
Zvi Ben-Dor Benite is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He is the author of The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org as lunch will be served.