Victor Ostapchuk

Associate Professor of Ottoman and Turkish Studies
Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Avenue, Room 309, Toronto, ON, M5S 1C1


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Turkish and Ottoman Studies

  • Ottoman military
  • Ottoman financial and timar systems
  • Ottoman Black Sea region and its relations with the northern countries
  • Historico-archaeological study of Ottoman fortresses


I owe my becoming an Ottoman historian to a serendipitous encounter with two professors while still an undergraduate at the University of Chicago—Alexandre Bennigsen and Halil Inalcik, who simultaneously impressed me the astronomical mass and uncharted nature of Ottoman sources, in particular archives. I was especially fortunate to do my graduate work in Eurasian history and Turkology at Harvard under the tutelage of Omeljan Pritsak, yet continue to work with Halil Inalcik. While my main area of interest has been the early modern Black Sea region, my fascination with the workings of the Ottoman state as documented by its archival legacy has led me to develop a keen interest in basic Ottoman institutions such as the timar and tax farming along with the administration of warfare and Ottoman historical archaeology.


PhD, Harvard University