My dry run on Palladio and RAW went well, generally. I have my data formatted well for the use of the graph function in Palladio and all of the functions in RAW. It is amazing how easily one can see certain information when turned into a visualization.
As one can see in the above graph, the topics that are discussed in letters to Catherines de Medici (the queen mother) and Henri III (the king) are slightly different. For instance, Jacques de Germigny discusses the Sultana to Catherine de Medici, but not to Henri III. Important concerns such as Semisi Bassa (the premier vizier, Agmar is a poor rendering of his middle name Semsi Ahmet) and the Spanish are discussed in letters to Henri III and Catherine. In addition, the frequency of those topics are made clear with the dates.
While the above rendering demonstrates the disparity in the topics written about to the King and those written about to his mother. The differences in the frequency with which certain regions are discussed can be displayed in a separate rendering.
In the above visualization, the topics are organized from the most frequently referenced to the least frequently referenced. They are then connected to the region in which they are located. For instance, when the ambassador references Mustafa Bassa, he is concerned with issues in Istanbul, so his topic region (or location) is Istanbul. Or while l’armee d’espaigne was not located in Spain, the topic region/location is Spain because the issue of concern is the power of Spain. Locating the topics within the regions of concern that the topic represents allows me to understand more easily the areas of the world that the French ambassador concerned himself with at the Ottoman Porte as well as what he thought the French king was interested in. What the visualization indicates is that the French ambassador was incredibly concerned with the Spanish. Spain is the most frequent topic, and Spain is the second most frequent region. The most frequent topic location is Istanbul, but that is to be expected since the ambassador is located himself in Istanbul. Also, I should indicate that these are only preliminary results. I am still sorting through some of my manuscripts since the paleography issues have slowed down the process. Also, I should indicate that France does not show up since I intentionally do not track those references since it would be in every single letter.
Palladio’s mapping feature, however, has provided more difficulty in organizing the data. I have clearly made some mistake since the accurate amount of letters referencing Spain never seems to come out right in that feature. I will continue to mess with the organization and combination of connecting tables. I think the mapping feature will be very helpful because the idea in cataloging topics is to get a better understanding of how he thought of the diplomatic playing field that he was expected to participate in and who were the major players. How better to do this that to actually place that network on a map? So, I will keep messing with it.