Dracoman. Vincenzo Belluti.

Dracoman. Vincenzo Belluti. Dracoman. Ottoman empire costumes.

Dracoman. Vincenzo Belluti.

Dracoman. Vincenzo Belluti.

A Dragoman or Drogman (Arabic ترجمان tarǧumān, turdschuman) is a translator, interpreter or language expert guide in the Middle East, especially for the Arabic, Turkish and Persian.

The word goes back to the Semitic root rgm that already appears in Akkadian (as targumannu) and in Aramaic (as targemana). All these words mean translator. Already in the 6th century BC a special professional group has been set up in Egypt, which consisted particularly from Greeks, who had to take care of that also mostly Greek tourists. During the Middle Ages these interpreters assisted mainly Christian pilgrims. This brought the word to Europe, where it appears in Middle English (as Dragman), in Old French (as drugeman), in Medieval Latin (as dragumannus) and in the Middle Greek (as dragoumanos).
In the 16th century the term was extended to the whole Ottoman Empire. It were mainly Greeks, who took over this work and interpreting between European languages on the one hand and the Arab, Turkish and Persian language on the other. After the diplomatic recognition of the Ottoman Empire, they were the ambassadors who resided in Istanbul, and the consuls, who were based in Alexandria and Cairo, the diplomatic and consular work they had done previously, as of. In the 19th century, this term, Dragoman, was used to refer to an interpreter specifically for the traffic between the state authorities and the embassies and consulates in the East.

The following agreement has been entered into between Thomas Tobin and Vincenzo Belluti, Dragoman of Malta:
Clause I.— Vincenzo Belluti to accompany Thomas Tobin as guide and interpreter, cook, and general servant, in their Tour up the Nil, through Egypt, across the Long Desert to Mount Sinai, to Gaza, to Jaffa, to Jerusalem; from thence to Jericho, the Jordan, the Dead Sea, Mar Saba, the Pools of Solomon, Bethlehem, back to Jerusalem; from thence to Nazareth and Tiberias; to Damascus, Palmyra, Baalbec, and by Cedars of Lebanon to Beirut; thence to Smyrna, to Constantinople and Turkey, to Greece and the Ionian Isles, to Malta, and to any other places the said Thomas Tobin may wish to go to. The route to be taken, the time, place, and duration of halts and stoppages, to be entirely under the direction of said Thomas Tebin.
Clause II.— The said Vincenzo Belluti is to provide food and lodging— both as good as can be procured— and a sufficient number of camels, horses, and mules; to travel with the greatest possible despatch; also water carnage when necessary; tents and bedding, and every thing required for the journey.
Clause III.— Vincenzo Belluti is to pay ad expenses of this journey of any kind whatever, and is to provide guards when necessary— all backsheesh or tribute of every kind is to be paid by him; excepting that in the case of said Thomas Tobin visiting Palmyra, the Sheikh of the Palmyra Arabs is to be paid by him, the said Thomas Tobin.
Clause IV.— It is agreed between the said Thomas Tobin and Vincenzo Belluti that this contract shall remain in force and effect for four months from this date, provided said Thomas Tobin be satisfied.

Source: Shadows of the East; or, slight sketches of scenery, persons and customs, from observations during a tour in 1853 and 1854, in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, and Greece, by Lady Catherine Tobin.


  1. Suisse costumes nationaux
  2. Traditional French national costumes.
  3. Tyrolean national costumes 1835.
  4. Souvenir de L’Exposition Universelle de Vienne.
  5. Costumes of Japan and Java.
  6. The Peninsula war. Character, Costume in Portugal and Spain.
  7. Our islands and their people. Hawaii, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba.
  8. Costumes of all countries by Alexandre Lacauchie 1850s.
  9. Historical and folk costumes by Franz Lipperheide.
  10. The costume of Turkey. Ottoman Empire 18th century.
  11. Traditional Dutch national costumes.
  12. The Switzerland national costumes of 17th ‚18th, 19th century originals.
  13. Folk dresses from Norway, Dutch, Germany and Hungaria.
  14. Mexico by Carl Nebel 1836.
  15. Typical pictures of Indian Natives.
  16. The People of India
  17. Views of Darjeeling: With typical native portraits and groups.
  18. History of the Indian Tribes of North America of the Indian Tribes of North America
  19. Chinese sceneries in 19th century. by Thomas Allom.
  20. Provincial Russia. Costume and Culture.
  21. Costume of the Russian empire by Edward Harding.
  22. Serbian national costumes by Vladimir Kirin.
  23. Historical European costumes by Auguste Wahlen.
  24. The Highlanders of Scotland, 1870.
  25. Costumes and scenery of Afghanistan.
  26. Views of Darjeeling: With typical native portraits and groups.
  27. The dark continent. Africa, the landscape and the people 1931.
  28. Historical costumes from Africa, America and Oceania.
  29. Traditional folk costumes of Italy and France in 1821.
  30. The Serbs in the Adriatic. Their types and costumes 1870-1878.
Young farmer from Obermais, Merano, South Tyrol.
Young farmer from Obermais, Merano, South Tyrol 1875. Gallery: "Sheets for costume design: histor... Read more
1875 • 19th Century • Austria • Traditional
Lipperheide • Traditional Austrian clothing • Traditional Tyrolean national costumes
A Woman of Esthonia. Traditional Esthonian folk costume.
A Woman of Esthonia. Esthonian folk costume. Une Esthonienne. THE Esthonians vary in exterior a... Read more
1803 • 19th Century • Russia • Scandinavia • Traditional
Edward Harding • Russian national costumes • Traditional Esthonian folk costume.
Historical Netherlands Dutch costumes, 1850s.
Historical Netherlands Dutch costumes, 1850s. Gallery: Les nations. Album des Costumes De Tous ... Read more
1850 • 19th Century • Netherlands • Traditional
Traditional netherlands costumes
A Caravan. Kafila with a Camel Bearing a Hodesh.
Kafila with a Camel Bearing a Hodesh. (A caravan of camels has pitched their camp in an oasis) T... Read more
1845 • 19th Century • Egypt • Middle East • Traditional
The Oriental Album • Traditional Arabian costumes • Traditional Egyptian costume
Megrelian. Georgia costume 1895.
Megrelian woman at the wells. Georgia 1895. The Mingrelians are a Subethnie of the Georgians. T... Read more
1850 • 19th Century • Asia • Georgia • Traditional
Boulanger • Traditional Georgia costumes
German Mark Brandenburg folk dress.
German Mark Brandenburg folk dress 1860. Allemagne Nº8 (Baviére). Jne. Fille de Brandebourg ... Read more
1860 • 19th Century • Germany • Traditional
German national costumes
Women in the costumes from the Canton of Solothurn.
Women from the Canton of Solothurn. Switzerland national costumes. Gallery: Costumes Suisses des ... Read more
1865 • 19th Century • Switzerland • Traditional
Canton of Solothurn • Traditional Switzerland costumes
Japan merchant of vegetables.
Japan merchant of vegetables. Un Marchand de Légumes au Japon.  A woman and a merchant of ve... Read more
1895 • 19th Century • Asia • Japan • Traditional
Boulanger • Kimono • Traditional Japanese costume