7 Chapters
Medium 9780253008572

2 The Memory of the Mongols in Early Ottoman Historiography \ Baki Tezcan

Hakki Erdem Cipa Indiana University Press ePub

This Essay Explores the ways in which fourteenth-century historiography refl ects the Ottomans’ relationship with their ultimate overlords, the Mongols. When Osman, the founder of the Ottoman dynasty, started his military operations in Byzantine Bithynia (in northwestern Anatolia, to the east of the Marmara Sea) around 1300, most of Anatolia was under the direct rule of the Ilkhans, a dynasty that was established in Azerbaijan by Genghis Khan’s grandson Hulagu (d. 1265), the Mongol ruler who conquered Baghdad in 1258 and brought the Abbasid Caliphate to an end. Most Ottoman historical sources, however, either do not refer to the Mongols or mention them only as troublemakers in Anatolia. Rather, they anachronistically cast the Ottomans into a relationship of vassalage with the Anatolian Seljuks, a Turkish dynasty that ruled most of Anatolia from the late eleventh to the thirteenth century, when they became vassals of the Ilkhans before gradually disappearing from the political scene altogether.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253008572

7 The Challenge of Periodization: New Patterns in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Historiography \ Hakan T. Karateke

Hakki Erdem Cipa Indiana University Press ePub

 

Ottoman Historical Consciousness and historiographical practices simultaneously underwent significant changes in the nineteenth century. This essay, conceived as the first in a series on new developments in Ottoman historiography during that century, concentrates on changes to Ottoman models of periodization for world history and aims to demonstrate that Ottoman historical consciousness entered a novel phase during the late nineteenth century. According to this new tripartite periodization model, world history was divided into “Ancient,” “Medieval,” and “New” periods, a departure from pre-nineteenth-century world histories, in which accounts of various dynasties had been given in roughly chronological fashion, with loose geographical groupings.

The choice of a new model for periodizing world history was a manifestation of a changing worldview, an indication of where the Ottomans located themselves in the emerging world civilization of the nineteenth century. Although that project was spearheaded by contemporary western European ideals, members of the Ottoman elite no doubt considered themselves a part of it. Moreover, the idea of a world civilization that was shared by, and common to, all leading nations of the world facilitated the appropriation of non-Ottoman models in many spheres, including historical periodization.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253008572

1 The Historical Epic Aḥvāl-i Sulṭān Meḥemmed (The Tales of Sultan Mehmed) in the Context of Early Ottoman Historiography \ Dimitris Kastritsis

Hakki Erdem Cipa Indiana University Press ePub

Discussions of the birth of Ottoman historiography often state that the Ottomans only began writing their history in earnest at the end of the fifteenth century. Indeed, a significant number of manuscripts from that time are extant, many bearing the simple title Tevārīḫ-i Āl-i Osmān (Chronicles of the House of Osman). Generally speaking, the works recount the early fourteenth-century birth of the Ottoman state and its gradual growth in importance, to the time when its status as an empire was confirmed by the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 under Mehmed II (r. 1444–1446, 1451–1481). They were written with hindsight at a time when the Ottoman Empire was fully established—but in order to tell their stories, they needed to draw upon earlier sources, which must have been available at the time in manuscript form but now only survive thanks to their incorporation into later works.1

This essay considers one of the most important of these, which survives intact in two later manuscripts: the Codex Menzel (Mz) of the chronicle of Neşrī (Mevlānā Meḥemmed, d. ca. 1520) and the Oxford Anonymous Chronicle (OA). The text in question is an anonymous account of the Ottoman Civil War of 1402–1413, completed shortly after the end of the war. It originally probably bore a title akin to Avāl-i Sulṭān Meemmed bin Bāyezīd Ḫān (The Tales of Sultan Mehmed, Son of Bayezid Khan; here-after Avāl), and describes the struggle for supremacy of the Ottoman prince Mehmed, who emerged from the Civil War as the sole Ottoman ruler, Sultan Mehmed I (r. 1413– 1421).2 The purpose of this essay is to provide a concise overall description of Avāl and evaluate its significance for the development of early Ottoman historiography.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253008572

3 Imperialism, Bureaucratic Consciousness, and the Historian’s Craft: A Reading of Celālzāde Muṣṭafā’s Ṭabaḳātü’l-Memālik ve Derecātü’l-Mesālik \ Kaya Şahin

Hakki Erdem Cipa Indiana University Press ePub

 

Celālzāde MusṬafā’s (d. 1567) Ṭabaḳātü’l-Memālik ve Derecātü’l-Mesālik (Echelons of the Dominions and Hierarchies of the Professions), hereafter Ṭabaḳāt, continues to surprise readers with its large volume and ambitious scope.1 It begins with a concise treatment of Selim I’s rule (1512–1520) and then focuses on the events of Süleyman’s reign (1520–1566) from the enthronement of the sultan to the opening of the Süleymaniye Mosque in 1557. The work is written in a language that is oft en metaphor-laden, rich and thick, a product of Muṣṭafā’s conviction that the first half of the sixteenth century represented an unprecedented era in Ottoman history. Muṣṭafā believed that this era deserved to be recorded in a language worthy of its achievements and that a correct version of its history should be produced and circulated by those few with access to the inner workings of the Ottoman government.2

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253008572

4 Conversion and Converts to Islam in Ottoman Historiography of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries \ Tijana Krstić

Hakki Erdem Cipa Indiana University Press ePub

Although the Issue of conversion to Islam was at the core of one of the earliest historiographical debates on the origins of the Ottoman state, it subsequently became a subject that is almost universally treated in the context of Muslim–non-Muslim relations in the Ottoman Empire.1 As a consequence, in current historiography conversion to Islam is framed as an issue that mattered primarily to non-Muslims, while the Ottoman Muslim community’s experience of it is rarely questioned or problematized.

However, a closer look at narrative sources, beginning with the rise of Ottoman historiography in the fifteenth century, reveals not only that Muslim authors were concerned with the phenomenon of conversion to Islam but also that there were a variety of views on what the proper place and role of converts in Ottoman society should be. Not all genres were equally likely to feature discussions on conversion: especially rich sources include narratives dedicated to the striving of Muslim soldiers and holy men in encounters with “infidels,” such as epics about Ottoman warrior-saints (vilāyetnāmes), spiritual biographies of holy men (menāḳıbnāmes), accounts of military campaigns (ġazavātnāmes), and the earliest Ottoman chronicles (Tevārīḫ-i Āl-i Osmān) that blended genre elements from all of these with stories of early Ottoman rulers and their conquests. Additionally, later histories of the dynasty, narratives written by converts themselves, and various anonymous texts preserved in the miscellanies (mecmū’a) that are omnipresent in Ottoman library collections and associated with all social strata of the Ottoman Muslim community also occasionally feature revealing comments. Collectively, these narratives point to a dynamic and constantly shifting debate about what comprised a good Muslim and a good subject of the House of Osman, as well as who defined religious and political “orthodoxy” in the Ottoman polity. They also remind us that the phenomenon of the earliest conversions to Islam and the transformation of the Ottoman polity into an empire were contemporaneous, mutually informing processes. This study explores portrayals of conversion and converts in fift eenth-and sixteenth-century Ottoman Muslim narratives in relation to the development of various religious, cultural, and political identities within the Ottoman polity during the same period.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters