An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play by Gabriel Piterberg

By Gabriel Piterberg

Within the area of six years early within the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire underwent such turmoil and trauma--the assassination of the younger ruler Osman II, the re-enthronement and next abdication of his mad uncle Mustafa I, for a start--that a student mentioned the period's three-day-long dramatic climax "an Ottoman Tragedy." lower than Gabriel Piterberg's deft research, this era of situation turns into a old laboratory for the background of the Ottoman Empire within the 17th century--an chance to monitor the dialectical play among background as an prevalence and event and historical past as a recounting of that have. Piterberg reconstructs the Ottoman narration of this fraught interval from the foundational textual content, produced within the early 1620s, to the composition of the kingdom narrative on the finish of the 17th century. His paintings brings theories of historiography into discussion with the particular interpretation of Ottoman old texts, and forces a rethinking of either Ottoman historiography and the Ottoman kingdom within the 17th century. A provocative reinterpretation of a huge occasion in Ottoman heritage, this paintings reconceives the relation among historiography and heritage.

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Instances of parsimoniousness and an arbitrary attitude as a major cause for the kul’s resentment abound. The importance of performing certain rituals that demonstrated imperial largesse as well as acknowledgment of the kul’s commitment and effort were central to keeping the relationship harmonious. 32 Tug˘i’s pro-kul predilection notwithstanding, this discursive and material context explains why the kul’s contention in his text, that the behavior of Sultan Osman had justified their lackluster performance, not only was not considered a priori preposterous but could actually make sense.

There commenced a concerted effort, headed by the sheyhülislam Esad Efendi and the grand vezir Dilaver Pasha, to make the padishah abandon his venture. At one point, sometime in late April, it seemed to yield results when Osman indicated that he might withdraw. Then, however, one night in early May, the sultan had a dream. In it he was sitting on his throne reading the Kuran. Then the Prophet appeared, snatched the Noble Pages away from the sultan’s hands, stripped him of his gown, and gave him a hard slap.

To put it more simply, Osman II tried to revive the image of the gazi- or warrior-sultan—the ruler of a frontieroriented state who not only conducted raids across the Islamic border but more generally left the palace frequently and exposed himself to personal contact with his subjects. 17 Murphey’s argument might weaken my contention that Sultan Osman’s attempt to revive the gazi-sultan image became obsolete and was therefore rejected by the Ottoman polity. But Murphey is more concerned with the excessive attributed influence of the presence or absence of the sultan on the motivation and performance of the troops than with the issue of the present discussion.

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