By Gabriel Piterberg

Within the house 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 pupil mentioned the period's three-day-long dramatic climax "an Ottoman Tragedy." less than Gabriel Piterberg's deft research, this era of problem turns into a ancient laboratory for the historical past of the Ottoman Empire within the 17th century--an chance to monitor the dialectical play among background as an incidence and event and background 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 country 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 tremendous occasion in Ottoman historical past, this paintings reconceives the relation among historiography and historical past.

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Extra info for An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play

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What we have is half a century of transition, at the heart of which the Haile-i Osmaniye is located, through which forces of change and continuity run concurrently; toward the second half of the seventeenth century, however, seniority was clearly seen to prevail. Another possible explanation for the survival and enthronement of Mustafa is the ascendancy of the valide sultan both in itself and at the expense of the haseki sultan. 10 These insightful observations, taken a step further, suggest that 14 / Foundations the haseki institution was less in congruity with the dynasty’s history than the overwhelming dominance of the valide.

1 The discussion is meant to demonstrate four related observations. The first is that from its traceable inception Ottoman historiography, and this is by no means uniquely Ottoman, was conflictual and deeply ingrained in the politics and ideological accents of its time. By conflictual I mean not only that the historiographical production of a certain period was part and parcel of its historical environment but also something more general. An appropriate narrative of Ottoman historiography should foreground the extent to which it was an incessant competition among different, at times antithetical, story lines and versions; a linear or developmental narrative of Ottoman historiography would inevitably oversimplify it and render it one-dimensional.

In the evening the kul had another heated gathering in which they decided to reassemble in the morning, only this time fully armed. Sometime in the middle of the second day (Thursday, 19 May 1622), the 26 / Foundations kul realized that the ulema had failed successfully to convey their petition. They exploded. Initially with great hesitation but with gradually growing rage and momentum, the kul marched to the Topkapı. Pausing in front of each of the three gates, and for longer pauses as the gates were becoming less publicly accessible, they finally faced the imperial harem (Harem-i Has or Harem-i Hümayun).

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