Download Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State by Cemal Kafadar PDF

By Cemal Kafadar

Cemal Kafadar bargains a way more sophisticated and complicated interpretation of the early Ottoman interval than that supplied by way of different historians. His cautious research of medieval in addition to sleek historiography from the viewpoint of a cultural historian demonstrates how ethnic, tribal, linguistic, spiritual, and political affiliations have been all at play within the fight for energy in Anatolia and the Balkans through the overdue heart Ages.

This hugely unique examine the increase of the Ottoman empire—the longest-lived political entity in human history—shows the transformation of a tiny frontier firm right into a centralized imperial nation that observed itself as either chief of the world's Muslims and inheritor to the jap Roman Empire.

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There is still not one authentic written document known from the time of Omn, and there are not many from the fourteenth century altogether. Furthermore, the nature of the documents from later periods is such as to enable scholars to conduct social and economic studies of rare quantitative precision, while the prearchival sources are mostly legends, hagiographies, and annalistic chronicles. Naturally, this quality of the material coincided so well with the rising prestige of quantification-based social and economic history worldwide that the investigation of Ottoman “origins” lost its appeal, just as did historical linguistics (philology), which was among the most cherished areas of expertise for the generation of Wittek and Kprl.

Deftly making use of divisions among feudal polities, either by carrying out fierce raids or by gaining the loyalty of local populations through fiscal concessions and/or religious propaganda and of some of the local lords through incorporation, the Ottomans rapidly extended their power in the Balkans in the final decades of the fourteenth century. Of their major rivals, the Serbian kingdom was reduced to vassalage after the Battle of Kosovo (1389), and the Bulgarian one eliminated by 1394. Keeping almost a geometric sense of centralism, the Ottomans pursued a symmetrical expansion in Anatolia and reduced some of the weaker begs—first to unequal partnership, then to vassalage, and then to incorporation as removable appointees—just as they had done to many early Bithynian allies, gazi commanders, and Balkan local lords.

The first study devoted to the rise of the Ottoman state, published in 1916 by H. A. ” The dream story, contended Gibbons, though not to be taken at face value, implied that Osman and his tribe, who must have been pagan nomads of Inner Asian background, converted to Islam at some point and set out to Islamize their Christian neighbors in Byzantine Bithynia. Converts among the latter made up the majority of the proto-Ottomans and provided the expertise for setting up an administration. In the charged environment of the early twentieth century, where nationalism was linked with racialism even more explicitly than it is today, this argument was obviously loaded.

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