An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play

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University of California Press, Sep 4, 2003 - History - 271 pages
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In the space of six years early in the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire underwent such turmoil and trauma—the assassination of the young ruler Osman II, the re-enthronement and subsequent abdication of his mad uncle Mustafa I, for a start—that a scholar pronounced the period's three-day-long dramatic climax "an Ottoman Tragedy." Under Gabriel Piterberg's deft analysis, this period of crisis becomes a historical laboratory for the history of the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth century—an opportunity to observe the dialectical play between history as an occurrence and experience and history as a recounting of that experience.

Piterberg reconstructs the Ottoman narration of this fraught period from the foundational text, produced in the early 1620s, to the composition of the state narrative at the end of the seventeenth century. His work brings theories of historiography into dialogue with the actual interpretation of Ottoman historical texts, and forces a rethinking of both Ottoman historiography and the Ottoman state in the seventeenth century. A provocative reinterpretation of a major event in Ottoman history, this work reconceives the relation between historiography and history.
 

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Contents

The Plot
9
The Formation and Study of Ottoman Historiography
30
An Interpretive Framework
50
Tugis Representation of the Hailei Osmaniye The Perspective of the Imperial Army
71
The Formation of Alternative Narratives Hasanbeyzade and Peccvi
91
The Conception of the State Narrative
114
The Early Modern Ottoman State History and Theory
135
The Ottoman State as a Discursively Contested Field
163
Poetics of Ottoman Historiography Preliminary Notes
185
Glossary
201
Notes
207
Bibliography
233
Index
243
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Page vi - Face, a rose ; and mouth, a rosebud ; form, a slender sapling — How shall I not be the slave of Princess such as thou art? Ne'er hath heart a beauty seen like her of graceful figure ; Joyous would I for yon charmer's eyebrow with my life part.

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About the author (2003)

Gabriel Piterberg is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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