Nature of the Early Ottoman State, The

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SUNY Press, 2012 - History - 197 pages
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Drawing on surviving documents from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, The Nature of the Early Ottoman State provides a revisionist approach to the study of the formative years of the Ottoman Empire. Challenging the predominant view that a desire to spread Islam accounted for Ottoman success during the fourteenth-century advance into Southeastern Europe, Lowry argues that the primary motivation was a desire for booty and slaves. The early Ottomans were a plundering confederacy, open to anyone (Muslim or Christian) who could meaningfully contribute to this goal. It was this lack of a strict religious orthodoxy, and a willingness to preserve local customs and practices, that allowed the Ottomans to gain and maintain support. Later accounts were written to buttress what had become the self-image of the dynasty following its incorporation of the heartland of the Islamic world in the sixteenth century.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Debate to Date
5
His Utilization of Ahmedis Iskendername
15
His Utilization of the 1337 Bursa Inscription
33
4 What Could the Terms Gaza and Gazi Have Meant to the Early Ottomans?
45
5 Toward a New Explanation
55
6 Christian Peasant Life in the FifteenthCentury Ottoman Empire
95
7 The Last Phase of Ottoman SyncretismThe Subsumption of Members of the ByzantoBalkan Aristocracy into the Ottoman Ruling Elite
115
APPENDIX 1
145
APPENDIX 2
147
APPENDIX 3
153
APPENDIX 4
155
Notes
159
Bibliography
177
Index
191
SUNY Series in the Social and Economic History of the Middle East
199

8 The Nature of the Early Ottoman State
131

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About the author (2012)

Heath W. Lowry is Atatürk Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies at Princeton University and the author of Studies in Defterology: Ottoman Society in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.

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