Thirst for wisdom, lust for conquest : Ahmedi's 14th century Ottoman Alexander romance
Güler, Kamil Erdem
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This study presents an analysis on the intellectual paradigm of the 14th Century Anatolia based on Ahmedi’s Ottoman Turkish Alexander Romance, Iskendername. The time frame that we would like to focus on is the late 14th Century, the period of the emergence of the intellectual culture correlated with the political developments of the Ottoman State. Ahmedi’s History of Ottoman Empire, which is a part in Iskendername, was analyzed by historians of the Ottoman Empire but in this study we analyzed the complete work in order to comprehend the main intellectual tendencies of the 14th Century Anatolia. Therefore, primarily the gravity of the intellectual history along with social and economic history was expressed and we presented studies on Ahmedi and Ahmedi’s Iskendername. The historical process that Ahmedi bonded is analyzed and by that the relation between Ahmedi and his patrons were examined. The features of the 14th Century shaped Ahmedi and his intellectual approach on the questions of his time. Moreover, we inquired Alexander Romances, as a literary genre and as universal epics. We also argue that universal character of Alexander the Great was utilized by different cultures and each society implemented their own cultural themes as Ottomans did with Iskendername. The political fiction of Ahmedi served as an intellectual and ideological implementation of the emerging Ottoman political institutions. Finally, the other poets of the time, Şeyhi and Şeyhoğlu were examined in comparison to understand the intellectual inclinations. It is argued that the main patterns of the Ottoman intellectual life were shaped by the amalgamation of the orthodox doctrines of Imam Gazali and Sufism. Hence, these intellectual themes were examined with the notion of knowledge, existence, melancholy and aesthetics.