A study of pseudo-historical Ottoman narratives of the 17th–18th centuries: envisioning an imperial past and future in the Ottoman social imagination and memory
Embargo Lift Date: 2019-09-28
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This dissertation focuses on a textual and contextual analysis of two previously unstudied sets of pseudo-historical narratives produced and reproduced in miscellanies and fascicles throughout the “post-classical” period of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. These texts are the Bahrü’l-Mükâşefe (The Sea of Mutual Revelations) and the Hikâyet-i Zuhûr-ı Âli ‘Osmân (The Story of the Rise of the House of ‘Osmân), and respectively they deal with an imagined future Ottoman sultanic geneaology and a largely legendary Ottoman imperial past, and as such they—as well as their antecedent texts, the Papasnâme and the Menâkıb-ı Mahmûd Paşa—can be read as related to the perennial historiographical questions of the “decline” and “rise” of the Ottoman Empire. The aim of the study is to examine some widely held “post-classical” perceptions, convictions, aspirations, and anxieties concerning the empire and its past, present, and future as they developed in the context of the changes and transformations that began to occur from the mid-sixteenth century onwards. As such, the study will be less of an empirically and positivistically based analysis of data than an examination of cultural history and mentalities in relation to how the aforementioned perceptions, convictions, aspirations, and anxieties came to be translated into the Ottoman popular imagination and social memory in the postclassical period of the Ottoman imperial history.
Ottoman Cultural History
Pseudo- Historical Narratives