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By Gabriel Piterberg

Within the house of six years early within the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire underwent such turmoil and trauma--the assassination of the younger ruler Osman II, the re-enthronement and next abdication of his mad uncle Mustafa I, for a start--that a pupil said the period's three-day-long dramatic climax "an Ottoman Tragedy." less than Gabriel Piterberg's deft research, this era of difficulty turns into a historic laboratory for the background of the Ottoman Empire within the 17th century--an chance to watch the dialectical play among background as an incidence and event and background as a recounting of that have. Piterberg reconstructs the Ottoman narration of this fraught interval from the foundational textual content, produced within the early 1620s, to the composition of the country narrative on the finish of the 17th century. His paintings brings theories of historiography into discussion with the particular interpretation of Ottoman historic texts, and forces a rethinking of either Ottoman historiography and the Ottoman country within the 17th century. A provocative reinterpretation of an immense occasion in Ottoman historical past, this paintings reconceives the relation among historiography and background.

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Sample text

The third was his austere appear- 20 / Foundations ance, in plain clothing and on a horse whose trappings were unadorned. 24 The extent to which the mode of the sedentary sultan, that silent, remote, and withdrawn persona, had been absorbed in this age of transition is illustrated not only by the Ottoman historians but significantly also by a keen foreign observer, Sir Thomas Roe. 25 If the marriage to Akile and the attempt to construct a gazi mode of sovereignty ran counter to lengthy processes of transition, the third thing Sultan Osman did—though related to the gazi image—threatened a very recent change: he resorted to fratricide and would have proceeded more thoroughly with it if he had been allowed to do so.

From the point of view of the kul, the sultan was constantly tormenting them for no apparent reason apart from his aversion to them, instigated by his confidants; the chief black eunuch, Süleyman Ag˘a, was foremost among them and most vituperatively reviled and hated by the kul. In anticipation of an important theme in this study, namely the political and discursive conflict between the imperial standing army and the increasingly regular irregular troops in Anatolia and other regions, it might be interesting to quote Tug˘i.

His several appeals to the janissary officers within the Orta Cami did not go unnoticed: “However, the queen mother whispered to us surreptitiously: ‘Oh officers, you don’t know what a spiteful person he [Sultan Osman] is. ’” 43 Having been prevented from assassinating Sultan Osman in the mosque, Davud Pasha had him removed to Yedikule where, that evening (20 May 1622), the deposed sultan was strangled. He was buried next to his father, Ahmed I. His uncle, Mustafa I, was reinstalled at the Topkapı palace.

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