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." lower than Gabriel Piterberg's deft research, this era of challenge turns into a old laboratory for the historical past of the Ottoman Empire within the 17th century--an chance to watch the dialectical play among heritage as an incidence and adventure and heritage 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 ancient texts, and forces a rethinking of either Ottoman historiography and the Ottoman kingdom within the 17th century. A provocative reinterpretation of a big occasion in Ottoman historical past, this paintings reconceives the relation among historiography and historical past.
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Additional info for An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play
Eventually the kul located Sultan Mustafa’s kafes, pierced their way through and pulled him out. ” 37 Sultan Osman, who was within the palace, began to feel the heat and surrendered the grand vezir and the chief black eunuch to the kul; they immediately tore both men limb from limb. The ulema tried, in vain, to talk the kul out of re-enthroning Sultan Mustafa, guaranteeing on Sultan Osman’s behalf that any further demand would be accepted. But the kul were determined: with drawn daggers they forced the ulema to render the biat to Sultan Mustafa, declared him the new padishah, and by implication deposed Sultan Osman.
Murphey’s study makes it possible roughly to estimate the size of the “political public” involved in the Haile-i Osmaniye. , excluding those on garrison assignments in the provinces). 36 Sultan Osman’s grand venture was consequential for all of them. How many of them actually took part in the increasingly violent activities of the kul throughout Istanbul is more difﬁcult to assess. My impression is that the tumultuous and violent three days in mid-May Istanbul we are about to present witnessed the participation of at least thousands of kul, perhaps even more.
Incompetent and useless, is this lot of salary-drawers [really] kul? 30 The rift between Osman II and the kul should be contextualized before the story unfolds further. ” 31 By the seventeenth century this relationship already had an established pattern and reciprocity that could not be easily violated. As this event amply demonstrates, the kul felt that they had the right—and power—to determine whether the ruler was adhering to the established pattern or straying from it. Instances of parsimoniousness and an arbitrary attitude as a major cause for the kul’s resentment abound.