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By Rhoads Murphey

Is it attainable to spot the 'essence' of Ottoman kingship? And if that is so, what have been the middle motivating ideas that ruled the dynasty over its six hundred 12 months lifespan and the way non-stop and constant have been they? Following the dying of the dynasty's eponymous founder Osman in 1324, 35 successors held the throne. regardless of the big variety of personality qualities, tendencies and private personal tastes, they led the growth, stagnation and eventual cave in of the empire. Rhoades Murphey deals another approach of realizing the soul of the empire as mirrored in its key ruling establishment: the sultanate. for far of the interval of centralized Ottoman rule among ca. 1450 and 1850 all of the dynasty's successive rulers built and used the kingdom bureaucratic gear to accomplish their ruling priorities, established round the palace and court docket tradition and rituals of sovereignty in addition to the sultan's function because the head of the relevant kingdom administrative apparatus.
Sovereignty used to be connected to the individual of the sultan who moved (with his court docket) either usually and for lengthy remains clear of his relevant place of abode. within the interval among 1360 and 1453 there have been twin capitals at Bursa and Edirne (Adrianople) or even after 1453 a number of Ottoman sultans confirmed a choice for Edirne over Istanbul. Even Sultan Suleyman the terrific - held by way of the Ottomans, western contemporaries and glossy analysts alike to be the head and paragon of Ottoman kingship - spent way more time clear of his place of dwelling on the Topkapi Palace than in it. This ebook explores the becoming complexity of the empire because it absorbed cultural affects and imperial legacies from a large variety of resources every one in flip engendering an additional interpretation of latest notions of kingship and definitions of the position and serve as of the ruler.

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Extra resources for Exploring Ottoman Sovereignty: Tradition, Image and Practice in the Ottoman Imperial Household, 1400-1800

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Second Text, PS 1069: Yusuf Khass Hajib’s views regarding the connection between sovereignty and traditions of hospitality, together with excerpts from ch. 38 on the legitimate expectations of servants regarding their treatment by their masters:29 (a) p. ’ (b) p. ’ (c) p. 138: ‘If the prince is generous in payment and kind in word, the servant will ransom himself for his sake and love him truly, enduring hardship for his sake. ”’ Third Text, PS 1090: Two excerpts from Chapter 35 of the Siyasat-nama30 (a) p.

Portal to the Sublime Porte (Bab-i Ali), the seat of Ottoman government after the mid-nineteenth century, bearing the tughra of Abdülmecid Khan (r. 1839–61) and the date of construction, ah 1259/ad 1843. 32 By acknowledging the centrality of the figure of the sultan and the importance of the institution of the sultanate for understanding the dynamics of power in the high imperial era we need not ascribe to the ‘great men’ theory of history or suggest that the ups and downs in imperial fortunes the dynasty experienced are entirely attributable to the character and competence of a single person, known by his Italian contemporaries in reverential terms as Il Gran Signor.

33 In the main, such sources draw a portrait of the sultan that is both distant and abstract since, more often than not, they relate not what he did by way of direct action (for instance, wielding the sword, issuing commands or even participating in debate over policy), but what he accomplished (through his generals, aides and advisers and lawmakers acting on his behalf). Our aim is to draw a portrait of the sultan as a man in full, but by seeking out sources that describe his active and direct input to the art of government, whether in the sphere of war, diplomacy or his participation in court ceremonial.

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