The Early Modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire

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An innovative reinterpretation of the middle years of the Ottoman Empire, from the conquest of Byzantium in 1453 to the establishment of the Tanzimat in 1839. This period saw the evolution of the Empire from the height of its powers to - as the traditional view has it - an empire in decline, unable to modernize in the face of globalization and European ascendancy. The contributors challenge this view, demonstrating how the Ottomans came to be modern on their own terms. They explore the Ottomans as politicians and diplomats, military reformers, artists and historians. They also map out and redefine the material worlds which they inhabited - the courthouse, the cemetery, the Turkish garden. This book, which represents a turning-point in the intellectual history of the Ottoman Empire, promises to become a key text for students, scholars, and anyone interested in the Ottoman world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The volume under review falls into the category of new research, focusing on the early modern era, which it raggedly defines as between the later sixteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It consists of twelve contributions by a varied, competent cohort; a non-exhaustive list of topics includes Ottoman politics and diplomacy and military, cartographic, legal, and cultural history....The individual chapters are all worthy, and many offer stimulating assessments..." - Donald Quataert, State University of New York, Binghamton, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"In short, Aksan and Goffman's collection is an excellent example of what Ottoman history can be when the skillful close reading of texts traditionally valued by Ottamanists is seen as a means, rather than as an end, to research. Each of the contributions to the volume is based on the careful translation and analysis of sometimes obscure source material. But each also makes a concerted effort to speak coherently to the other chapters as well as to a wider audience. The volume is thus both a valuable contribution to Ottoman studies—furthering research on well-established topics such as diplomacy, urban planning, or military reform—and an effective discussion of historical space and time broadly conceived." - Ruth A. Miller, University of Massachusetts Boston, Journal of Islamic Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521520850
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia H. Aksan is Associate Professor of History at McMaster University, Ontario. Her publications include An Ottoman Statesman in War and Peace: Ahmed Resmi Efendi, 1700–1783 (1995) and Ottomans and Europeans: Contacts and Conflicts (2004).

Daniel Goffman is Professor and Chair of History at DePaul University and author of Britons in the Ottoman Empire; Izmir and the Levantine World (1998), and The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (2002).

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

Notes on contributors ix

Acknowledgments xi

A note on transliteration and the use of foreign words xii

Introduction: Situating the early modern Ottoman world Virginia H. Aksan Daniel Goffman 1

Part I Mapping The Ottoman World 13

1 Imagining the early modern Ottoman space, from world history to Piri Reis Palmira Brummett 15

Part II Limits To Empire 59

2 Negotiating with the Renaissance state: the Ottoman Empire and the new diplomacy Daniel Goffman 61

3 Information, ideology, and limits of imperial policy: Ottoman grand strategy in the context of Ottoman-Habsburg rivalry Gábor Ágoston 75

4 The Ottomans in the Mediterranean Molly Greene 104

5 Military reform and its limits in a shrinking Ottoman world, 1800-1840 Virginia H. Aksan 117

Part III Evocations of Sovereignty 135

6 Genre and myth in the Ottoman advice for kings literature Douglas A. Howard 137

7 The politics of early modern Ottoman historiography Baki Tezcan 167

Part IV Boundaries of Belonging 199

8 Inside the Ottoman courthouse: territorial law at the intersection of state and religion Najwa Al-Qattan 201

9 The material world: ideologies and ordinary things Leslie Peirce 213

10 Urban voices from beyond: identity, status and social strategies in Ottoman Muslim funerary epitaphs of Istanbul (1700-1850) Edhem Eldem 233

11 Who is a true Muslim? Exclusion and inclusion among polemicists of reform in nineteenth-century Baghdad Dina Rizk Khoury 256

Part V Aesthetics Of Empire 275

12 Public spaces and the garden culture of Istanbul in the eighteenth century Shirine Hamadeh 277

Bibliography 313

Index 353

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