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Condominial Sovereignty and Condominial Messianism in the Timurid Empire: Historiographical and Numismatic Evidence

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Author: Evrim Binbaş1
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  • 1 University of Bonn
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Abstract

This article problematizes the use of messianic discourse in the articulation of political sovereignty in the early fifteenth century Timurid context. It argues that the concept of condominium was among the alternatives that the Timurid authorities considered in order to formulate a novel constitutional framework for the Timurid Empire after the death of Timur, and in specific political circumstances especially in Fars, messianic and condominial principles of sovereignty conflated. To further this argument, the article focuses on one particular case, the Timurid historian Muʿīn al-Dīn Naṭanzī, who formulated the concept of condominial sovereignty, in which both Shāhrukh and Iskandar appear as equal sovereign with messianic prerogatives. Naṭanzī’s concept of condominial messianism was connected to Iskandar’s unique formulation of condominial sovereignty through his coinage. This article further argues that too many religio-political concepts are used interchangeably in secondary literature, even though our sources clearly distinguish them in terms of their specific constitutional associations.

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