Caught in a Whirlwind: A Cultural History of Ottoman Baghdad as Reflected in Its Illustrated Manuscripts


Caught in a Whirlwind: A Cultural History of Ottoman Baghdad as Reflected in its Illustrated Manuscripts focuses on a period of great artistic vitality in the region of Baghdad, a frontier area that was caught between the rival Ottoman and the Safavid empires. In the period following the peace treaty of 1590, a corpus of more than thirty illustrated manuscripts and several single page paintings were produced. In this book Melis Taner presents a contextual study of the vibrant late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century Baghdad art market, opening up further avenues of research on art production in provinces and border regions.

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Biographical Note
Melis Taner, Ph.D. (2016), Harvard University, is Assistant Professor at Özyeğin University in Istanbul.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations
Notes on Transliteration


1 Uncertain Loyalties

2 Two Governors, Two Paths to Power
 1 Hasan Paşa’s Universal History
 2 The Travels and Deeds of Yusuf Paşa

3 From the Capital to the Province

4 The Garden of the Blessed
 1 Fuzuli’s Ḥadīḳatü’s-Süʿedā
 2 The Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Ḥadīḳatü’s-Süʿedā

5 Between the Ottomans and the Safavids: The Ankara Genealogy
 1 The Composition of Genealogies at the Ottoman Court
 2 The Texts and Their Translations
 3 The Ankara Genealogy
 4 The Ankara Manuscript and Its Paintings

Concluding Remarks

Appendix 1 Illustrated Manuscripts Attributed to Baghdad
Appendix 2 Single-page Paintings and Dispersed Leaves Attributed to Baghdad
Appendix 3 Timeline of Major Events Discussed in the Book
All interested in the history, art, and culture of the Ottoman and Safavid empires in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and all interested in frontier regions.
Index Card
Collection Information