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Volume Editors: Seyfi Kenan and Selçuk Aksin Somel
Eighteen expert researchers have come together to provide original articles and new perspectives on transformation throughout Ottoman history, in order to honor the life’s work of Metin Kunt.
Kunt’s work revolutionized our understanding of change in Ottoman political, social and cultural history in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. This new collection focuses on the contributions of key players in these fields and includes chapters on Ottoman artisans in a changing political context, Ottoman chief scribes and the rhetorics of political survival in the 17th century, and empiricism in the Ottoman Empire.

Contributors are Antonis Anastasopoulos, Iris Agmon, Tülay Artan, Karl K. Barbir, Fatih Bayram, Suraiya Faroqhi, Cornell H. Fleischer, Pál Fodor, Mehmet Kalpaklı, Cemil Koçak, B. Harun Küçük, Aslı Niyazioğlu, Mehmet Öz, Kaya Şahin, Derin Terzioğlu, Ekin Tuşalp-Atiyas, Christine Woodhead, N. Zeynep Yelçe, Elizabeth A. Zachariadou.
A Historical Study in Organizational Dimensions of Islamic Mysticism
Ṭuruq and ṭuruq-linked institutions by Frederick De Jong was first published in 1978. It is largely based on research in public and private archives in Cairo, and on published materials in limited circulation. This study became highly influential in its field. De Jong describes the development of the administration and organization of the ṭuruq and ṭuruq-linked institutions ( takāyā, zawāyā, and shrines) under the shaykhs of the Bakrī family in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Egypt. Central to this administration is the principle of right of qadam, meaning the exclusive right of a ṭarīqa to proselytize and to appear in public in a particular area, if it could be proved that it had been the first to do so.
Author: Nadja Danilenko
In Picturing the Islamicate World, Nadja Danilenko explores the message of the first preserved maps from the Islamicate world. Safeguarded in al-Iṣṭakhrī’s Book of Routes and Realms (10th century C.E.), the world map and twenty regional maps complement the text to a reference book of the territories under Muslim rule. Rather than shaping the Islamicate world according to political or religious concerns, al-Iṣṭakhrī chose a timeless design intended to outlast upheavals. Considering the treatise was transmitted for almost a millennium, al-Iṣṭakhrī’s strategy seems to have paid off. By investigating the Persian and Ottoman translations and all extant manuscripts, Nadja Danilenko unravels the manuscript tradition of al-Iṣṭakhrī’s work, revealing who took an interest in it and why.
Festivity and Representation in the Early Eighteenth Century
The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul offers the first holistic examination of an Ottoman public festival through an in-depth inquiry into different components of the 1720 event. Through a critical and combined analysis of the hitherto unknown archival sources along with the textual and pictorial narratives on the topic, the book vividly illustrates the festival’s organizational details and preparations, its complex rites (related to consumption, exchange, competition), and its representation in court-commissioned illustrated festival books (sūrnāmes).
To analyze all these phases in a holistic manner, the book employs an interdisciplinary approach by using the methodological tools of history, art history, and performance studies and thus, provides a new methodological and conceptual framework for the study of Ottoman celebrations.
Articles collected in Historicizing Sunni Islam in the Ottoman Empire, c. 1450-c. 1750 engage with the idea that “Sunnism” itself has a history and trace how particular Islamic genres—ranging from prayer manuals, heresiographies, creeds, hadith and fatwa collections, legal and theological treatises, and historiography to mosques and Sufi convents—developed and were reinterpreted in the Ottoman Empire between c. 1450 and c. 1750. The volume epitomizes the growing scholarly interest in historicizing Islamic discourses and practices of the post-classical era, which has heretofore been styled as a period of decline, reflecting critically on the concepts of ‘tradition’, ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘orthopraxy’ as they were conceived and debated in the context of building and maintaining the longest-lasting Muslim-ruled empire. Contributors: Helen Pfeifer; Nabil al-Tikriti; Derin Terzioğlu; Tijana Krstić; Nir Shafir; Guy Burak; Çiğdem Kafesçioğlu; Grigor Boykov; H. Evren Sünnetçioğlu; Ünver Rüstem; Ayşe Baltacıoğlu-Brammer; Vefa Erginbaş; Selim Güngörürler.
Author: Rachel Finnegan
In Richard Pococke’s Letters from the East (1737-1740), Rachel Finnegan provides edited transcripts of the full run of correspondence from Richard Pococke’s famous eastern voyage from 1737-41. In this new volume, Finnegan combines updated biographical accounts of the traveller and his correspondents (his mother, Elizabeth Pococke and his uncle and patron, Bishop Thomas Milles) from vol. 1 of the original edition of Letters from Abroad (2011) with transcriptions of the letters from vol. 3 of the series (2013), together with new material that has hitherto been unpublished. Thus, in a single volume, she sets the context of the life and times of the traveller and his family against the background of this voluminous corpus of fascinating correspondence, which can be read in conjunction with Pococke’s own published account of his travels, A Description of the East and Some Other Countries (1743-45).
An Illustrated Collection of Essays
The richly illustrated essays in Turcologica Upsaliensia tell the stories of scholars, travellers, diplomats and collectors who made discoveries in the Turkic-speaking world while affiliated with Sweden’s oldest university, at Uppsala.

The study of Oriental languages, including Turkic, has a long tradition at Uppsala. The first part of the volume tells of famous Uppsala professors who were experts not only in Ottoman and Chaghatay, but also in smaller Turkic languages, and of their high esteem for Turkic culture. It also tells how collectors benefited from the Swedish court’s cordial relations with the Ottomans. The second part describes selected manuscripts, art objects and maps, calling readers’ attention to the cultural heritage preserved at the University Library, which is also accessible online.
Contributors include: Göran Bäärnhielm, Jan von Bonsdorff, Bernt Brendemoen, Ulla Birgegård, Éva Á. Csató, Per Cullhed, Kristof D’hulster, Josef Eskhult, Mohammad Fazlhashemi, Gunilla Gren-Eklund, Hans Helander, Lars Johanson, Birsel Karakoç, Sabira Ståhlberg, Ingvar Svanberg, Fikret Turan, and Ali Yıldız.
In “The Turk” in the Czech Imagination (1870s-1923), Jitka Malečková describes Czechs’ views of the Turks in the last half century of the existence of the Ottoman Empire and how they were influenced by ideas and trends in other countries, including the European fascination with the Orient, images of “the Turk,” contemporary scholarship, and racial theories. The Czechs were not free from colonial ambitions either, as their attitude to Bosnia-Herzegovina demonstrates, but their viewpoint was different from that found in imperial states and among the peoples who had experienced Ottoman rule. The book convincingly shows that the Czechs mainly viewed the Turks through the lenses of nationalism and Pan-Slavism – in solidarity with the Slavs fighting against Ottoman rule.
A Study of Birgivī Meḥmed Efendī’s al-Ṭarīqa al-muḥammadiyya
In Virtue, Piety and the Law Katharina Ivanyi examines Birgivī Meḥmed Efendī’s (d. 981/1573) al-Ṭarīqa al-muḥammadiyya, a major work of pietist exhortation and advice, composed by the sixteenth-century Ottoman jurist, Ḥadīth scholar and grammarian, who would articulate a style of religiosity that had considerable reformist appeal into modern times.

Linking the cultivation of individual virtue to questions of wider political, social and economic concern, Birgivī played a significant role in the negotiation and articulation of early modern Ottoman Ḥanafī piety. Birgivī’s deep mistrust of the passions of the human soul led him to prescribe a regime of self-surveillance and control that was only matched in rigor by his likewise exacting interpretation of the law in matters of everyday life, as much as in state practices, such as the cash waqf, Ottoman land tenure and taxation.