The Ghazi Sultans were frontier holy-warrior kings of late medieval and early modern Islamic history. This book is a comparative study of three particular Ghazis in the Muslim world at that time, demonstrating the extent to which these men were influenced by the actions and writings of their predecessors in shaping strategy and the way in which they saw themselves.
Using a broad range of Persian, Arabic and Turkish texts, the author offers new findings in the history of memory and self-fashioning, demonstrating thereby the value of intertextual approaches to historical and literary studies. The three main themes explored include the formation of the ideal of the Ghazi king in the eleventh century, the imitation thereof in fifteenth and early sixteenth century Anatolia and India, and the process of transmission of the relevant texts. By focusing on the philosophical questions of ‘becoming’ and ‘modelling’, Anooshahr has sought alternatives to historiographic approaches that only find facts, ideology, and legitimization in these texts.
This book will be of interest to scholars specialising in Medieval and early modern Islamic history, Islamic literature, and the history of religion.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. How Babur became a Ghazi 2. Disclaiming Timur’s Inheritance and the Rise of the Mughal Empire 3. The Origins of the Ghazi King 4. Inventing the Image of the ‘Founder King’ 5. The Triad of kings 6. Tatars and Ottomans 7. The Ghazas of Sultan Murad II. Conclusion
Ali Anooshahr teaches Comparative Pre-modern Islamic History at the University of California, Davis.
'Anooshahr’s hypotheses are plausible and derive from meticulous research. They offer a promising new perspective on the significance of an ideology vital to Islamic historiography in the Middle Period.' - CARL F. PETRY, Northwestern University, American Historical Review, October 2009
'This is a provocative and intelligent book, and promises to engage specialists in various disciplines of Near Eastern, Central Asian and Islamic studies.' - Insight Turkey Vol.12/ No.1/ 2010