Writing Ottoman History: Documents and Interpretations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Writing Ottoman History

Documents and Interpretations, 1st Edition

By Colin Heywood


386 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788546
pub: 2002-02-14

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The study of Ottoman history has resulted in the construction of a number of Ottoman ’pasts’, some of which have been proved recoverable and essentially durable, while others have been seen to owe too much to extraneous preconceptions. In the articles collected here, Dr Heywood has questioned some of the perceived certainties in the field of Ottoman history and historiography, focusing in particular on the work of Paul Wittek and the idea of the 'frontier'. Other studies are based on the abundant surviving documentation, and look at specific topics in 17th-century Ottoman history and in Anglo-Ottoman relations, for example Sir Paul Rycaut’s view of the Ottoman empire, or the organisation of the Ottoman postal service and roads, and the cannon-foundry in Istanbul.


'…the publication of a Variorum volume of a scholar's reprinted articles signifies that that scholar has attained an unassailably authoritative status. No Ottomanist would deny that Colin Heywood has achieved this status… We should be grateful to Ashgate for assembling such a rich collection, particularly given the relative obscurity of some of the original publication venues.' International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 'Heywood's essay on Ottoman Bosnia is a further example of his versatility and of the thoughtful and careful scholarship in both its conceptual and practical aspects which is exemplified in this Variorum collection. Moreover, unlike much Ottoman scholarship, Heywood's prose is always a pleasure to read.' BSOAS

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The frontier in Ottoman history: old ideas and new myth; Bosnia under Ottoman rule, 1463-1800; English diplomatic relations with Turkey, 1689-1698; Sir Paul Rycaut, a 17th-century observer of the Ottoman state: notes for a study; 'Boundless dreams of the Levant': Paul Wittek, the George-Kreis, and the writing of Ottoman history; Wittek and the Austrian tradition; A subterranean history: Paul Wittek (1894-1978) and the early Ottoman state; Between historical myth and ’mythohistory’: the limits of Ottoman history; Some Turkish archival sources for the history of the Menzilhane network in Rumeli during the 18th century (Notes and documents on the Ottoman Ulak, I); The Ottoman Menzilhane and Ulak system in Rumeli in the 18th century; The Via Egnatia in the Ottoman period: the Menzilhanes of the Sol Kol in the late 17th/early 18th century; 'Yazici defter yazmak dilese…' (notes on the Miftahu'l-hisab-i kava'id-i defter by Dervish Bihisht Saruhani); An unsolved murder in the Marmara (notes on Bodl. MS. Turk. d. 32); A letter from Cerrah Mustafa Pasha, Vali of Tunis, to Sir William Trumbull (A.H. 1099/A.D. 1688); The activities of the state cannon-foundry (Tophane-i 'Amire) at Istanbul in the early 16th century according to an unpublished Turkish source; Notes on the production of 15th-century Ottoman cannon; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General