By Cemal Kafadar

Cemal Kafadar deals a way more refined and intricate interpretation of the early Ottoman interval than that supplied by way of different historians. His cautious research of medieval in addition to sleek historiography from the point of view of a cultural historian demonstrates how ethnic, tribal, linguistic, spiritual, and political affiliations have been all at play within the fight for energy in Anatolia and the Balkans through the past due center Ages.

This hugely unique examine the increase of the Ottoman empire—the longest-lived political entity in human history—shows the transformation of a tiny frontier firm right into a centralized imperial nation that observed itself as either chief of the world's Muslims and inheritor to the japanese Roman Empire.

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Chronology 1071 The Battle of Mantzikert: Seljuks defeat Byzantine army; the first great wave of Turkish migrations into Asia Minor. 1176 The Battle of Myriokephalon: Seljuks of Rm defeat Byzantine army. 1177 Dnimendids subdued by the Seljuks of Rm. 1204 The Fourth Crusade: Latins occupy Constantinople; Lascarids start to rule in Nicaea; Comneni start to rule in Trebizond. 1220–37 The reign of ‘Al’ üddn Keybd, peak of Seljuk control in Asia Minor. 1221 Shihb ad-dn 'Umar al-Suhraward brings insignia of futuwwa, sent by the caliph, from Baghdad to Konya.

The main tenor of those voices reflected a dissatisfaction with an explanation that put so much emphasis on “Holy War ideology” when early Ottoman behavior, it was claimed, displayed heterodoxy vis-à-vis Islam and accommodation vis-à-vis Christian neighbors. The early Ottomans could not have been driven by the spirit of gaza, because they were neither good orthodox Muslims nor zealous exclusivist ones. Ottoman sources that speak of gaza might as well be read as representatives of a later ideology, addressing Islamized audiences by putting a respectable religious veneer on earlier actions that had been driven by pragmatic considerations such as plunder and power.

For one thing, there is a phenomenal quantitative difference between the extant materials related to early Ottoman history and those pertaining to the sixteenth century and beyond. There is still not one authentic written document known from the time of Omn, and there are not many from the fourteenth century altogether. Furthermore, the nature of the documents from later periods is such as to enable scholars to conduct social and economic studies of rare quantitative precision, while the prearchival sources are mostly legends, hagiographies, and annalistic chronicles.

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