2013. máj. 22.

The Shaping of Early Ottoman Edirne

CEU Lecture: Amy Singer: The Shaping of Early Ottoman Edirne

Date:  May 24, 2013 - 15:00 - 16:45 

 Nador u. 11 
 Hanak (201)

The city of Edirne was the official Ottoman capital city for at least half a century after the defeat 
of Sultan Bayezid I by Timur in 1402 and before the conquest of Constantinople (by his great grandson 
Mehmed II) in 1453. Yet until quite recently, the city has received limited attention from historians, 
limited to a relatively small number of topics. This talk will explore Ottoman Edirne with two goals 
in mind. 
First, to consider the question of Edirne's historiographical status, particularly in contrast to its importance 
as a former Ottoman capital. Why have historians focused more on Bursa, Konya or Amasya, relatively 
speaking (to say nothing of Istanbul), and not deemed Edirne as attractive a subject of study? 
Second, Edirne receives closer examination, as a first step to recovering and perhaps reconceiving
 the city in its early Ottoman period. In part, this study is a pilot project in the use of Historical Geographic
Information Systems (HGIS) for Ottoman history. It asks how Ottoman history can benefit from a 
contemporary data interpretation system to explore sources in new and fruitful ways?
Amy Singer (Ph.D. Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 1989) was born in Washington, D.C. 
and teaches Ottoman and Turkish History in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History 
at Tel Aviv University. Her research began with an in-depth study of the relations between Ottoman 
officials and Palestinian peasants, in an effort to move Ottoman agrarian history beyond cataloguing
 the demography and agricultural production of villages (Palestinian peasants and Ottoman officials
1994). From the documentary materials of this study there emerged another story, that of an enormous
 endowed foundation (waqf) for a public kitchen (imaret) established by the wife of Sultan Süleyman I 
in Jerusalem in the mid-sixteenth century (Constructing Ottoman Beneficence, 2002). 
The study of one endowment provoked a more general interrogation of Islamic charity (Charity in
 Islamic Societies, 2008). At present, my projects focus on the city of Edirne/Adrianople and on
 public kitchens across the Ottoman Empire. In both of these, I am integrating Geographic Information
 Systems (GIS) as a tool for historical research. I spend part of each year doing research in libraries 
and archives in Turkey, and my books have appeared there in Turkish translations.

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