INTRODUCTION TO OTTOMAN EPIGRAPHY
INFO: Intensive Graduate Summer Program surveying Ottoman Inscriptions
DATES: 21.07.2014 – 08.08.2014
PROGRAM CONTENT
Ottoman inscriptions, despite their abundance and value as historical records, have been
underused in historical studies. One area of exception is early Ottoman historiography, which,
due to the scarcity of other written sources from this period, has relied on epigraphy to
reconstruct the mindset and motivations of early Ottomans and comment on the nature of the
early Ottoman state. The aim of this three-week course is to train a new generation of
Ottomanists to make use of these valuable historical sources.
This course will offer a broad chronological survey of Ottoman inscriptions, from the earliest
Ottoman inscriptions through the nineteenth century. Combining lectures, thematic
explorations, homework assignments, and seminar presentations, the course will feature
numerous guided site visits throughout Istanbul. Students will also have the chance to visit
Bursa and Edirne to study inscriptions of critical historical importance in situ.
As a collaboration between Koç University and the University of Chicago, the course will take
place at the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, located in Beyoğlu in the
heart of Istanbul. Classes will meet five days per week (Monday - Friday), with the two trips to
İznik/Bursa and Edirne on weekdays of the second and third weeks. The course has two
thematically divided sections. Morning sessions offer a chronological survey of the development
of Ottoman inscriptions and historical problems connected to them starting with the earliest
examples in Anatolia. Afternoon classes will be designed around specific themes and will be
conducted on site in various locations in Istanbul.
The course will be jointly taught by Hakan Karateke, Associate Professor of Ottoman and Turkish
Culture, Language, and Literature, and Cornell Fleischer, Kanuni Süleyman Professor of Ottoman
and Modern Turkish Studies, both from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and
Civilizations at the University of Chicago. In order to maintain an intimate setting and provide
participants with better exposure and opportunities to learn, the course will be limited to 12
students. The objectives of the course include mastery of the methodologies used to study
epigraphic material and experience with reading, interpreting, and preparing inscriptions for
publication. Introduction to Ottoman Epigraphy is designed for graduate students with
advanced knowledge of Ottoman Turkish. A working knowledge of Arabic will be necessary to
analyze early Ottoman inscriptions. All texts and readings will be provided as electronic copies
free of charge.
Course Outline
WEEK 1
July 21, Monday
9:15-12:30
• Introduction
• First known inscriptions in Anatolia in Turkish: Kütahya: Yakub Çelebi medrese inscription
2:00-5:00
• Kütahya: Yakub Çelebi medrese inscription (cont’d)
July 22, Tuesday
9:15-12:30
• Kütahya: Yakub Çelebi medrese inscription (cont’d)
2:00-5:00
• Merkez Efendi Tekke cemetery: A Halveti lodge of dervishes
July 23, Wednesday
9:15-12:30
• First known Ottoman inscriptions: Bursa: Orhan Gazi mosque
• First known ttoman inscriptions: Bursa: ehadet mos ue
• İznik: Hacı Zeynel mos ue
…
Free afternoon for preparing assignments
July 24, Thursday
9:15-12:30
• Bursa: Umur Bey mosque foundation
2:00-5:00
• Topkapı Palace: Inscriptions at the gates
July 25, Friday
9:15-12:30
• Topkapı Palace: Collections at the museum
2:00-5:00
• Guest lecture
WEEK 2
July 28, Monday
9:15-12:30
• Presentations 1-3
• Bursa: Umur Bey mos ue foundation (cont’d)
2:00-5:00
• Tophane: Various inscriptions
July 29, Tuesday
9:15-12:30
• Presentations 4-6
• The inscription of Hacı Bektaş dervish lodge
• Samsun: The inscription of the fortress
2:00-5:00
• Süleymaniye - Beyazıt: Various inscriptions
July 30, Wednesday
9:15-12:30
• Presentations 7-9
• Selanik: The Inscription of Seven Towers and other early inscriptions with a tughra
2:00-5:00
• Guest lecture
July 31, Thursday
İZNİK — BURSA TRIP
Bus leaves for İznik at 10:00 am
August 1, Friday
BURSA
Bus leaves for Istanbul at 7:00 pm
WEEK 3
August 4, Monday
9:15-12:30
• Presentations 10-12
• The inscription of Sultan Osman II dedicated to the Poland campaign of 1621
2:00-5:00
• Beşiktaş: Yahya Efendi Cemetery
August 5, Tuesday
2:00-5:00
• Edirne: Soup kitchen (1399), and other inscriptions
…
Free afternoon for preparing assignments
August 6, Wednesday
9:15-12:30
• Edirne inscriptions (cont’d)
• Databases for Islamic inscriptions
• Üsküdar: 18th century constructions: Fountains and other civil buildings
2:00-5:00
• Guest lecture
August 7, Thursday
EDİRNE TRIP
Bus leaves for Edirne at 7:00 am and return for Istanbul after 7:00 pm same day
August 8, Friday
11:00-12:30
• A curious observer of inscriptions: Evliya Çelebi
• A curious compiler of inscription texts: Hüseyin Ayvansarayi
• Multi-lingual inscriptions
2:00-5:00
• In the footsteps of Evliya Çelebi and Hüseyin Ayvansarayi: Fatih, Balat.
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