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   Course Title    History of the Ottoman Empire and Southeastern Europe (1300-1900)
Lecturer    Silvana Rachieru
Institution    University of Bucharest
Country    Romania

This seminar provides a general view on the social and cultural history of the Ottoman Empire (1300-1900). Attendance is not mandatory but recommended. Requirements: class participation, oral presentation, written essay. Oral evaluation at the end of the semester together with the lecturer of the course. 30% of the final grade is represented by the seminar activity.

1. Ottoman history sources: juridical and religious sources; office sources. Ottoman historiography.

First seminar introduces basic information about the main sources for the study of Ottoman history as well as the major academic works concerning the subject.

2. Fundamental characteristics of Islam.

General presentation of the Islamic religion; Koran; major Islamic law schools; the role of the mosque in Islam; similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity.

3. The ideology of djihad

Different forms of djihad: minor/major djihad; djihad with the heart, with the word, with the sword etc. Djihad as a holly war: its role, its gains, its justifications etc.

4. Dar al-Islam and Dar al-ahd in South Eastern Europe. The status of Romanian Principalities.

Main differences between House of Islam and House of Peace. Examples of territories included in House of Islam or House of Peace. The status of non-Muslims in both cases.

5. Ottoman imperial ideology. The inscription from Bender.

Three main influences: Mongol/Turkish, Byzantine and Arabic. The role of the sultan. Circle of justice. Titles of Suleyman Kanuni as presented in the inscription from Bender.

6. Re'ayas' status-subjects of the sultan. Woman's status in the Ottoman Empire.

Muslims/non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire. The millet system. Rights and duties of the sultan's subjects. Women as objects, women as members of the society. Harem in the Ottoman Empire.

7. Crimean Principality inside the Ottoman world.

The role of the Crimean Principality. Its duties to the Ottoman Empire. The status of the Crimean Khan. Ottoman influences in architecture, life-style, and culture.

8. Ottoman classical culture. Literature. Architecture.

Main representatives of Ottoman literature. Architectural style: case study Mimar Sinan and his works.

9. Nasihat literature.

Literature of the decline. Art of critical writings. Main figures of the nasihat literature.

10. Early tendencies to reform and reorganize the empire. The case of Selim III

New era/nizam-i cedid. The personality of Selim the 3rd. Reforms in military and diplomatic fields. Western influences.

11. National movements in the Balkans in 19th century. Case study: Greece.

The impact of Greek uprising in Europe. The image of the "Great Greek". Greek Women participation in the national movement. Realities after 1830-economic difficulties, poverty, lack of political experience etc.

12. Tanzimat era. Reforms in the field of diplomacy, culture and every-day life.

Contact with Europe-new diplomatic schools. Western model in literature, fashion, life-style etc. The birth of Ottoman press. Women issues.

13. Ottoman ideology and culture at the end of 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.

Ottomanism, Islamism, Turkism, pan-Islamism, pan-Turkism. Young Ottomans/Young Turks. Non-Muslims' status.

14. Conclusions. Ottoman heritage in South Eastern Europe.


Halil Inalcik, History of the Ottoman Empire. The classical Age (1300-1600), Bucharest, 1997.

Robert Mantran, eds., Histoire de l’Empire Ottoman, Paris, 1989.

Peter Sugar, SouthEastern Europe under the Ottoman Rule, Cambridge, 1984.

Standford Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire, 2 vol., London, 1991.

Viorel Panaite, Pace, razboi si comert in Islam, Bucuresti, 1997.

Mihai Maxim, Tarile Romane si Inalta Poarta, Bucuresti, 1993.

Mihai Maxim, L’Empire Ottoman au nord du Danube, Istanbul, 1999.

Aurel Decei, Istoria Impreiului otoman (1300-1656), Bucuresti, 1980.

Tahsin Gemil, Relatii romano-otomane, Bucuresti, 1991.

Bernard Lewis, The Emergency of Modern Turkey, New York, 1985.

Mustafa Ali Ekrem, Civilizatia turca, Bucuresti, 1987.

Benjamin Braude, Bernard Lewis, eds, Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, 2 vol., London, 1982.

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