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Architecture and Hagiography in the Ottoman Empire pdf

ARCHITECTURE AND HAGIOGRAPHY IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE
  • Book Title:
 Architecture And Hagiography In The Ottoman Empire
  • Book Author:
Zeynep Yürekli
  • Total Pages
222
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Architecture and Hagiography in the Ottoman Empire

The Politics of Bektashi Shrines in the Classical Age Zeynep Yürekli

ARCHITECTURE AND HAGIOGRAPHY IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Book Contents

  • List of Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Note on Transliteration xv
  • Introduction: Legends and Shrines  
  • The Bektashis, their Shrines and the Ottomans   
  • The Hagiographic Framework   
  • The Remodelling of the Shrines   
  •  Architecture and Meaning    
  • Epilogue    
  • Appendix: Foundation Inscriptions in the Shrine of Seyyid Gazi    
  • Appendix: Foundation Inscriptions in the Shrine of Hacı Bektaş    
  • Bibliography    
  • Index    

Introduction: Legends and Shrines

The shrines of Seyyid Gazi and Hacı Bektaş are popular pilgrimage destinations among the Shiʿite Muslims in modern Turkey, who are known as Alevis.

This book explores the earliest stages of the process through which these shrines became emblems of Alevihood (Alevilik), a term that today connotes a specific social identity as much as a religious denomination.

The individual histories of the two shrines go back to the thirteenth century, but they were culturally and socially connected under the Ottomans from the late fifteenth century onwards.

By the sixteenth century, they had become the two principal centres of a social network which, for lack of a better term, I call the Bektashi network in this book, and which constituted the basis of today’s A levihood. The development of this social network was accompanied by an extensive remodelling of both shrines, which is the central theme here.

Shrines are difficult to study because their significance is not immediately apparent. What makes them special is what people think of them.

 As children of modernity we are easily frustrated when we find ourselves in a realm where everything is subjective.

 One visitor to a shrine might not see anything but a few run-down buildings. Another might visit the same shrine and see a lofty palace.

A tourist’s day out might be a life-changing experience for a devout pilgrim.

A ‘pilgrim’ (from the Latin peregrinus, literally ‘person from abroad’ or ‘foreigner’) was simply a ‘wayfarer’, until the word acquired the more specific meaning of travel to a sacred place in the Middle Ages.1 Similarly, the  Arabic  word ziyāra (ziyāret/ziyārat  in  Turkish/Persian)  in fact  simply denotes an act of visiting but was used specifically for tomb visitation from medieval times onwards. One could visit many people or things: a friend or relative, a place, a museum, a shrine.

Any sacred connotations attached to the otherwise mundane actions of travelling and visiting depend on the pilgrim’s perspective.

And this is often shaped, as those of us visiting a shrine today may still observe, by the established rituals at the shrine, and the numerous stories about it told and occasionally fixed in written accounts in the form of legends and hagiographies.

For historians trying to uncover the perspective of the traveller/ a shrine, few sources can offer as much insight as hagiographies.2

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