Enter the mongols: A study of the ottoman historiography in the 15th and 16th centuries*

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This study will examine how the Ottoman historians writing from the early 15th century retrospectively described and evaluated the Mongols. In the legends about the foundation of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman historians described the Mongols as destroyers or enemies. In contrast, in the sections on the Mongols in universal/multi-dynastic histories the Mongol rulers enjoyed an excellent reputation. The hostility might have originated from old, faint memories of the early Ottomans and it was clearly rooted in Persian historiography. In the 16th century, some historians canonised Mongol rulers as “the renewers of religion” and integrated them into the Ottoman genealogy. The reasons for this change came from composite elements: the confrontation against the Safavids, the augmentation of the importance of the Crimean Khanate as an ally, and the greater influence of Persian historiography. The Ottoman historians used the Mongols as a vehicle for the legitimisation of the Ottoman dynasty by utilising the reputation of the Genghisids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalOsmanli Arastirmalari - Journal of Ottoman Studies
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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