By Heath W. Lowry
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Additional resources for The Nature of the Early Ottoman State
SOURCE: Ayverdi, 1966, p. 59. Wittek Revisited: His Utilization of the Bursa Inscription 37 In so doing, Wittek created a number of ambiguities. In particular, his conferring of the title: “Sultan” among the list of honorifics supposedly accorded Orhan in 1337 is unjustified. This is not what the 1337 inscription says, rather it names Orhan as “The Exalted Great Emir, Warrior on behalf of God” (all of which is ignored by Wittek who renders these titles as “Sultan”). The title of “Sultan” is first attested to have been used on an Ottoman inscription nearly half a century later.
He then immediately proceeds to the following couplets regarding Bayezid’s own death: In the meantime, Timur marched towards Rum. The state became full of instigation, fear, and languor. Because Timur did not have any justice, necessarily, he had a lot of cruelty and oppression. It was certainly such a savageness, that, even to mention it is a kind of wildness; the only solution is not to talk about it! The Sovereign passed away amid this languor. 52 This entire section must have been written after the death of Bayezid.
While beginning with Ahmedi and S*ükrullah (and carefully followed by later Ottoman chroniclers), the gaza topos claimed that the sole role of the good gazi was to spread Islam by confronting the unbelievers with the choice of conversion or death, in point of fact there is simply no indication that such a policy was ever followed by the Ottomans. While Ahmedi had no real trouble portraying Osman, Orhan, and Süleyman Pas*a as prototypes of his ideal gazi by simply ignoring any fighting they had engaged in against their fellow Muslims, the same was not true for the next Ottoman ruler Murad, who, while leading the gaza, also fought against the fellow Anatolian Turkish state of the Karamanids.