The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

What is Ottoman Historiography? Competing and Converging Historical Narratives in 15th- and Early 16th-Century Rumeli (Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies)

Start Date and Time:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 4:00PM

End Date and Time:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 6:00PM


Delyan Rusev (University Of Sofia/University Of Chicago)

In the first decade of the 16th century, the historian Kemālpashazāde (d.1534) composed an elaborate History of the Ottoman Dynasty, in which he included a lengthy account of the pre-Ottoman past of the Balkans (Rumeli) based—after a thorough redaction—on an apocryphal Christian work of medieval Bulgarian history. By taking this peculiar case of convergence between Muslim and Christian historical narratives as a starting point and trying to locate it in its proper cultural and political contexts, this talk will embark on an attempt to tackle the wider issue of the make-up and dynamics of historical writing in a period of ideological experimentation in the nascent Ottoman imperial enterprise. It will explore the competitive nature of various historiographic strands originating in Rumeli and relating its history, as well as possible venues of interaction between them, in order to demonstrate how the consolidation of the dynasty’s authority in the region was paralleled by a process of appropriation of its past through the merger of these originally competing traditions.


  • Department of History
  • Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
  • Centre for European Russian and Eurasian Studies

Contact Information

Victor Ostapchuk

Near and Middle Eastern Civilization


Room 2098, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3 view full map




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Kemālpashazāde. 16th-cen. miniature from Āşık Çelebi biographical dictionary (Meşāʿirü'ş-Şuʿarā)