For these authors’ works see Wittek, Paul The Ghaza or Ghazi thesis of Austrian historian Paul Wittek remained the most powerful theory to explain the rise and expansion of the Ottoman Empire until it began to face severe criticism the s that led it to be largely undermined. Gaza, Jihad and Holy War In order to clarify some matters in this complex debate, it seems better to firstly consider the semantic differences of the notions gaza and holy war. The Turkish words akin and akingi had no religious connotation and they could still be found in some texts still in the late fifteenth century. However, Imber did Wittek little justice by associating him with the German nationalist historiography, which is somewhat inconsistent with a scholar who fled to England when the Nazis came to the power in Germany. The Construction of the Ottoman State , Turkish scholar Cemal Kafadar addressed criticism of the Ghaza thesis by arguing that previous scholars had drawn too great a distinction between “orthodox” and “heterodox” Islam — one could consider oneself a legitimate Muslim without conforming exactly to a scholarly orthodoxy. The gazi-rhetoric was actually intended for internal audience:

The gazi-rhetoric was actually intended for internal audience: We read here the alienation of the Ottoman dynasty from the earlier, egalitarian nomadic society in favor of a strong centralized authority. The house of Osman was a solid people, but these outsiders came to them and introduced all kinds tricks. Views Read Edit View history. For the question still remains whether the concepts gaza, jihad and holy war can be used as equivalents.

Ghaza thesis

Gary Leiser New York, ; originally in Paris, If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest hhazi through seller support? This was obviously not a unique Ottoman practice, but the expression of a deeply rooted tradition in Islamic history. Then, at the start of 13th century, the Seljuk Empire decomposed into several smaller Turkish states.


As an thesls detail, the handbook mentions that, when dealing with the redistribution of the booty, the Christian warriors also have to get their share of the booty if they have participated in the gaza. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

(DOC) The ghazi concept and Ottomans | Claudia-Florentina Dobre –

Thus, Witteks methodology was fundamentally not wrong. Issue 06 Issue Remember me on this computer. However, it is problematic in the context of wittke fourteenth-century Ottoman history, since the early Ottoman sources did not use term wlttek.

Two principal reasons are given for why the theory is now obsolete. The notion of ghazi was derived from the early Arabic Turkish fighting men formed the majority of ghazis in that region.

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Paul Wittek was one of the leading Ottoman historians of his generation. It was only certain writers, educated in the Islamic tradition, who tried to draw a connection between the secular ghaza of the frontier warriors and the religious ghaza as understood by Muslim intellectuals.

Colin Heywood has taught Middle Eastern history at a number of American universities and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he took courses with Wittek in the s. Therefore, go forward in happiness and confidence, and destroy the enemies of God.

Ghaza thesis – Wikipedia

The Ottoman dynasty used the gazi-motif at different times of its history. Some of the old-timer gazis were furious for being reduced in favor of a centralized state that started to take shape. The early Ottoman military activity described as ghaza is now thought to have been a much more fluid undertaking, sometimes referring to actions that were nothing more than raids, sometimes meaning a deliberate holy wiittek, but most often combining a mixture of these elements.


International scholarship of the 20th century tried to formulate an answer to the Ottoman success.

Their struggle against both Christian and Muslim opponents was covered by the principle of gaza. In an article published in tuesis, Jennings pointed out that the Ottomans could not be regarded as ghazi because their army was a melting pot of population of the Anatolia region and not a ghazi army.

ghazi thesis wittek

Log In Sign Up. Wittek overstated the ideological significance of an unchanged gazi-ideal. This means that gaza meant different things to different groups at different times, according to their political agendas.

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ghazi thesis wittek

Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. The Mediterranean in History, ed. Issue 02 Issue Skip to main content. They constructed their own interpretation of Islam by blending it with the mystical aspects of the former religions, in which they preserved the ancient mythological traditions. One group of scholars considered Christian elements and influences as the sole possible explanation for the Ottoman success.

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