From the Steppes to the Hagia Sophia: A select Historiographical Study of early Ottoman culture, is a literary analysis of the historiography covering the cultural practices of the Ottoman state and its people between 1299 and 1566. In particular, it examines the way in which academic studies of this period of Ottoman history have been divided between West-centric and East-centric views of the state’s cultural foundation. This research examines how two foundational histories, Herbert Gibbon’s The Foundation of the Ottoman Empire: A History of the Osmanlis Up to the Death of Bayezid I in the 1910s and Paul Wittek’s proposition of Ghazi thesis in the 1930s have influenced the historiography of the early Ottomans. In understanding two polarised historiographical approaches to Ottoman history, this research seeks to tease out the place of Oghuz Turkic culture in the Ottoman heritage. Finally, this research also discusses the role that the modern state of Türkiye, its ideologies, and its scholars, have had on this academic debate. This dissertation argues that the role of Oghuz culture in discussions of early Ottoman culture has been severely neglected despite its important contributions to the early Ottoman state. It is further argued that this neglect is owed to both the preoccupation with Byzantine and Medieval Islamic cultures as the main cultural contributors to early Ottoman culture in the historiography, as well as to the influence of modern Turkish politics and ideology on Ottoman studies.
Dissertation (MSocSci (History))--University of Pretoria, 2022.