Fantasies of the end: cosmology and apocalypse in Dürr-i Meknun
Yıldırım, Duygu (2013) Fantasies of the end: cosmology and apocalypse in Dürr-i Meknun. [Thesis]
This thesis aims to present an alternative reading of Dürr-i Meknun (“The Hidden Pearl”). It was penned by Yazıcıoğlu Ahmed Bican, an Ottoman mystic, in the 15th century. He was the son of Salah al-Din “al-katib” and the younger brother of the famous Yazıcıoğlu Mehmed whose works bear similar thematic affinities. During his lifetime Ahmed called himself - and he was called- “Bican”, (The Lifeless), due to his flagging appearance as a result of his praxis of austerities. The Yazıcıoğlu brothers were the students of Haci Bayram of Ankara, and they belonged to the Bayrami order of dervishes. In broadest terms, Dürr-i Meknun can be classified as a work of cosmology imbued with apocalyptic traditions. However, as the genres of the premodern era do not have concise boundaries, labeling the text under a modern, compact term automatically beclouds to understand it in unity. Thus, this thesis adopts a comparative textual method in order to elucidate the different dimensions of the text and its intertextuality. Set in a hierarchical order, the cosmology depicted in Dürr-i Meknun concludes with apocalyptic speculations. Deconstructing the recent studies on Ahmed Bican’s work which analyzes the relationship between the conquest of Constantinople and the prophetic themes under a political topos, this study does assay the text on an intellectual plane reflecting somewhat blurred peripheries between Byzantine and Muslim apocalyptic traditions and among Sunnah and Shiah in the period preceding the Ottoman-Safavid conflict of the 16th and 17th centuries.
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