The Sultan and his commanders: representations of ideal leadership in the Şehname-i Nadiri
Yıldız, Özlem (2017) The Sultan and his commanders: representations of ideal leadership in the Şehname-i Nadiri. [Thesis]
The aim of this thesis is to examine the text and miniatures of the illustrated version of the Şehnāme-i Nādirī (Topkapı Palace Museum Library, H. 1124), and to place it within the context of the Ottoman şehnāme writing tradition. The Şehnāme-i Nādirī narrates the accession of ‘Osmān II to the throne, as well as the campaigns and military interventions that occurred during his rule, including his Hotin campaign. This study focuses on the various representations of leadership in the Şehnāme-i Nādirī, and suggests that the book seeks to convey an image of the sultan as a strong and victorious warrior, as well as a skillful archer and hunter. Similar characteristics are attributed to the Ottoman commanders, Ḫalīl Paşa, ‘Ali Paşa, İskender Paşa and Karakaş Meḥmed Paşa, whose campaigns are also recounted in the book. The strong bonds of loyalty between the commanders and the sultan, as well as the Ottoman sense of their own superiority over their rivals, are both regularly emphasized in the text and the miniatures. Studied together with two contemporary narrative sources, Ẓafernāme and Ġazānāme-i Ḫalīl Paşa, the Şehnāme-i Nādirī reflects an effort to continue the panegyrical discourse of earlier works in the Ottoman şehnāme tradition.
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