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From Adam to Murad: Universal History Through Ottoman Eyes

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

5:30 pm -

Presented by:

Dr. Emine Fetvaci
Norma Jean Calderwood University Professor in Islamic & Asian Art, Boston College

In the sixteenth century, artists and historians working for the Ottoman court in Istanbul produced multiple works of Ottoman history that eulogized the ruling elite.

The books varied in content: some described the reign of a particular sultan, others focused on the military campaigns of a courtier, yet others were universal histories that fit the Ottoman dynasty into a long line of rulers including Old Testament prophets and pre-Islamic Persian heroes from the Shahnama (Book of Kings).

This talk will examine Zubdat al Tawarikh, an illustrated universal history that was made for the ruler Murad III (r. 1574-1595) and its models. Through the paintings of this and other Ottoman histories, we will trace changes in the Ottoman concept of the ideal ruler during the sixteenth century.

Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion

Arab-American Educational Foundation Center for Arab Studies (AAEF-CAS)