By Kirilyuk, Andrei P

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Extra resources for 75 Years of Matter Wave: Louis de Broglie and Renaissance of the Causally Complete Knowledge

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The Ottomans played dynastic identity against territorial identity. The 36 Chapter Two vocabulary of imperial titulature was primarily eastern, a layered language that invoked the shahs of ancient Persia, the caliphs and sultans of the Islamic past, and the khans of central Asia. In contrast, the Ottoman heartland was a Roman landscape: the capital in official parlance was the Arabized “Kostantiniyya” (“Istanbul” remained the popular name for the city, as it was in Byzantine times). ”25 This interleafing of dynastic and territorial identities made the point that the Roman empire of the Ottomans, like its European counterpart, was holy—it was, finally, Muslim.

Surely one reason they did not build an overseas empire was that remote kingdoms had no historical resonance in the Eurasian geography of their “old” world. A C H E M I S T RY O F D I F F E R E N C E The notion that the Ottoman dynastic household was not “of” any people that it ruled but rather reigned over many former kingdoms is key to the structures of Ottoman sovereignty. This aloofness freed the dynasty to design an administration best suited to accomplishing its two key goals: perpetuating the dominance of the lineage of Osman and controlling the collection of former principalities.

The one exception, arguably, is the architecture of Ottoman sovereignty, that is, the shaping of the governing elite and the assumptions and rationales behind it. I use the term “inverted racialization” to suggest that the Ottomans created a kind of imperial ethnicity, a ruling caste comprising Christian slaves converted to Islam and trained in the arts of government. This “Ottoman” caste, conceived as a vast royal household headed by the sultan, had the purpose and effect not of marginal27 28 Chapter Two izing but of isolating and elevating the dynasty above its various subject peoples.

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75 Years of Matter Wave: Louis de Broglie and Renaissance of the Causally Complete Knowledge by Kirilyuk, Andrei P


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