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The Production Of The Şehnāme-I Selīm Ḫān

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Chapter Summary

The artwork Şehnāme-I Selīm Ḫān chronicles the events of the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Selim II. In addition to the expansive preface detailing how the manuscript was produced, two preparatory drafts of the project provide invaluable material evidence of the creative process. This chapter provides an analysis of the Şehnāme-I Selīm Ḫān for examining the relationship between how the manuscript was produced and its intended meanings. The three versions of the Şehnāme-I Selīm Ḫān provide a treasure trove of information about the making of manuscripts in the Ottoman court. The chapter shows that a comprehensive account of the Şehnāme-I Selīm Ḫān informed by the production process reveals layers of meaning in the manuscript that are otherwise not readily visible. When examined this way, we see that one of the primary goals of the Şehnāme-I Selīm Ḫān was to record and thereby perpetuate the power structure of the Ottoman court.

Keywords: Şehnāme-I Selīm Ḫān; Ottoman court; Sultan Selim II



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