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Background And Significance

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Chapter Summary

From a thematic point of view, three of Mustafa ‘Ȃlis works, the Counsel, the Gathering, and the Delicacies, stand out in his oeuvre as early representatives of three new Ottoman literary genres, having to do with administrative reforms, circumcision festivities, and etiquette, respectively. At the time he composed the Epic Deeds, Mustafa ‘Ȃlis was forty-four years old and had served three successive sultans at all three levels of the administrative system in various provinces of the Empire from Bosnia to Erzurum. Consequently, he had great deal of experience, expertise, and insight into variety of administrative, political, social, and cultural issues. Despite the obvious significance of the contents of the Epic Deeds in the context of Islamic art-historical writing, its language and literary style has been a constant target of criticism. The nature of ‘Ȃlis engagement with the artistic world was different than that of the authors of most art-historical texts.

Keywords: Epic Deeds; Islamic art-historical writing; literary style; Mustafa ‘Ȃli; texts historical models; texts language



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