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“I Entered Mecca . . . And I Destroyed All The Tombs”: Some Remarks On Saudi-Ottoman Correspondence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines a letter sent to the Ottoman Sultan Selim III (r. 1203-22/1789-1807) after the fall of Mecca to a coalition of Najdi and pro-Saudi troops in 1218/1803. The letter is attributed to Su'ūd b. 'Abd al-'AZīz (d. 1229/1814), then commanderin-chief and heir to the Saudi throne. A search for the source of the letter and an analysis of its content in light of historical developments on the Najdī-Hijazī front will prove instrumental in discovering the letter's true provenance. The purpose of this survey of the events surrounding the takeover of Mecca by the Saudis and their allies has been to provide the historical context needed to analyze the content of the letter in order to reveal possible clues about the author's identity.

Keywords: Mecca; Najdī-Hijazī Ottoman Sultan Selim III; Saudi



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