World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Prose of the Ottoman Empire

Article Id: WHEBN0004132333
Reproduction Date:

Title: Prose of the Ottoman Empire  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ottoman Empire, Ottoman miniature, Turkish folk literature, Turkish literature, Namık Kemal
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Prose of the Ottoman Empire

Roughly speaking, the prose of the Ottoman Empire can be divided along the lines of two broad periods: early Ottoman prose, written prior to the 19th century CE and exclusively nonfictional in nature; and later Ottoman prose, which extended from the mid-19th century Tanzimat period of reform to the final fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, and in which prose fiction was first introduced.

Early Ottoman Prose

Early Ottoman prose, before the 19th century CE, never developed to the extent that the contemporary Divan poetry did. A large part of the reason for this was that much prose of the time was expected to adhere to the rules of seci, or rhymed prose, a type of writing descended from Arabic literature (saj') and which prescribed that between each adjective and noun in a sentence, there must be a rhyme.

Nevertheless, there was a long tradition of prose in the Ottoman Empire. This tradition was, for centuries, exclusively nonfictional in nature—the fiction tradition was limited to narrative poetry. A number of such nonfictional prose genres developed:

  • the seyahâtnâme, or travelogue, of which the outstanding example is the 17th-century Seyahâtnâme of Evliya Çelebi
  • the sefâretnâme, a related genre that is a sort of travelogue of the journeys and experiences of an Ottoman ambassador, and which is best exemplified by the 1718–1720 Paris Sefâretnâmesi of Yirmisekiz Mehmet Çelebi Efendi, ambassador to the court of Louis XV of France
  • the siyâsetnâme, a kind of political treatise describing the functionings of state and offering advice for rulers, an early Seljuk example of which is the 11th-century Siyāsatnāma, written in Persian by Nizam al-Mulk, vizier to the Seljuk rulers Alp Arslan and Malik Shah I
  • the tezkire, a collection of short biographies of notable figures, some of the most notable of which were the 16th-century tezkiretü'ş-şuaras, or biographies of poets, by Latîfî and Aşık Çelebi
  • the münşeât, a collection of writings and letters similar to the Western tradition of belles-lettres
  • the münazara, a collection of debates of either a religious or a philosophical nature

Later Ottoman Prose

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.