From Byzantine Adrianople to Ottoman Edirne: An Imperial Transformation, 40th Annual Walton Lecture by Amy Singer (Brandeis University), American School of Classical Studies at Athens and Zoom, May 23, 2023 7:00 pm (Greece) / 12:00 pm (EDT)
General histories today recount that the Ottomans conquered Byzantine Adrianople around 1361 and the city replaced Bursa to become the second Ottoman capital, Edirne. In 1453, the newly-conquered Byzantine Constantinople became Istanbul, and replaced Edirne as capital. This straightforward sketch of Edirne’s history is utterly misleading: it assumes that “conquest,” “Ottoman,” and “capital” are transparent concepts and that the infant Ottoman state was a diminutive version of its future imperial self. This lecture explores the city of Edirne: How did the ideas of “Ottoman” and “capital” cohere there as the Ottomans recovered from a catastrophic defeat by Tamerlane in 1402 to defeat the Catholic Crusade at Varna in 1444, and then conquer the Byzantines in their capital in 1453? It was in Edirne that they established a basis for their future empire.
Amy Singer (PhD, Princeton University, 1989) is Hassenfeld Chair in Islamic Studies and Professor in the Department of History at Brandeis University, and professor emerita in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University.
Advance registration required for Zoom participation.