Ethnic solidarity in the wider Ottoman Empire revisited : 'cins' and local political elites in 17th-century Moldavia and Wallachia
Title: Ethnic solidarity in the wider Ottoman Empire revisited : 'cins' and local political elites in 17th-century Moldavia and Wallachia
Author: WASIUCIONEK, Michal
Citation: Marinos SARIYANNIS (ed.), New trends in Ottoman studies : papers presented at the 20th CIEPO symposium, Rethymno, 27 June-1 July 2012, Rethymno : Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete ; Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, 2014, pp. 232-245
External link: http://anemi.lib.uoc.gr/php/pdf_pager.php?rec=/metadata/7/8/e/metadata-1412743543-919456-15948.tkl&do=387404.pdf&pageno=1&width=479&height=678&pagestart=1&maxpage=1167&lang=en
The scope of this paper is to analyze the similarities and connections in the strategies adopted vis-à-vis the Ottoman Porte adopted by the celali leaders and Moldavian-Wallachian voievodes of the seventeenth century. While the rebellions in Ottoman Anatolia have been one of the major foci of Ottoman scholarship (to name only the works of Barkey, Tezcan), the revolts of the tributary rulers of Danubian Principalities have been virtually left outside Ottomanist scholarship. At the same time, Romanian and Moldavian scholars have been to much extent operating within the now-outdated paradigm of “Ottoman decline” and thus paid little attention to the internal workings of Ottoman rebellions and political strategies adopted by celali leaders. However, by cross-checking the Ottoman chronicles (Selaniki, Naima and Hasanbeyzade) with those from the Danubian Principalities (The Cantacuzino Chronicle, Radu Popescu and Miron Costin), one can argue that the political strategies adopted in their interaction with the Porte were strikingly similar to those pursued by celali rebels. As for the celalis, the rebellion was usually not a goal in itself, but one of the elements in a complex process of bargaining with the imperial center. While the differences of status between the rebels in Anatolia and in the Danubian Principalities meant that the voievodes were not labeled as celalis, the patterns shared by the Anatolian rebels and Danubian princes are discernible. What is important, these repertoires of rebellion did not only coincide, but were also an effect of the immersion of the princes in the political milieu, both in terms of political culture and personal ties. By focusing on the case of 1632 usurpation of power by the Matei Basarab in Wallachia, I will argue that the rebellion in the Danubian principalities were part of the wider factional struggle connecting disparate political arenas throughout the Ottoman space. Through the channels of patron-client relations between Ottoman officials (some of which were former celalis as Abaza Mehmed Pasha) were inducing their Moldavian-Wallachian clients to employ the strategies developed in Anatolia. Thus, the comparison and tracking of connections between Ottoman and Moldavian-Wallachian political arenas can lead us to broaden the geographical and analytical limits of the discussion of celalis role in the Ottoman history.
Type of Access: openAccess
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