In the years following the Ottoman withdrawal from Vienna in 1683, numerous Oriental objects looted from the conquered cities of Ottoman Europe arrived in Western Europe with the returning soldiers and travelling merchants. In a short time, hundreds of so-called Turkish Loot manuscripts entered private collections and circulated as war trophies, exotic souvenirs and objects of scholarship. Some of these manuscripts contain entries describing the circumstances of their looting and shed light on the violence that followed the conquest. On the endpapers of other manuscripts are traces of the legends that were told about them, as well as descriptions of their status as gifts or information about their provenance as part of large collections. Other entries provide insights into their former Ottoman readers and the world from which they were torn.
Using a variety of sources - letters, scholarly works and the manuscripts themselves - the lecture will trace the "biography" of the looted manuscripts, focusing on the dispersal of the Buda collections in 1686. The path taken by the Buda manuscripts demonstrates both the broad scope of "Turkish loot" and the general shift in German Oriental studies towards the study of Islamic sources.
Paul Babinski is a postdoctoral researcher in the ERC Synergy Project "The European Qur'an. Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion 1150-1850 (EuQu)" at the University of Copenhagen. His work focuses on early modern Orientalist scholarship and the movement of philological knowledge between the Middle East and Western Europe. He is currently writing a book on how early modern Orientalists read the Qur'an.
The event can be accessed via the following link: https://uni-erfurt.webex.com/meet/veranstaltungen.fb. Registration is not required.
Notes on the series:
The Gotha Research Library preserves the third largest collection of Oriental manuscripts in Germany. These approximately 3,400 manuscripts, most of which came into the library around 1800, are relevant to all fields of scholarship and shed light on the most diverse aspects of manuscript cultures. By inviting renowned researchers to the "Gotha Manuscript Talks", the Gotha Research Library would like to use the material in a webinar series to provide impulses for an increased exchange on manuscript cultures across disciplinary boundaries and to bring researchers and interested parties into conversation with each other about oriental manuscripts. All lectures will be held in English.
Die Veranstaltung ist über den folgenden Link zu erreichen: https://uni-erfurt.webex.com/meet/veranstaltungen.fb. Eine Anmeldung ist nicht erforderlich.