The Ottoman town in the Southern Balkans from 14th to 16th centuries: a morphological approach

Bessi , Ourania (2014). The Ottoman town in the Southern Balkans from 14th to 16th centuries: a morphological approach. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis discussed the morphological patterns of Ottomanization performed in the southern Balkans through the comparative study of four mainland cities, Dimetoka, Gümülcine, Siroz, Yenice-i Vardar spread along the multicultural Via Egnatia. Through the cross-disciplinary application of morphological and defterological concepts, we were able to trace existing and reconstructed forms back to their formative processes (as evident in a series of reconstructive maps) and to interpret them within the theoretical framework of structural rationalism. The advanced argument disproves the orientalistic reading of the Ottoman (Islamic) city as an irrational and chaotic morpheme and reconfirms Veinstein’s theory on the existence of a normative type for the Ottoman town that lays in the morphology of the Balkan cities. This thesis’ main contribution lies in defining that the identifier of ‘originality’ or ‘purity’ for this type derives from its particular geographical divisions. Accordingly, the coining of the type that we extended was reflective of these particular geographical divisions, as an obvious functional and formal analogy amongst the towns of this group. We thus concluded that the typological identification of the ‘original’ Ottoman town can be encapsulated in the Balkan-Anatolian type with a Byzantine kernel and an Ottoman fringe belt. This consists of a highly rationalized system of axes, with pivotal being that of the çarşıya, which functioned as the vehicle of infrastructural development.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DF Greece


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