Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Crisis of Kingship in Late Medieval Islam
Persian Emigres and the Making of Ottoman Sovereignty


Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: September 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108710572

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In the early sixteenth century, the political landscape of West Asia was completely transformed: of the previous four major powers, only one - the Ottoman Empire - continued to exist. Ottoman survival was, in part, predicated on transition to a new mode of kingship, enabling its transformation from regional dynastic sultanate to empire of global stature. In this book, Christopher Markiewicz uses as a departure point the life and thought of Idris Bidlisi (1457–1520), one of the most dynamic scholars and statesmen of the period. Through this examination, he highlights the series of ideological and administrative crises in the fifteenth-century sultanates of Islamic lands that gave rise to this new conception of kingship and became the basis for sovereign authority not only within the Ottoman Empire but also across other Muslim empires in the early modern period.

    • Analyses a wide range of sources from Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts in an accessible and approachable way
    • By using the life of Idris Bidlisi as a departure point, it grounds global and intellectual trends in individual lived experience
    • Contextualises imperial Ottoman political and intellectual developments within the wider events and processes of Islamic lands
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This belongs among the best treatments that combine intellectual and sociopolitical history based on Islamic materials. Markiewicz's dense presentation of the life and work of Idris Bidlisi shows both how ideas matter for the conduct of politics and why they must be understood as responses to specific historical situations. The book is essential reading for scholars concerned with the Ottoman, Aqquyunlu, and Safavid empires as well as with Persian as a medium for historiography and the chancery.' Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, Brown University, Rhode Island

    'A masterly study, deeply researched, many-layered and carefully nuanced. Markiewicz offers keen insights into a little known scholarly and philosophical world, and widens the scope of debate about the Ottoman self-image in the crucial era after 1517. Approaching the topic through the thought and influence of Idris Bidlisi makes a potentially impenetrable mass of esoteric thought clearly accessible to modern researchers.' Christine Woodhead, Honorary Fellow of Ottoman History, University of Durham

    'This is an old-school monograph in the of best ways; it is extremely focused and necessary reading for experts in the field.' R. A. Miller, Choice

    '… an admirable biography of a major scholar and scribe as well as a rich study of intellectual activity in the 15th–century and 16th–century … makes important contributions to Islamic political thought, as well as to the nexus between patronage, literary culture, and intellectual output, especially in historical writing. It is also an excellent biography.' Ethan L. Menchinger, International Journal of Middle East Studies

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108710572
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.538kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I:
    1. The realm of generation and decay: Bidlisi in Iran, 1457–1502
    2. Patronage and place among the Ottomans: Bidlisi and the Court of Bayezid II, 1502–1511
    3. The return East (1511–1520)
    Part II:
    4. The Timurid vocabulary of sovereignty
    5. The canons of conventional histories
    6. Ottoman sovereignty on the cusp of Universal Empire

  • Author

    Christopher Markiewicz, University of Birmingham
    Christopher Markiewicz is Lecturer in Ottoman and Islamic History at the University of Birmingham. He was the Bennett Boskey Fellow in Extra-European History at Exeter College, Oxford between 2015 and 2017. In recognition of his research, he was awarded the Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award by the Middle East Studies Association in 2016.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.