Byzantium between “east” and “west”: perceptions and architectural historiography of the Byzantine heritage

Kılıç Yıldız, Şule
This thesis explores the perceptions and historiography of Byzantium during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries focusing on late Ottoman Turkey. It examines the ways in which the cultural and architectural heritage of Byzantium was represented and described in historical writings within the context of the entangled relationships between nationalism, orientalism and historiography. The investigation is based on a close reading of the historical writings of influential scholars who played an important role in the production and dissemination of knowledge regarding the Byzantine heritage during the period under scrutiny. This thesis also attempts a parallel examination of perceptions of the Byzantine legacy both in Europe and the Ottoman world within the specific comparative historical contexts in which similar approaches to the Byzantine heritage can be traced. Such a study of perceptions and historiography of Byzantium focusing on the interactions between Ottoman and European scholars provides valuable insights into not only late Ottoman/Turkish authors’ stance specifically towards the Byzantine heritage, but also to their selective “appropriation” of established European discourse regarding Byzantium. By studying these earlier contributions to Byzantine scholarship, with a special emphasis on their ideological and historiographical impacts on later studies and the origins of continued negative perceptions and images of Byzantium, this study aims to contribute to Byzantine Studies and also to the more general growing body of literature on relationships between nationalism and nation-state building, orientalism, and historiography, by providing a case study of Turkey.


The Policies of Nikephoros II Phokas in the context of the Byzantine economic recovery
Fattori, Niccolo; Dietrich, Richard; Department of Middle East Studies (2013)
This thesis will analyze the policies and the eastern military campaigns of the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, focusing on their correlation with the gradual recovery of the Byzantine economy that took place from the ninth to the eleventh century. The emperor’s conquering campaigns in Cilicia are seen as a response to the social and fiscal effects of said recovery, which caused the Byzantine state to assume a more aggressive stance.The thesis is structured in three parts, the first dealing with the...
Architectural interpretations of modernity cultural identity : a comparative study on Sedad Hakkı Eldem and Bruna Taut in early Republican Turkey
Uysal, Zeynep Çiğdem; Altan, Tomris Elvan; Department of Architecture (2004)
The thesis aims to reveal the decisive influence of the tension that stems from the contemporary searches for cultural identity on the architectural production of the early Republican Turkey. It attempts to demonstrate the conceptual and practical strategies that were devised in contemporary architecture for the resolution of the cultural tension by examining the architectural attitudes and practices of Sedad Hakki Eldem and Bruno Taut in the late 1930s and the early 1940s. In the first part, ءcultural iden...
Savoir vivre cosmopolite: Ahmed Midhat's "Avrupa Adab-ı Muaşereti Yahut Alafranga" as a source for the modernization of the codes of social behavior in the late nineteenth century
Çekiç, Can Eyüp; Erkal, Namık Günay; Department of History of Architecture (2009)
This study aims to reevaluate Ahmed Midhat’s treatises on Ottoman society by revealing his exceptional objectives, which recently have been used in contemporary interdisciplinary studies concerning the 19th century Ottoman social transformation. In view of that, the thesis is formed as a re-reading of Ahmed Midhat’s etiquette book, titled Avrupa Adab-ı Muaşereti yahud Alafranga, according to some recent debates like that of occidentalism, geographic mapping of culture and civilization, the question of cosmo...
The Transformation of the built environment in Amasya from the late Ottoman Empire to the early Turkish Republic
Kalkan Açıkkapı, Duygu.; Altan, T. Elvan.; Department of History of Architecture (2019)
This study focuses on the transformation of the built environment in the northern Anatolian town of Amasya from the late period of the Ottoman Empire to the early period of the Turkish Republic. The aim is to evaluate the settlement history of Amasya as a city with distinctive geographical characteristics, by analyzing the transformation of its built environment in relation to the changing socio-cultural, economic and political contexts. The analysis starts by focusing on the essential urban nodes formed by...
Ideal and real spaces of Ottoman Imagination : continuity and Change in Ottoman Rituals of Poetry (Istanbul, 1453-1730)
Çalış, Bahar Deniz; Erzen, Jale Adile; Department of Architecture (2004)
Ottoman poerty comprised different genres, each reflecting an attitude towards Ottoman social order, gave rise to ritualized practices. Gazel poetry, performed in gardens, was an expression of Ottoman Orthodox society. Sehrengiz, performed in city spaces, was an expression of heterodox groups following after the ideals of the 13th c. philosopher Ibn al'Arabi who proposed a theory of "creative imagination" and a three tiered definition of space: the ideal, the real, and the intermediary. In gazel rituals, Ot...
Citation Formats
Ş. Kılıç Yıldız, “ Byzantium between “east” and “west”: perceptions and architectural historiography of the Byzantine heritage,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.