The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe

By Daniel Goffman | Go to book overview

Kubad's formative years

Even the infidel comes to the fold of the faithful, but not the heretic dervish; the infidel has receptivity but not him.

He is out of the sphere of hope while the infidel is in the circle of fear of God,

By God, the infidel is far superior to him.1

The young boyKubad had no memoryof his mother.2He had onlyheard tales and rumors: that she was a prostitute, a gypsy, a Tatar princess, and, most extraordinary of all, that she had been a favorite of Ibrahim Pasha, Sultan Süleyman's powerful if ill-fated grand vizier who led Ottoman armies and conquered Baghdad in 1634, onlyto be executed two years later bysultanic decree.

Not that it reallymattered to Kubad. The onlymother he had ever known – his “milk mother” – was the daughter of a venerated Shaykh of the Haydari order of dervishes.3The boyspent his first years near the Ottoman frontier town of Erzincan, in a rustic hamlet next to the tekke, or house of worship, of this Shaykh. One of his earliest memories was of an elder reciting the strange words inscribed on the door of this tekke: “he who wants to enter our religion should live as we do, and preserve his chastity.” Kubad was so familiar with those who did join this devout order, that he thought nothing of their appearance. Other than a drooping mustache and a long tuft of hair at their foreheads, the heads of these worshipers were clean shaven. On all their limbs theywore heavyiron rings, and on their heads were towering conical hats. Bells, suspended at their sides, banged awayas theydanced about, chanting poems and praising God. Onlymuch later did the boyunderstand how deviating these customs were, that

____________________
1
Vahidi, Menakib-i Hvoca-i Cihan ve Netice-i Canu, fols. 52a–52n; as quoted in Karamustafa, God's unrulyfriends, p. 6.
2
Most of our knowledge about Kubad comes from Venetian sources, which Arbel has culled. Mentions of this çavuş (on which see “Cha'ush, ” Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd edn [Leiden, 1962–], hereafter referred to as EI) are scattered through the pages of his Trading nations. We know nothing of Kubad's youth other than his name, which suggests an association with the Kubad River in Circassia. What follows in this vignette on his early years is pure speculation.
3
This order is discussed in Karamustafa, God's unrulyfriends, pp. 67–70.

-23-

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The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Maps xii
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvi
  • Note on Usage xix
  • Chronological Table of Events xx
  • The Ottoman House Through 1687 (Dates Are Regnant) xxiii
  • 1 - Introduction: Ottomancentrism and the West 1
  • Part 1 - State and Society in the Ottoman World 21
  • Kubad's Formative Years 23
  • 2 - Fabricating the Ottoman State 27
  • Kubad in Istanbul 55
  • 3 - Aseasoned Polity 59
  • Kubad at the Sublime Porte 93
  • 4 - Factionalism and Insurrection 98
  • Part 2 - The Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean and European Worlds 129
  • Kubad in Venice 131
  • 5 - The Ottoman—venetian Association 137
  • Kubad Between Worlds 165
  • 6 - Commerce and Diasporas 169
  • Kubad Ransomed 189
  • 7 - Achang Ing Station in Europe 192
  • 8 - Conclusion. the Greater Western World 227
  • Glossary 235
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 240
  • Index 252
  • New Approaches to European History *
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