Major Change in the Ottoman Empire

May 2018
532
Michigan
#1
Most informed individuals acknowledge the fact that it was Islamic scholars who rediscovered the works of Cicero and the great Greek philosophers. Few can deny their part in the Renaissance.

However, I recall reading that an Ottoman sultan in the 1400s or 1500s fundamentally changed the education system. It shifted focus from a classical education to an Islamic theological education. Google has not been very helpful in identifying this leader, or why the policy change was made. I can only guess that the fall of the Byzantines may have played a part.

Could someone shed some light on this? Please try to avoid politics.
 

Tsar

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
2,010
Serbia
#2
Sultan Suleyman II ('the Great') is usually accompanied with such stereotypes (turning a practically Renaissance state into a proto-Wahhabi state), although such thing would be nonsensical. Most of the schools since the first Seljuk rulers were actually madrasas (~religious schools) or at least parts of waqfs (~endowments) of prominent Muslims. The religious education was always the main concern, but the "school programs" were determined by their founders (somewhere one would get educated in astronomy, somewhere else in math, somewhere in religious studies only). The teachers were also usually religious functionaries. The Ottoman education was inseparable from religion.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#3
Most informed individuals acknowledge the fact that it was Islamic scholars who rediscovered the works of Cicero and the great Greek philosophers. Few can deny their part in the Renaissance.[/quore]

Ottoman scholarship had little to do with the Renaissance directly. It was Greek scholars fleeing the Ottoman coning to western Europe conquest that directly influence tne Renaissance.

Islamic greatest period of influence was early in the medieval period, before the Renaissance.


However, I recall reading that an Ottoman sultan in the 1400s or 1500s fundamentally changed the education system. It shifted focus from a classical education to an Islamic theological education. Google has not been very helpful in identifying this leader, or why the policy change was made. I can only guess that the fall of the Byzantines may have played a part.

Could someone shed some light on this? Please try to avoid politics.
By 1400's, the Ottomans had taken over most of the middle east. and came to regard themselves as the guardian of the Muslim world. Perhaps their shift in education was to appeal to their Muslim subjects, and as their role of as head of the Muslim world.

I would imagine that the Ottoman changed the education system since by 1400's they had become the guardian of the Islamic world, taking over most of the middle east. Perhaps they changed the educations
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#4
I love how over-Islamised the history of Arabs and Turks is. Like Marx asked: Why is the history of the East the history of religions? One can further add why the history of North Africa and West Asia is the history of Islam. Not that I want to attack Islam or anything, but people attribute almost every thing done by the Ottomans and other Muslim powers to Islam. It's ridiculous. No one does that even with medieval Europe. No one says that William the Conqueror and his successors instituted Norman reforms for Christian religious reasons, for example.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#5
There never was a "classical" (why are Greco-Romans more "classical" than others?) education in Mediterranean Islamic states, there was only a translation of certain Greek texts that Muslims found useful into Arabic and other languages. Their education largely involved works written by other Muslims and also works from India. Education was also obviously beyond the theological and included historical, military, economic and other social matters. Not everything in Islamic societies was religious and theological.
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,651
Western Eurasia
#6
Sultan Suleyman II ('the Great') is usually accompanied with such stereotypes (turning a practically Renaissance state into a proto-Wahhabi state), although such thing would be nonsensical. Most of the schools since the first Seljuk rulers were actually madrasas (~religious schools) or at least parts of waqfs (~endowments) of prominent Muslims. The religious education was always the main concern, but the "school programs" were determined by their founders (somewhere one would get educated in astronomy, somewhere else in math, somewhere in religious studies only). The teachers were also usually religious functionaries. The Ottoman education was inseparable from religion.
though there was apparently a more or less standardizied curriculum (what texts had to be studied) and a medresse hierarchy what an "official" state buroucrat scholar had to go through if he wanted a career in the ilmiye branch, at least in the 16th century.

There is a historiographic narrative that the Ottoman Empire became more and more conservative (or "reactionary" depending on the stance of the historian) starting from Fatih Mehmed himself in the 15th century and then reached its apex in the late 16th and 17th century (Kadızadelis), but the truth is i think we don't know too much about the medrese curriculums in the early Ottoman state (first half of the 15th century and before) at the one end (and at that time many of the Ottoman scholars were either studying abroad or were immigrants themselves from other parts of the islamic world), and at the other end the 17th intellectual life and the Kadızadeli movement itself has also started to be revised in the last years and was apparently not as black-white as it had been painted before (though i still find it an interesting possible area of research if there was an indirect influence on Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab from the earlier Ottoman Kadızadelis). Anyway the antique authors were also always studied through muslim authors, not directly.
 
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Nov 2017
789
Commune
#7
though there was apparently a more or less standardizied curriculum (what texts had to be studied) and a medresse hierarchy what an "official" state buroucrat scholar had to go through if he wanted a career in the ilmiye branch, at least in the 16th century.

There is a historiographic narrative that the Ottoman Empire became more and more conservative (or "reactionary" depending on the stance of the historian) starting from Fatih Mehmed himself in the 15th century and then reached its apex in the late 16th and 17th century (Kadızadelis), but the truth is i think we don't know too much about the medrese curriculums in the early Ottoman state (first half of the 15th century and before) at the one end (and at that time many of the Ottoman scholars were either studying abroad or were immigrants themselves from other parts of the islamic world), and at the other end the 17th intellectual life and the Kadızadeli movement itself has also started to be revised in the last years and was apparently not as black-white as it had been painted before (though i still find it an interesting possible area of research if there was an indirect influence on Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab from the earlier Ottoman Kadızadelis). Anyway the antique authors were also always studied through muslim authors, not directly.
This is just the common Western claim that "Oriental" societies "stagnated" due to their own inferior culture. The Ottomans didn't "stagnate", just couldn't keep up with Western Europe's colonial expansion and the technological benefits this expansion and its plunder brought.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#9
This is just the common Western claim that "Oriental" societies "stagnated" due to their own inferior culture. The Ottomans didn't "stagnate", just couldn't keep up with Western Europe's colonial expansion and the technological benefits this expansion and its plunder brought.
Oh really? Name 5 major Ottoman inventions that were military related?

And the Ottomans plundered Europe for centuries, how come this plunder didn't bring tne Ottoman technological benefit? The Ottoman even "plundered" children from their conquered peoples, something the Europeans didn't do. In fact, it was the Oriental socieitynthe Ottomans who went into a decline when the Europeans became strong enough to prevented tne Ottomans from plundering them. It was the Ottomans who success and wealth that depended on plunder. Oriental societies such as the Arabs golden age corresponded was achieved by plunder, and the Arab world declined when the Europeans were strong enough to stop the Arabs from plundering them.

And you claim that technological expansion of Europe was only due to plunder I have repeatedly shown to be false:

1. The printing press was invented before the discovery New World, The Ottoman's rejected the printing press and printing itself, as did India, It was not lack of wealth that caused Oriental societies to reject the printing press

2. The matchlock was invented before the discovery of the New World. Oriental societies
such as China or India inablitiy has to invent the matchlock on their own (but quickly adopted it after it was introduced) had nothing to due with their lack of wealth, the Moghal empire was supposedly tne richest empire in the world at the time, and Chinese of the Ming dynasty was supposedly richer than Europe at the time.

3. The all mechanical clock was invented in Europe before the discovery of the Americas, Again, failure of Oriental societies to invent it had nothing to do with lack of wealth and plunder. In fact, by their own admission, Chinese not only stagnated but regressed in clock making technology, unable to reproduced what they had achieved earlier.

4. The mechanical looms of the earlier Song dynasty were gone by the time Europeans arrived during the Ming dynasty. Again, it was not lack of wealth that caused Oriental societies

5. The pound locks that supposedly had been invented in China earlier had disappeared in later China when the outside Europeans had arrived. Again, it wasn't lack of wealth that caused the Chinese canal techology to stagnate and to regress.

6. The threaded fastener, the screw, was invented in Europe before the discovery of the New World, as were reading glasses, double entry book keeping, modern merchant banks, harbor cranes, slitting mills, water powered paper mills, acid etching, and a host of techologies that the supposedly wealthier Oriental societies failed to invent. Major and minor inventions, all did not depend on plunder as you insisted.

7. Road building in tne Ottoman empire lagged, the Islamic world had a much greater reliance on pack animals than wheeled transportation. Unlike wheeled transportation, where*technological advances could lead to significant improvement in performance, there isn't much that could be done to significantly impove the performance of pack animals, causing internal transportation of Oriental societies such as the Ottoman to stagnate.

Both the Ming and Qing engaged in conquest, expanded China into new areas and displacing native cultures, for example in Tawain where the original inhabitants culture was entirely displaced by the Chinese. The Chinese expansion was just on land, not overseas like the Europeans is all. And the Ottoman were agressively expansionistic, stopping only when they were militarily defeated.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#10
Oh really? Name 5 major Ottoman inventions that were military related?

And the Ottomans plundered Europe for centuries, how come this plunder didn't bring tne Ottoman technological benefit? The Ottoman even "plundered" children from their conquered peoples, something the Europeans didn't do. In fact, it was the Oriental socieitynthe Ottomans who went into a decline when the Europeans became strong enough to prevented tne Ottomans from plundering them. It was the Ottomans who success and wealth that depended on plunder. Oriental societies such as the Arabs golden age corresponded was achieved by plunder, and the Arab world declined when the Europeans were strong enough to stop the Arabs from plundering them.

And you claim that technological expansion of Europe was only due to plunder I have repeatedly shown to be false:

1. The printing press was invented before the discovery New World, The Ottoman's rejected the printing press and printing itself, as did India, It was not lack of wealth that caused Oriental societies to reject the printing press

2. The matchlock was invented before the discovery of the New World. Oriental societies
such as China or India inablitiy has to invent the matchlock on their own (but quickly adopted it after it was introduced) had nothing to due with their lack of wealth, the Moghal empire was supposedly tne richest empire in the world at the time, and Chinese of the Ming dynasty was supposedly richer than Europe at the time.

3. The all mechanical clock was invented in Europe before the discovery of the Americas, Again, failure of Oriental societies to invent it had nothing to do with lack of wealth and plunder. In fact, by their own admission, Chinese not only stagnated but regressed in clock making technology, unable to reproduced what they had achieved earlier.

4. The mechanical looms of the earlier Song dynasty were gone by the time Europeans arrived during the Ming dynasty. Again, it was not lack of wealth that caused Oriental societies

5. The pound locks that supposedly had been invented in China earlier had disappeared in later China when the outside Europeans had arrived. Again, it wasn't lack of wealth that caused the Chinese canal techology to stagnate and to regress.

6. The threaded fastener, the screw, was invented in Europe before the discovery of the New World, as were reading glasses, double entry book keeping, modern merchant banks, harbor cranes, slitting mills, water powered paper mills, acid etching, and a host of techologies that the supposedly wealthier Oriental societies failed to invent. Major and minor inventions, all did not depend on plunder as you insisted.

7. Road building in tne Ottoman empire lagged, the Islamic world had a much greater reliance on pack animals than wheeled transportation. Unlike wheeled transportation, where*technological advances could lead to significant improvement in performance, there isn't much that could be done to significantly impove the performance of pack animals, causing internal transportation of Oriental societies such as the Ottoman to stagnate.

Both the Ming and Qing engaged in conquest, expanded China into new areas and displacing native cultures, for example in Tawain where the original inhabitants culture was entirely displaced by the Chinese. The Chinese expansion was just on land, not overseas like the Europeans is all. And the Ottoman were agressively expansionistic, stopping only when they were militarily defeated.


Way to prove my point when almost all of the inventions and contributions by your Aryan Europeans come almost all after colonialism. And I love how you keep repeating how they conquered, when it's obvious their conquests don't compare to European colonialism, who ended up colonising or semi-colonising the entire planet. Apparently, you really love your fallacy of repetition.
 
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