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Biographies, autobiographies et pouvoir sultanien de Soliman le Magnifique à Abdülhamid II
This article aims to examine how three types of Ottoman writings are embedded in a sultanic administrative culture who helped, in the last century of the Empire, the emergence of a new practice (the autobiography by the State) which was appropriated by scholars and writers. The first one is a sort of biographical collections inherited from the medieval kind of biography in the Middle East. The second is the product of administrative registers whose function was to make a census of the Individuals and list the allowances which had to come back to the office to which they belonged. The third concerns the petitions sent by the employees to the Palace or to the Sublime Door. According to the hypothesis explored in this article, these three kinds of writings contributed with different modalities but converged purpose, to the moulding of a bibliographic culture for the Service of the State: the first one allowed the assertion of the Legitimacy of the sultanic power by the glorification of the men who served it, the second participated in the strengthening of the administration by the census of the resources of the Empire, the third offered frame of a dialogue between the power and its instruments, favorable to the emergence, within the State, of a self-narrative.
Keywords: autobiography – self-narrative – administrative registers – Ottoman sultan – high dignitaries.
- Olivier Bouquet