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From Byzantium to the Mongols to the Sultans of Rum, this acclaimed book offers an important insight into the evocative history of Turkey before the coming of Ottoman power.
Turkey forms a historical bridge between Europe and Asia and as such has played a pivotal role throughout history. The rise of Constantinople and the later Ottoman Empire are well known: less well understood are developments in the three centuries in-between. What led to the decline of the Byzantine Empire and what happened in the intervening years before the rise of the Ottomans? Translated from the original French, this classic work examines the history of the Turkey that eventually gave rise to an imperial power whose influence spanned East and West.
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The Formation of Turkey is the translation of the late Professor Calude Cahen's La Turquie Pre-Ottomane. Based upon a proud knowedge of the source materials, Oriental, Greek and Western, it provides a detailed narrative of the rise and apogee of the Seljukid sultanate of Rum, the first Turkish state in Anatolia, its defeat by the Mongols and subsequent disappearance, to be followed by the fragmented Turkish successor-states, out of which the Ottoman Empire was to develop. Two of the four parts of the book deal in detail with the social, institutional, economic and cultural history of the Seljukid sultanate, and the whole work thus presents a unique and comprehensive survey of the formation of Turkey before the Ottomans. It will be essential reading for students of Turkish history, and a most valuable introduction for historians approaching the subject from other fields.
Professor Claude Cahen was one of the foremost French scholars in th field of Muslkim Near Estern history. P.M. Holt, the translator of Cahen's book, has also lightly edited it for this readership, and is Emeritus Professor of the History of the Near and Middle East, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and General Editor of the series A History of the Near East.
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