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Rereading the Black LegendThe Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires$
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Margaret R. Greer, Walter D. Mignolo, and Maureen Quilligan

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226307213

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226307244.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

An Imperial Caste

An Imperial Caste

Inverted Racialization in the Architecture of Ottoman Sovereignty

(p.27) Chapter Two An Imperial Caste
Rereading the Black Legend

Leslie Peirce

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the self-fashioning of the Ottoman dynasty and the unusual pattern of recruitment employed in the construction of the Ottoman ruling class. It argues that the Ottomans used enslaved, converted Christians from the borders of their empire to create an elite ruling caste with which the Ottomans continuously intermarried for six centuries of remarkably stable rule. This chapter also contends that the Ottoman rulers ever married out to other royal dynasties and this endogamous and self-perpetuating unit controlled an expanding polyglot empire, which allowed the conquered kingdoms to retain their various cultural differences unconverted and so remained densely hybrid in nature.

Keywords:   Ottoman dynasty, ruling class, converted Christians, royal dynasties, polyglot empire, cultural differences, conquered kingdoms

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