SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Art and Architecture of the Early Ottomans and the Beyliks (13-15th centuries)

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2018/2019
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 2

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

This course is designed to introduce the material culture (art, architecture, numismatics and arts of the book) of the peoples and states of Islamic Anatolia from the 13th to the 15th centuries to the student.

Students will learn to analyse the totality of material cultural production, and how it changed as the result of economic, social, and historical forces. They will learn to analyse the artistic interplay between Islamic and Christian societies in the region.

They will also examine the Turco-Islamic states of Anatolia in relation to one another, and to the rise of the Ottoman Empire in this time and place.


  • One hour Lecture, one hour Seminar

Scope and syllabus

The course is organised chronologically, with the exception of weeks 2 and 3, during which the major actors on the Beylik & Ottoman states, the Mamluk Sultanate, and the Christian maritime powers, are examined separately.

Week 1 Anatolia and the Balkans in the second half of the 13th century
Week 2 The Mamluks
Week 3 Cyprus & Rhodes; Venetians and Genoese
Week 4 The Aegean Beyliks: Menteşe and Aydın
Week 5 Karaman & the Mediterranean
Week 7 The Early Ottoman State 1: Bursa
Week 8 The Early Ottoman State 2: Edirne
Week 9 The Early Ottoman State: Constantinople
Week 10 Museum Visit: Victoria & Albert Islamic galleries

Method of assessment

  • One 1,000 word book or article review (worth 30%)
  • One 2,000 word essay (worth 70%)

Suggested reading

  • Ekrem Akurgal, ed., The Art and Architecture of Turkey (Oxford: OUP, 1980).
  • Ayda Arel, “Architecture of the Turkmene Emirates of the Aegean Area: A general appraisal, 9th International Congress of Turkish Arts, pp. 163-172.
  • Serpil Bağcı, et al., Ottoman Painting (Ankara: Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 2010).
  • Bertrandon de la Brocquiere, (Galen Kline, trans.), The Voyage d’Outremer (New York: P. Lang, 1988).
  • Behrens-Abouseif, Doris, Cairo of the Mamluks: A History of the Architecture and its Culture (London: IB Tauris, 2007).
  • Suna Çağaptay, “Prousa/Bursa, a city within the city: chorography, conversion and choreography,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 35 (2011), pp. 45-69.
  • Slobodan Curcic, Architecture in the Balkans from Diocletian to Süleyman the Magnificent (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).
  • Kate Fleet, ed., The Cambridge History of Turkey Vol. 1. (Cambridge: CUP, 2006).
  • Robert Hillenbrand, Islamic Architecture: Form, Function, and Meaning (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).
  • Keith Hopwood, “Living on the Margin—Byzantine Farmers and Turkish Herders,” Journal of Mediterranean Studies 10 (2000), 93-105.
  • Ibn Battuta, (H.A.R. Gibb trans.) The Travels of Ibn Battuta (Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1958).
  • Çiğdem Kafescioğlu, Constantinopolis/Istanbul: Cultural Encounter, Imperial Vision, and the Construction of the Ottoman Capital (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009).
  • Aptullah Kuran, A Spatial Study of Three Ottoman Capitals: Bursa, Edirne, and Istanbul, Muqarnas 13 (1996), pp. 114-131.
  • Aptullah Kuran, The Mosque in Early Ottoman Architecture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968).
  • Rudi Lindner, Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007).
  • Gülru Necipoğlu, “Anatolia and the Ottoman Legacy,” in H. Khan and M. Frishman, eds, The Mosque. History, Architectural Development and Regional Diversity (London: Thames and Hudson, 1994) pp. 141-157.
  • Robert Ousterhout, “Ethnic Identity and Cultural Appropriation in Early Ottoman Architecture,” Muqarnas 12 (1995), pp. 48-62.
  • Oya Pancaroğlu, “Devotion, Hospitality, and Architecture in Medieval Anatolia,” Studia Islamica 108 (2013), pp. 48-81.
  • M. Baha Tanman and Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik, eds, Balat İlyas Bey Külliyesi (İstanbul: Söktaş, 2011).
  • E. Sara Wolper, Cities and Saints. Sufism and the Transformation of Urban Space in Medieval Anatolia (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003).
  • Zibaldone da Canal (John Dotson, ed. and trans.) Merchant Culture in Fourteenth Century Venice. The Zibaldone da Canal (Binghamton, N.Y.: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules