Networks of witnesses at the 16th-century cadi court of Siklós, Hungary?
Anstract zum Vortrag am 21. November 2017 von Claudia Römer
Ottoman cadi court registers (sidjill) contain copies of documents (ḥüccet) issued by a cadi (for an in-depth overview, see Faroqhi 1997). They summarize each case that was dealt with at court in a formulaic language. Witnesses play a prominent part, not only those who testify the truth of any statements, but also those who give testimony about the correct procedure of the trial. They are called şühūd el-ḥāl “the witnesses of the procedure”. Their names and often their professions are given at the end of each document, both in the originals and the sidjill. There may be different people present for different cases, especially such people who have some relation to either the plaintiff or the defendant. But often we can see the same group of şühūd el-ḥāl throughout a large number of cases. It still is not clear how or why one could become a member of the şühūd el-ḥāl (Gradeva 2013: 67-68). For Istanbul and several provinces of the Ottoman Empire, sidjills are extant and some have been published (for Istanbul, see http://www.kadisicilleri.org/, last accessed 14 July 2017). However, no complete sidjill from Hungary seems to have survived.
ÖNB A.F. 30 is a collection of 34 original Ottoman documents from the end of the 16th century, some of which are dated or can at least be dated indirectly. Like other such collections (especially ÖNB A.F. 2, A.F. 32, A.F. 157), they must have been gathered during one of the Ottoman-Habsburg wars or skirmishes, presumably after 1683 or 1686 (the Ottoman defeat before Vienna and the Ottoman loss of Buda respectively). The volume was bound together at an unknown date (on this collection of documents, see Römer 1989/1991, 1992a, and 1992b). One item in ÖNB A.F. 30 is a three-folio fragment of a sidjill from the cadi court of Siklós from the year 979/1571-72. The aim of this paper is to determine what people were being used as witnesses of the procedure in this Hungarian provincial town and if a network amongst them and/or between them and the persons involved in the cases can be determined.
Faroqhi, Suraiya 1997: Sidjill in Ottoman Administrative Usage, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Second Edition, Brill, Leiden, vol. 9: 539-545.
Gradeva, Rossitsa 2013: A Kadı Court in the Balkans. Sofia in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, in: Woodhead, Christine ed., The Ottoman World. Routledge, Abingdon – New York 2013: 57-71.
Römer, Claudia 1989/1991: Einige Urkunden zur Militärverwaltung Ungarns zur Zeit Süleymans des Prächtigen, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 43: 23-80.
Römer Claudia 1992a: Eine Sultansurkunde zum Feldzug gegen Wien 1683, in: Festgabe an Josef Matuz. Osmanistik- Turkologie-Diplomatik (Hrsg. Christa Fragner u. Klaus Schwarz (+), mit einem Vorwort von Bert G. Fragner), Islamkundliche Untersuchungen 150, Berlin: 225-237.
Römer, Claudia 1992b: Drei Urkunden Murāds III. zu Timarangelegenheiten, Osmanlı Araştırmaları 12: 289-306.
Beitragsbild: ÖNB AF 30 1r=Sicill 3v (Foto Claudia Römer)
Prof. Dr. Claudia Römer is a Turkologist at the department of Oriental studies. She has an extensive record of publications (more than 150) within a broad thematic spectrum, edited unknown Ottoman manuscripts and has researched on the linguistic development of the Ottoman and various other topics in Ottoman history since her dissertation. In 1980, Claudia Römer received her PhD on her doctoral thesis ‘Der Einfluß der Übersetzungen aus dem Persischen auf die Entwicklung des Osmanischen im 14. und 15. Jahrhundert.‘, and habilitated in 1992 in Turkology and Islamic studies with her work on ‘Osmanische Festungsbesatzungen in Ungarn zur Zeit Murāds III., dargestellt an Hand von Petitionen zur Stellenvergabe.‘ published in the accounts of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1995 (Schriften der Balkankommission, philolog. Abt., 35). She is vice-president of the Oriental society (Vienna), as well as member of multiple renowned organisations, like the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft, counselling member of the Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund, the Royal Asiatic Society London, and Membre associé du CETOBAC, Paris.