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Swords Against Cthulhu. Rogue Planet Press. Faith of the Nine. Sachin Dev. Karl Reichl. XV Preface. XVII Abbreviations. XIX Note on Transliteration. Two hundred years earlier the Turkish Seljuks made their first inroads into Asia Minor; under their sultan Alp Arslan they took Cae- sarea modern Kayseri in central Anatolia in When the Seljuks invaded Anatolia in the eleventh century they had already estab- lished their rule in Iran. The Seljuks belong to the large family of Turkic-speaking peo- ples, which today stretches from the Yakuts of north-eastern Siberia to the Turks of Tur- key.
More specifically, they belong to the Oghuz tribal group, which, by the tenth cen- tury, was found in the area of the lower Jaxartes Syr Darya , in the vicinity of the Aral Sea.
From there they moved further west, into Iran and into Asia Minor. At the end of the eleventh century, the Great Seljuk Empire was at its zenith, reaching from the Oxus to the Persian Gulf in the south and the Aegean in the west. The reign of the Seljuks of Asia Minor, the Rum Seljuks, lasted until the beginning of the fourteenth century; in Osman I, leader of a Turkish warrior group in the service of the Rum Seljuks, declared himself sultan and founded the Ottoman dynasty.
Quoted from Benson At its roots their culture was that of a nomadic tribal society, and their poetry that of an oral society. This nomadic culture continued in some areas of Central Asia into the present age, and oral poetry has played an important role in Turkey too, as will be discussed below. Towards the end of the tenth century the Seljuks converted to Islam; both through their adoption of Islam and their conquests of ancient civilizations such as that of Iran they came into contact with writing and literacy.
This is certainly one of the reasons why his poems became popular and have retained their popularity until today. Although we know about the cultivation of oral poetry from con- temporary descriptions and allusions, the works themselves are, of course, only preserved if they were written down.
There is, however, a difference from the medieval European literary traditions in that medieval orality is still alive in Turkey, both in song and in epic or romance. For an introduction to his poetry and an English translation of some of his poems, see Smith I will return to the modern descendants of medieval epic and romance at the end of this chapter. In this, the Turkish situation is similar to that found in medieval European literature, where, as I have discussed above, the two genres overlap and inter- sect.
There is some consensus, however, in seeing epic as being primarily heroic in out- look and romance as being focused on love adventures see ch. The dis- tinction between epic and romance is riddled with additional problems in the case of Turkish medieval oral or popular narrative poetry.
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While there are narrative poems in Turkish, i. Another problem concerns narrative structure. In many narratives these adventures are linked to build a larger narrative or narrative cycle; their structure is additive, and the succession of adventures resembles the ever-continuing quests and aventures of the medieval Arthurian knight, even if the objects of the quests are quite different.
Love stories form a minority, and they are not focused on the ideals of courtly love as formulated in the roman courtois — which is not to say that ideals as well as idealized love are absent from popular Turkish narratives. The latter comprises a number of different subtypes. Herzog on Arabic and ch. The men are long-lived, in society may be found many men past seventy years of age, with full use of all their faculties.
They generally speak a peculiar dialect, but their divines and poets speak with great eloquence, and their storytellers delight intelligent people by their tales of Hamza, and by Chinese shades. As far as we have texts of the H. See also ch. Herzog in this volume. It is an epic narrative on Seyyid Bat. In the Bat..
Fleischer has aptly characterized the hero: Conforming to the ideals of his people, Bat. Sarimsoqov — II, 3. Uzbek is here written in present-day orthography. Its relationship to the Arabic siyar is more one of style and spirit than of textual dependence. Their kingdom ended when their territories came under Seljukid dominion in c.
His ver- sion is in prose with intercalated verse passages; the earliest manuscript of this version dates to the sixteenth century. Scribes of popular works felt free to change, add or omit, in the West as much as in the East. At a time when Turkish popular literature was mainly oral one can hardly speak of a translation. These works were gen- erally recited and read aloud to an audience, and in the process of their performance changes were introduced which reflect both the skill of the narrator and the taste of his audience.
The com- position of the narratives in their original form, however, is certainly earlier. Here opi- nions differ, and not all tales in the Book of Dede Korkut need be of the same age. As the narratives treat of the deeds of the Oghuz, it can be assumed that the oldest among them go back to the period before some of the Oghuz tribes moved westward into Anatolia. This is supported by additional evidence see below.
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He makes his appearance in the narratives as a wise counsellor of the Oghuz khan, but also as the person who composed the tales of the adventures narrated. At the end of the first tale, for instance, we find in the Vatican MS the words: form originally as lithographic editions in which a number of these Turkish popular romances have circulated.
See Illustration For studies of the Book of Dede Korkut see Zhirmunsky and Korogly ; a useful comparative analysis of the motifs found in the tale- cycle is given by Ruben — An encyclopaedic collection of texts and studies was pub- lished in Kazakhstan in Nysanbaev , in Russian and Kazakh. For a short characteriza- tion, see also Reichl 43— When quoting from the original text, I will use q instead for velar k. Dede Korkut narrates and composes poetry, he also plays the qopuz, a lute, and presum- ably sings.
May God chase away ominous bad fortune, oh my khan. He lived to an age of years and served as vizier under three rulers. Dede Korkut is not only a vizier or counsellor, possibly with some basis in history, nor just a bard and oral chronicler. He is an exceptional figure. There are a great number of legends about him in Central Asia, in particular in Kazakh oral tradition.
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