Accepted paper:

Sacred sites, severed heads and prophetic visions

Authors:

Claire Norton (St Mary's University College)

Paper short abstract:

My paper will examine the convergence of sacred geographies and prophetic visions in early modern Ottoman gazavatname (campaign narrative) accounts of the sieges of Nagykanizsa castle.

Paper long abstract:

My paper will examine the convergence of sacred geographies and prophetic visions in early modern Ottoman gazavatname (campaign narrative) accounts of the sieges of Nagykanizsa castle. In these narratives Tiryaki Hasan Pasha experiences a prophetic vision at the grave site of a martyred Muslim soldier. The martyrdom of the soldier was itself an unusual and heterodox mystical event. While fighting valiantly against the infidel, the soldier was beheaded by the enemy who fled with his head. The martyred soldier's body cried out and gave chase killing the infidel and reclaiming his head. The martyred solider is subsequently buried and his grave becomes a site where mystical dreams occur. Both a local judge and another soldier dream that they see the inside of the tomb filled with light and huris congratulating the martyr on his bravery. Seventy years later Hasan Pasha, while at the grave site, experiences a strange natural phenomena - flocks of birds whirl and fight - and he interprets this as providing divinatory knowledge of a future Habsburg attack on nearby Nagykanizsa castle which will end in defeat for the Habsburgs. Somewhat later Hasan Pasha has another dream in which the four 'choice friends' appear and help the Ottomans defend the castle. This congruence of spiritually significant external spaces and inner prophetic visions helps to create a cultural and spiritual map that reinforces the depiction of Hasan Pasha as spiritually powerful while also figuring him as a religiously-liminal mystic with supernatural powers akin to those possessed by some dervishes.

panel W133
Muslim saints, dreams, and veneration of shrines