The Parthenon, Pericles and King Solomon: A case study of Ottoman archaeological imagination in Greece

23 Feb 2018

What made Athens different from other multi-layered cities absorbed into the Ottoman Empire was the strength of its ancient reputation for learning that echoed across the Arabic and Ottoman worlds. But not only sages were remembered and Islamized in Athens; sometimes political figures were too. In the early eighteenth century a mufti of Athens, Mahmud Efendi, wrote a rarely studiedHistory of the City of Sages (Tarih-i Medinetü’l-Hukema)in which he transformed Pericles into a wise leader on a par with the Qur'anic King Solomon and linked the Parthenon mosque to Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.