Reindl-Kiel’s study offers glimpses into Ottoman courtly life and its music scene in the second quarter of the 17th century. Several archival registers and the relevant chronicles form the basis of her paper on Tüccarzade Silahdar Mustafa Pasha, the favourite and intimate friend of Murad IV in his final five years. Two of the treasury inventories under study record not only objects purchased or received as gifts but also cash coming in and the details of how this money was spent. It is a peculiarity that allows us to trace aspects of the pasha’s everyday life. Viewed from the perspective of the records, these years – interrupted by the Baghdad campaign – seem to have been an endless garland of leisure, pleasure, parties, music and joy; only a closer look reveals the pasha’s duties. Through these sources we can follow not only the pastimes of Silahdar Mustafa but, to a certain extent, those of the sultan himself.
Hedda Reindl-Kiel studied at the universities of Munich and Istanbul. In 1979 she obtained her PhD from Munich University. For 28 years she taught Turkish in combination with Translation Studies at the University of Bonn, from where she retired in 2012. Her publications cover a wide range of articles on Ottoman political and social history as well as on cultural aspects. Her research interests in recent years have focused on material culture and, most prolifically, the system of gift giving in the Ottoman Empire from the 16th until the end of the 18th century. She has authored numerous articles on the latter topic. Currently she is preparing a monograph on the Ottoman system of gift exchange.