By On Cho Ng, Q. Edward Wang
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Extra resources for Mirroring the Past: The Writing And Use of History in Imperial China
He therefore commissioned translations of their biographies into Ottoman Turkish as models for his own reformist enterprise. 20 Qajar court translations shared with earlier Muslim court efforts the patronclient relationship and the goal of legitimizing the dynasty. The adoption of print technology and the formation of new institutions for the translation and writing of history signaled novel instrumentalizations of the past through the search for exemplary models of top-down state modernization.
As patronage became more autonomous from the court, translators wrote less for kings and more for a reading public seeking analogies to their own political situation. ”59 In Iran, changes in patronage impacted the historiographical “system”: by the constitutional era (1906–1911), translators were less concerned with providing top-down models for modernizing kings and instead focused on providing the reading public with strategies for making sense of the revolution. 60 Constitutional-era translations looked to the histories of three broad geographical regions: Western Europe, the Islamic Middle East (especially the Ottoman Empire), and East Asia.
Teams of scholars in both the “host” and “recipient” languages collaboratively translated the texts. Drawing on the Chinese imperial model, the Ilkhanids established an institution for the writing of history that in part comprised a group of translators. 15 When Muslim rulers aimed at winning the loyalty of their non-Muslim subjects, translation could function as a gesture of imperial goodwill. 17 By the early nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire and Egypt pioneered translation movements through modern institutions linked to emerging print Patronage, Translation, and the Printing of History 21 technologies.