Divan: Wikis

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Audience in the Diwan-i-Khas granted to the French ambassador, the vicompte d'Andrezel by Sultan Ahmed III, 10 October 1724, in a contemporary painting by Jean-Baptiste van Mour.

Dīvān or dīwān (Arabic دیوان) was a high governmental body in a number of Islamic states, or its chief official (see Diwan (title)).

Contents

Etymology

The word is recorded in English since 1586, meaning "Oriental council of state," from Turkish divan, from Arabic diwan, is a Middle-Persian loan-word in Arabic and was borrowed also at an earlier date into Armenian[1] dīvān "bundle of written sheets, small book, collection of poems" (as in the Divan-i Hafiz), related to debir "writer." Sense evolved through "book of accounts," to "office of accounts," "custom house," "council chamber," then to "long, cushioned seat," such as are found along the walls in Middle Eastern council chambers. The modern French and Spanish words douane and aduana "customs" also come from diwan.

Council

The word first appears in the ninth-century descriptions of the caliphate of Omar I (A.D. 634-644). Great wealth, gained from the Muslim conquests, was pouring into Medina, and a system of business management and administration became necessary. This was copied from the Persians (whose Sassanid empire was being conquered and islamised under Umar) and given the Persian name divan. Later, as the state became more complicated, the term was extended over all the government bureaus.

The divan of the Sublime Porte was for many years the council of the Ottoman Empire. It consisted of the Grand Vizier, who presided when the Sultan was absent, and other viziers, and occasionally the Janissary Ağa.

The Assemblies of the Danubian Principalities under Ottoman rule were also called "divan" (see Akkerman Convention, ad hoc Divan).

In Javanese and related languages, the cognate Dewan is the standard word for council, as in the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or Council of People's Representatives.

Ministerial departments

In the sultanate of Morocco, several portfolio Ministries had a title based on Diwan:

  • Diwan al-Alaf: ministry of War.
  • Diwan al-Bar: 'ministry of the Sea', i.e. (overseas=) Foreign ministry.
  • Diwan al-Shikayat (or - Chikayat): ministry of Complaints.

Halls

"Divan" refers to two types of palatial buildings in Indian courts. They tend to occur in pairs in the Mughal imperial capitals; the most famous ones are in Agra Fort, but there are others in Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri and certain other princely capitals such as Amber and also in Lahore Pakistan.

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Diwan-i-Am

This is a court's Hall of Public Audience, where the ruler can hold a mass audience. He would sit on his throne, facing the audience. His minister would assemble the petitions and handed them over to the Emperor and then he would dispense justice.

Diwan-i-Khas or Ibadat Khana

There is a red sand stone building near Diwan-E-Aam, a court's Hall of Private Audience, smaller than the Diwan-i-Am. Here envoys and other honored guests are granted a personal audience with the ruler.

Sources and references

  1. ^ François de Blois, "Divan", Encyclopaedia Iranica; accessed February 10, 2007

File:Jean-Baptiste van Mour
Audience in the Diwan-i-Khas granted to the French ambassador, the vicompte d'Andrezel by Sultan Ahmed III, 10 October 1724, in a contemporary painting by Jean-Baptiste van Mour.

Dīvān or dīwān (Persian دیوان) was a high governmental body in a number of Islamic states, or its chief official (see Diwan (title)).

Contents

Etymology

The word is recorded in English since 1586, meaning "Oriental council of state," from Turkish divan, from Arabic diwan, is a Middle-Persian loan-word in Arabic and was borrowed also at an earlier date into Armenian[1] dīvān "bundle of written sheets, small book, collection of poems" (as in the Divan-i Hafiz), related to debir "writer." Sense evolved through "book of accounts," to "office of accounts," "custom house," "council chamber," then to "long, cushioned seat," such as are found along the walls in Middle Eastern council chambers. The modern French, Spanish, Italian words douane, aduana, dogana respectively (meaning "customs") also come from diwan.

Council

The word first appears in the ninth-century descriptions of the caliphate of Omar I (A.D. 634-644). Great wealth, gained from the Muslim conquests, was pouring into Medina, and a system of business management and administration became necessary. This was copied from the Persians (whose Sassanid empire was being conquered and islamised under Umar) and given the Persian name divan. Later, as the state became more complicated, the term was extended over all the government bureaus.

The divan of the Sublime Porte was for many years the council of the Ottoman Empire. It consisted of the Grand Vizier, who presided when the Sultan was absent, and other viziers, and occasionally the Janissary Ağa.

The Assemblies of the Danubian Principalities under Ottoman rule were also called "divan" (see Akkerman Convention, ad hoc Divan).

In Javanese and related languages, the cognate Dewan is the standard word for council, as in the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or Council of People's Representatives.

Ministerial departments

In the sultanate of Morocco, several portfolio Ministries had a title based on Diwan:

  • Diwan al-Alaf: ministry of War.
  • Diwan al-Bar: 'ministry of the Sea', i.e. (overseas=) Foreign ministry.
  • Diwan al-Shikayat (or - Chikayat): ministry of Complaints.

Halls

"Divan" refers to two types of palatial buildings in Indian courts. They tend to occur in pairs in the Mughal imperial capitals; the most famous ones are in Agra Fort, but there are others in Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri and certain other princely capitals such as Amber and also in Lahore Pakistan.

Dīwān-e-Ām

(Persian ديوان عام), also Divan-i-Aam. The court's Hall of Public Audience, where the ruler held mass audience. He would sit on his throne facing petitioners. His minister would assemble the petitions and refer them to the Dīwān-e-Khās for private audience.

Dīwān-e-Khās

(Persian ديوان خاص). A court's Hall of Private Audience, smaller than the Dīwān-e-Ām. Here envoys and other honored guests were granted a personal audience with the ruler. At Agra, the Dīwān-e-Khās was a small red sandstone building near the Dīwān-e-Ām.

Other Uses

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a youth orchestra consisting of musicians from countries in the Middle East, bringing together young musicians from Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. It was founded in 1999 by the Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian-American academic and author Edward Said.

Sources and references

  1. ^ François de Blois, "Divan", Encyclopaedia Iranica; accessed February 10, 2007


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DIVAN (Arabic diwan), a Persian word, derived probably from Aramaic, meaning a "counting-house, office, bureau, tribunal"; thence, on one side, the "account-books and registers" of such an office, and, on another, the "room where the office or tribunal sits"; thence, again, from "account-book, register," a "book containing the poems of an author," arranged in a definite order (alphabetical according to the rhyme-words), perhaps because of the saying, "Poetry is the register (diwi n) of the Arabs," and from "bureau, tribunal," "a long seat, formed of a mattress laid against the side of the room, upon the floor or upon a raised structure or frame, with cushions to lean against" (Lane, Lexicon, 93 o f.). All these meanings existed and exist, especially "bureau, tribunal," "book of poems" and "seat" 1; but the order of derivation may have been slightly different. The word first appears under the caliphate of Omar (A.D. 634-644). Great wealth, gained from the Moslem conquests, was pouring into Medina, and a system of business management and administration became necessary. This was copied from the Persians and given the Persian name, "divan." Later, as the state became more complicated, the term was extended over all the government bureaus. The divan of the Sublime Porte was for long the council of the empire, presided over by the grand vizier.

See Von Kremer, Culturgeschichte des Orients, i. 64, 198.

(D. B. MA.) 1 The divan in this sense has been known in Europe certainly since about the middle of the 18th century. It was fashionable, roughly speaking, from 1820 to 1850, wherever the romantic movement in literature penetrated. All the boudoirs of that generation were garnished with divans; they even spread to coffee-houses, which were sometimes known as "divans" or "Turkish divans"; and a "cigar divan" remains a familiar expression.


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