Katib Çelebi
(b. 1609; d. 1657)
Mustafa b. Abdullah, Hacı Halife
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Autobiographical sections in his Sullam al-Wusul, in one Cihannüma autograph, and Mizanü’l-Haqq, constitute the primary source of information for entries in biographical dictionaries (Uşaqizade, Şeyhi) and modern reference works on K.Ç., arguably the most important Ottoman intellectual figure of the 11th/17th century.

K.Ç. was born in Istanbul. Sullam al-Wusul records the date of his birth as Dhulqada 1017/February 1609. This does not correspond to Cihannüma’s indication that he was born during the exaltation of Mercury (şeref), which would correspond to late Jumada II/October 1608. K.Ç.’s father was a member of the cavalry of the Porte (silahdar) and a scribe in the fiscal administration (Anadolı muhasebesi). Although it is not known whether he was recruited through the devşirme, that his brother was also in the army makes it unlikely, since usually only one child per family was drafted. The sizable sum of money he inherited from his mother and from a wealthy merchant suggests that his mother came from a well-to-do family in Istanbul.

After his initial instruction in a mekteb in Istanbul K.Ç. joined his father in the chancery as his apprentice in 1032/1622. In 1034/1624 father and son went on campaign with the army against Abaza Paşa of Erzurum (d. 1044/1634), continuing with the campaign to recapture Bagdad (1035/1625-26) and a second campaign against Abaza Paşa (1037/1627-28). Both his father and his uncle died during the retreat from Bagdad in 1036/1626. Whereas his account of these campaigns occasionally reflects his personal involvement, there is hardly any personal reminiscence regarding events in the capital, such as the downfall and murder of Osman II (r. 1027-31/1618-22).

Following his return to Istanbul K.Ç.’s scribal career was stalled due to the death of his father. The decisive turn in K.Ç.’s intellectual career came when he made the acquaintance of Qadizade Mehmed Efendi (d. 1044/1635) and began to take lessons with him. After two more campaigns, first to İran, then again to Bagdad (1038-40/ 1629-31), K.Ç. began his serious studies on central works of kelam and fiqh with Qadizade, as well as on al-Gazali’s Ihya’ and Birgivi’s al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya. These lessons ended when K.Ç. was called to military duty in 1042/1633. Although it is clear that Qadizade’s strictly rational and legalist understanding of the scripture impressed K.Ç., there is no indication that he sympathized with the Qadizade movement’s actions against dervish lodges. At a later time, he in fact distanced himself from Qadizade’s activism (see below). He shows respect, albeit no veneration for Ibn al-Arabi, whereas his self-denomination as işraqiyyü’l-meşreb, i.e. as follower of Suhrawardi’s Philosophy of Illumination, deserves further study.

K.Ç. used the campaign of 1042/1633 to rummage through Aleppo’s (Haleb) bookstores, which provided the basis for his later bibliographic efforts, and to go on the pilgrimage during the winter season. The campaign took him to Yerevan (Revan) and Tabriz; he returned to Istanbul in late 1044/1635. He excused himself from the following campaign in 1047/1638 and there is no evidence that he left his hometown again. Despite his travel experience and his eye-witnessing of political and military events, his historical and geographical works are almost exclusively based on written sources or testimonies.

Despite the death of his former teacher Qadizade, K.Ç. continued with wide ranging but eclectic studies, including reading chronicles and - at a later time – geography and maps, but also all kinds of topics of medrese education, from law and theology to astronomy and mathematics. Among his teachers were Kürd Abdullah Efendi (d. 1064/ 1654), Keçi Mehmed Efendi (d. 1054/1644), Veli Efendi (d. ?), a student of the Egyptian scholar İbrahim Laqani (d. 1041/1631), Arec Mustafa Efendi (d. 1063/ 1653), the future şeyhülislam Abdürrahim Efendi (d. 1066/1656). Although his readings covered the major part of the medrese curriculum K.Ç. never obtained a diploma, but continued to earn a living in the chancery, spending most of his mother’s inheritance on books, putting together what was probably the largest private library in Istanbul in his time.

From 1052/1642 onward K.Ç. was giving lessons himself, on law, tefsir, and kelam, but also mathematics and astronomy, focusing on fundamentals rather than the intricacies of the higher levels. His earliest works have to be seen in this context. Despite his low rank in the Ottoman bureaucracy and the lack of formal education K.Ç. appears to have been well accepted in the upper ranks of Istanbul’s intellectual elite. His companions and patrons included şeyhülislams Zekeriyazade Yahya Efendi (d. 1054/1644), Abdürrahim Efendi, Ebu Said Efendi (d. 1073/1662), and Beha’i Efendi (d. 1064/ 1654?). Abdürrahim Efendi also secured a promotion in the chancery for K.Ç. in recognition of his historical work Taqvimü’t-tevarih.

K.Ç. certainly knew prominent intellectuals of his time, including historian Hüseyin Hezarfenn (d. 1103/1691). Western scholars like Antoine Galland (d. 1715), Ferdinando Marsili (d. 1730), and Levinus Warner (d. 1665) are known to have been in personal contact with these circles. There is no evidence that K.Ç. ever met Evliya Çelebi (d. >1683), although it is not unlikely, given common acquaintances. In addition, K.Ç. shows great sympathy for political figures associated with attempts at political reform. Since his work is one of the major sources for the period it is not clear if their political program aroused his sympathy, or if his ties to them caused him to depict them as reformers. Several of his works are directly related to political developments (see below). He knew Kemankeş Qara Mustafa Paşa (executed in 1054/ 1644), and expressed sympathy for Tarhuncu Ahmed Paşa (d. 1063/1653). His last work, Mizanü’l-Haqq, includes a cryptic homage to Köprülü Mehmed Paşa (d. 1072/1661).

According to a later note in the flyleaf of one of the Cihannüma autographs, K.Ç. died of a heart attack on 27 Dhulhijja 1067/6 October 1657. Many of his major works remained unfinished. The only attested son had died at a young age. Parts of his library were sold in 1069/1659, presumably after the death of his wife. Several volumes were purchased by Levinus Warner and today constitute a part of the Legatum Warnerianum at Leiden University. Others were acquired by a former friend, Vişnezade Mehmed İzzeti (d. 1092/1681), and passed on to geographer Ebu Bekr Behram el-Dimişqi (d. 1102/1691), and further to printer İbrahim Müteferriqa (d. 1158/1745).

Throughout his work, K.Ç. appears as an eager reader and compiler in the service of a broad contemporary audience, although comparison with impulses of early Enlightenment should be used only with caution. He certainly was not a scientist or philosopher seeking radical departures from current ideas. Rather, he seems to be largely representative of the intellectual currents of his age, including his openness to knowledge from Europe. He continues to perceive knowledge as an exogenous category, albeit strictly subject to rational criticism. His worldview is thoroughly theocentric, as he sees the cosmos as ordered by divine creation. Causation of historical events follows inner-worldly regularities, which however are suspended by divine will. Despite his familiarity with Western scholarship there is no trace of the heliocentric world view in his work. K.Ç. can be considered a turning point in Ottoman intellectual history, as in his historical and geographical works a unified perspective emerges, which is interested in the world not as an indication of divine omnipotence (as was the case in classical cosmography), but seeks useful knowledge to cope with economic, military, and political challenges. Celebrated in the Turkish Republic, especially upon the 300th anniversary of his death in 1957, as a forerunner of Westernization, K.Ç. has not attracted much attention since.


K.Ç. was one of the most prolific Ottoman authors, although the title of the “Ottoman Suyuti” attributed to him by modern scholars exaggerates the amount of his writings. His works are spread out over a wide variety of topics, but can easily be divided into four major groups. On the other hand, K.Ç.’s continuous work on many of his books, together with the open concept of what constitutes an original work, make a chronological presentation difficult. What follows is a discussion of K.Ç.’s extant works and their most important manuscripts.

The fact that many of his works are preserved in the autograph allows glimpses into the workshop of the Ottoman scholar. They indicate that K.Ç. was working with loose scraps of paper to collect bits of information, probably also to allow for alphabetical ordering. Vast amount of marginal notes and corrections indicate that K.Ç. continued and updated his work throughout his life. Certain types of marginal notes, concluding with minhu (“by the author”) were used by some Ottoman scholars; different from corrections such notes were supposed to remain in the margins when a text was copied. K.Ç. uses these marginalia in a fashion very similar to footnotes, in order to provide additional information without interrupting the main text. His numerous references to sources indicate that he used to foliate his books, which can also be used to identify titles as belonging to his personal library.

A. The ‘Encyclopedic Project’ 
K.Ç.’s lasting legacy for Ottoman scholars consists of a series of encyclopedic works which are closely interrelated, albeit lacking explicit references to one another. Their common aim is to collect existing knowledge which is dispersed in numerous, partly inaccessible books, and put it at the hands of the public in simple alphabetical or chronological order, with the underlying assumption that knowledge is useful and necessary, and that its dissemination can help to dispel the crisis that befell the Ottoman state in the 11th/17th century. What is referred to here as the ‘Encyclopedic Project’ basically taps into what K.Ç. perceived as the accumulated knowledge of mankind, from the biographical, bibliographical, historical/chronological, and spatial/geographical points of view, respectively. Arabic is the preferred, but not exclusive, language used for these works.

Kashf az-zunun an asami l-kutub wa l-funun

K.Ç.’s bibliographical dictionary, written in Arabic. It represents a unique achievement in that, after a general introduction which to a large extent depends on Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddima, it consists of one continuous alphabetic sequence of ca. 14.500 book titles and 300 names of sciences. With the latter K.Ç. is taking Taşköprüzade’s (d. 968/1561) Miftah al-saada as his model. In every entry for a book K.Ç. noted, wherever possible, the title, the language, the name of the author and the date of composition, the incipit, the division into chapters (the presence of which can be taken as an indication that he had actually seen the book), as well as translations and commentaries (as cross references). Entries on sciences were also intended to include a list of relevant book titles as cross references, but these are often missing. In certain instances entries also include criticism of the book or the author. The scope of the work covers Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature, with a few references to Greek texts. While the book is still appreciated as a reference, its potential as a source for 11th/17th century intellectual history, in particular in the definition of a literary and scholarly canon, has not yet been explored.

The way in which K.Ç. managed to arrange this mass of material is still not entirely clear. Birnbaum has argued that he must have used a system of index cards as the basis of the work. Preserved is an autograph of a partial fine copy, ending with article “–durus”. According to a note in Mizanü’l-haqq, the fine copy had reached the letter ha in 1063/1652. For the rest, the author’s draft with numerous marginal additions and annotations has been preserved. Whereas early editions and an edition-cum-translation are based on individual manuscripts, the autograph has been used as the basis of the edition by Bilge and Yaltkaya. In addition to a short continuation by Hanifzade Ahmed Tahir (d. 1217/1802), entitled Hadis-i nev, a larger one was authored by Bagdadlı İsmail Paşa (d. 1339/1920), together with an index of authors.


Fadlakat aqwal al-ahyar

A world history, written in Arabic, continuing a tradition of world histories started in the late 10th/16th century, arranged by dynasties. The last representative of this tradition seems to be Müneccimbaşı (d. 1113/1702). K.Ç. mentions Cenabi’s chronicle (d. 999/1590) explicitly as the model, while Mehmed b. Mehmed’s (d. 1050/ 1640) Nuhbetü’t-tevarih is another important source. The reason for the emergence of this distinct historiographical form among the Ottomans more or less throughout the 12th/18th century is unknown. Just as Müneccimbaşı’s work in its Arabic version never found a wider audience, K.Ç.’s work, which covers history from creation to the year 1000/ 1592 did not make an impact.

Though the work appears to be largely a compilation, a few presumably original chapters deal with rebels in Islam from the Kharijites to the Celalis, and with historiography and chronology. An index of names is also included, while the announced bibliography is missing.


Chronological tables of world history, from the beginnings until K.Ç.’s own time. Written in a mixture of Persian and Turkish, the work originated as an excerpt from Fazlakat aqwal al-ahyar, but continued up to K.Ç.’s own time and was completed in 1058/1648. Becoming highly popular as an easy reference work, it was continued after K.Ç.’s death by several authors, including Hüseyin Hezarfenn, Şeyhi (d. 1145/ 1732), and İbrahim Müteferriqa, who published it as the twelfth product of his press in 1146/1733. Şemdanizade Süleyman (d. 1193/1779) expanded the chronological structure into a narrative in his Mür’iyü’t-tevarih. Equally popular in Europe as a reference work, it was translated into Latin, Italian, and French. Today, the afterword is the main part of interest, as it contains a brief discussion of the regularities or laws of history, and an initial elaboration of his ideas of causation in history, which are later copied by Naima (d. 1128/1716) in his theoretical discussion.

Fezleke-i tevarih

A chronicle of the Ottoman Empire written in Turkish, the work is a continuation of Fadlakat aqwal al-ahyar beginning with the year 1000/1592. While the earlier parts are quite comprehensive, the latest parts have many lacunae, suggesting that the book was not completed by K.Ç.’s death. Under every year, a narration of the main events in strictly chronological order is followed by obituaries of prominent persons who died in that year. Otherwise, it remains within the conventions of Ottoman chronicle writing. A few passages discuss European events, like the Thirty Years’ War. Kütükoğlu demonstrated that K.Ç. used several prominent chroniclers (e.g. Mustafa Ali, Peçevi, Hasanbegzade) as his main sources and makes occasional reference to individual works by Tugi (d. >1034/1623), Mustafa Safi (d. 1025/1617), and others. As indicated above, only very few passages are based on K.Ç.’s individual experiences within the context of his participation in military campaigns, while for political events he seems to be relying on written sources and oral informants. Studies of Ottoman historiography have tried to relate K.Ç.’s political outlook to his social position as a scribe in the service of the palace, without taking into account his other works, as well as his vast education. Fezleke turned out to be very influential, serving as a source for İsazade (d. 1163/ 1750) and Naima and being continued by Silahdar (d. 1202/1788?).


K.Ç.’s longest-lasting and, in terms of its textual history, most complex work is a world geography in Turkish. This textual history has first been studied by F. Taeschner (d. 1967), whose findings were confirmed and refined by G. Hagen.

K.Ç.’s interest in geography was sparked off by the beginning of the Cretan War in 1055/1645. In keeping with the goals of the ‘Encyclopedic Project,’ K.Ç. began the work as an expansion of Sipahizade’s alphabetical excerpt, written in Arabic, from Abu’l-Fida’s Taqwim al-buldan. The first original version, now in Turkish, largely followed the structure of a classical Islamic cosmography (i.e. the division into spheres, elements, and climes). The broader geographical scope, intended to include recent information on Europe and the New World, as well as the illustration with maps in the margins are innovative features of the work and indicate K.Ç.’s attempt to detach geography from the theological roots of cosmography and provide a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the world based on all kinds of sources regardless of genre. Abu’l-Fida’ (d. 732/1331), Mehmed Aşıq (d. >1596), Piri Re’is’ (d. 961/1553) Bahriye (in both versions), as well as Hoca Sadeddin’s (d. 1008/1599) Tacü’t-tevarih are K.Ç.’s main sources.

K.Ç. states that this work was abandoned when he was unable to locate sufficient information on Europe. Numerous manuscripts of this incomplete version were circulating, comprising the description of the seas, lakes, rivers, and of the climes of al-Andalus, Magrib, and Rumeli. Two different stages of this version can be distinguished. A detailed study of manuscripts in Istanbul may reveal even more variations. Despite his frustration K.Ç. continued to add notes and excerpts to a fine copy in his possession.

K.Ç.’s work on the Cihannüma was revived when he was able to lay his hands on several European geographical works, which a French convert to Islam translated for him (contrary to assertions in some later studies, K.Ç. certainly did not know Latin or Italian). The most important of these works is Iodocus Hondius’ redaction of Gerhard Mercator’s Atlas, entitled Atlas Minor, translated as Levamiu’n-nur. In 1065/1654, with the translation still in progress, K.Ç. started over with his work on Cihannüma. The second version of the work began with a systematic introduction to cartography and mathematical geography, including a refutation of mythical Islamic cosmography. Moreover, K.Ç. started by making for the first time an explicit argument for the strategic and political usefulness of the science of geography.

After an overview of the seas and the continents, K.Ç. begins the descriptions of countries in the east, working westward. Each description is based on a template which can be found in the Viennese Draft and is derived from Mercator’s approach. East and Southeast Asia are described primarily according to Western sources. In addition to Mercator these include Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius, Introductio in totam geographiam by Philippus Cluverius, La Fabbrica del Mondo by Giovanni Lorenzo d’Anania, and a commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorologica by the Jesuit Collegium Conimbricense. Further west K.Ç. relies on Islamic sources. Besides those used for the first version of Cihannüma, the most important ones among these sources are Hamdallah Mustaufi’s Nuzhatu l-qulub and Amin Ahmad Razi’s Haft Iqlim. Each chapter was supposed to be accompanied by a map, some of which were copied from Atlas Minor, some drawn by K.Ç. based on textual evidence. Such maps indicate that K.Ç. was not a skilled cartographer, with little interest in issues of projection and calculation.

The second version of Cihannüma remained unfinished after K.Ç.’s death, ending with the description of Armenia. The autograph copy bears marginal comments by Ebu Bekr b. Behram ed-Dimişqi, geographer and translator of Blaeuw’s Atlas Maior for Mehmed IV (r. 1058-1099/1648-87), who obviously intended to use it for a new geography of the Ottoman Empire. It is also the basis of the printed edition by İbrahim Müteferriqa, entitled Cihannüma, which consists of the second version, supplemented with excerpts from a work by Ebu Bekr with a description of the Asiatic part of the Ottoman Empire, making the most frequently cited part of Cihannüma not K.Ç.’s but Ebu Bekr’s. Why Müteferriqa decided to publish the fragmentary and increasingly outdated Cihannüma, instead of a version of Ebu Bekr’s more recent and complete work remains somewhat of a mystery.

Manuscripts of Cihannüma may consist of the first version, the second version, or a combination of both. The number of extant manuscripts indicates the widespread interest in geography, while the printed edition may have found more interest among Europeans.

Several attempts have been made to supplement the Cihannüma. A second volume announced by Müteferriqa never materialized. Şehrizade Ahmed’s Ravzatu’l-enfus fi’t-ta’rih was conceived as a continuation. The Atlas of Bartınlı İbrahim Hamdi, completed in 1163/1750, with individual additions until after 1173/1760, has been characterized as an expanded revision of the Cihannüma. Several minor continuations, partly in private manuscript collections, have been noted by Taeschner and Sarıcaoğlu.

Sullam al-wusul ila tabaqat al-fusul

A biographical dictionary in Arabic, primarily focusing on scholars. In the context of the ‘Encyclopedic Project’ this work can be also understood as an index of authors for Kashf az-zunun. The first part, in which entries are arranged according to personal names (ism), is largely based on Taşköprüzade’s aş-Şaqaiq an-numaniya and Ibn Khallikan’s Wafayat al-ayan. The second part, covering persons primarily known under their nicknames (laqab), is based on Suyuti’s Tahrir al-lubab. Though a note in the autograph indicates that these two parts were completed in 1053/1643, there remain many blanks or entries consisting of references only. Another part was added in 1058/1649. The work includes an autobiographical entry.

B. Translations and Rewritings
K.Ç. prepared several translations of European, primarily Latin, works as basis for his encyclopedic works, especially Cihannüma. These translations are mostly preserved in unique manuscripts, an indication that they were not considered independent works and were not disseminated in the same way. His excerpts and rewritings of older works fall into the same category.

Levamiu’n-nur fi zulmat Atlas Minur

A translation of Iodocus Hondius’ redaction of Gerhard Mercator’s Atlas, entitled Atlas Minor, intended as a basis for the rewriting of Cihannüma, completed in 1065/ 1655.


A translation of Historia rerum in Oriente gestarum ab exordio mundi et orbe condito ad nostra haec usque tempora (Frankfurt, 1587), a Latin translation of four Byzantine chronicles with an appendix on Ottoman history.

Ta’rih-i firengi

Translation of Johann Carion’s Chronicon (Paris, 1548) into Turkish, completed in 1065/1655. Carion’s Chronicon was printed many times all over Europe. The edition of Philipp Melanchthon became a staple of Protestant propaganda. K.Ç.’s preface describes the translation as a working draft and source for future books.


An excerpt from Piri Reis’ Bahriye from K.Ç.’s hand, expanded to form a new work, has recently been discovered by Fikret Sarıcaoğlu.

C. Occasional Treatises
A number of K.Ç.’s works are momentary interventions in current political and scholarly discourse, and have to be carefully placed in their chronological context.

Düsturü’l-amel li-ıslahi l-halel

In order to discover the causes of the financial crisis in 1063/1653, grand vizier Tarhuncu Ahmed Paşa ordered a collation of the account books, which might have involved the clerk K.Ç. In addition, K.Ç. produced a small treatise in the tradition of reform (or “decline”) treatises, which analyses the crisis with the means of an analogy between the body politic and the human body, drawing on Ibn Khaldun’s concept of the ages of the state, and Dawwani’s analogy with Galenic medicine, in which the four humors of the body are likened to the estates of human society. K.Ç. pleads for a return to qanun-ı qadim, and for a reduction in the number of the Porte troops, whereas other treatises of the same kind have focused on the decline of the timar system. K.Ç. ultimately leaves the question open if a “man of the sword” would be able to revert the seemingly unavoidable decline. Düsturü’l-amel has influenced Hezarfenn, and especially Naima’s theoretical discussions.

İrşadu’l-hayara ila Ta’rihi’l-Yunan ve’r-Rum ve’n-Nasara

A short treatise on the Christian confessions and dynasties in Turkish, begun in 1065/1655. Based on older apologetic literature, K.Ç. discusses the distinctions of the Eastern Church (Jacobites, Melkites, Nestorians), but not the one between Catholics and Protestants. The histories of European countries are hardly more than lists of rulers. It breaks off after 9 chapters. Descriptions of kings suggest that K.Ç.’s source was illustrated. Despite K.Ç.’s claim to provide important information on the struggle against Christendom, the information in this book is profoundly trivial.

Tuhfetü’l-kibar fi esfari’l-bihar

A history of Ottoman maritime warfare in Turkish, written in Safer 1067/November 1656. This date places the book in a moment of utmost danger for the Ottoman capital following the defeat of the Ottoman navy at the hands of the Venetians at the Dardanelles (4 Ramadan 1066/26 June 1656) and the subsequent loss of the islands of Lemnos and Tenedos. It is also written shortly after the appointment of Köprülü Mehmed Paşa as grand vizier (25 Dhulqada 1066/14 September 1656). Thus it is suggested to read it as a program of reform of the navy intended for a person in whom K.Ç. might have seen the “man of the sword” who might revert the fate of the Empire. Of the four ulema who wrote endorsements for the book two are closely related to the Köprülü family.

The first part is a history of Ottoman maritime campaigns from the beginning to 1067/1656, while the second is a systematic description of naval affairs, from administration and offices to shipbuilding, culminating in a list of 40 suggestions for organization and strategy of the Ottoman navy, including the use of recent scientific and technological innovations. Thus the juxtaposition with history provides an argument for reform. Suggestions are largely centered around the traditional qanun-ı qadim; there is no reference to high-board ships. The final pages include an important discussion of historical causality, explaining how divine omnipotence creates the consequence of historical causes, in reward for righteous rule, or punishment of injustice.

Mizanü’l-haqq fi ihtiyari’l-ahaqq

A belated intervention in the conflict between the Qadızade movement and the dervish orders of the Ottoman Empire, written in the immediate aftermath of Köprülü Mehmed Paşa’s cracking down on the former in 1066/1656. The contentious points are discussed in a series of short chapters: The life of the Prophet Hıdr, singing, dancing and whirling, the invoking of blessings on prophets and companions, tobacco, coffee, opium and other drugs, the parents of the Prophet, the faith of Pharaoh, Ibn al-Arabi, the cursing of Yazid, innovation, pilgrimages to tombs, supererogatory prayers, shaking hands and bowing, enjoining right and forbidding wrong, the religion of Abraham, bribery. K.Ç. mostly reaches conclusions on a middle ground, although his line of reasoning is closer to the rationalism of the Qadızadeli than to mysticism. In several cases he justifies a particular custom on historical grounds, despite legal arguments against it. Since he finds that the parents of the Prophet were unbelievers, the relevant chapter was omitted from the printed edition. Carefully supported by a lengthy autobiography which emphasized the author’s scholarly qualification and his piety, Mizanü’l-haqq became K.Ç.’s most popular work. Most major manuscript collections have a copy. Gökyay counted about 30 in Istanbul.

İlhamü’l-muqaddes mine’l-feyzi’l-aqdes

A short legal treatise on astronomical questions, written in criticism of şeyhülislam Beha’i Efendi in 1064/1654.

D. Didactic and Entertaining Compilations
Several of K.Ç.’s works are collections of bits of texts, partly for the purpose of teaching, partly as entertaining anthologies. None of them have been studied.

Jami al-mutun min jall al-funun

An anthology of scholarly texts of different disciplines.

Tuhfetü l-ahyar fi’l-hikem ve l-emsal ve’l-aşar

An anthology of entertaining and edifying texts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, arranged according to keywords in alphabetical order, written between 1061-63/1651-53, edited from drafts and supplemented by a certain Yazıcızade Mehmed. It remains to be seen if this should be considered part of the ‘Encyclopedic Project.’

Dürer-i müntesire ve gurer-i münteşire

A compilation of anecdotes largely from biographical sources, and thus a by-product of Sullam al-Wusul. The title is not original, but is based on a phrase in the introduction. Presumably identical with a work mentioned in Mizanü’l-haqq and described as a collection in the manner of Ghaffari’s Nigaristan.


A. The ‘Encyclopedic Project’
(1) Kashf az-zunun an asami l-kutub wa l-funun
Manuscripts: (1) Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi, Revan 2059. Autograph, clean copy, [TBC]. (2) Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Carullah Veliyüddin 1619, 222 fol., nesih; Autograph, partial draft (fol. 52-222), [TBC]. 
Editions: (1) Bulaq, 1274/1858. (2) Istanbul, 1310-11/1894. (3) Ed. Şerefettin Yaltkaya, Kilisli Rifat Bilge, n.p., 1941-1943.

(2) Fadlakat aqwal al-ahyar
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Beyazıt Devlet Kütüphanesi, no. 10318; Autograph copy completed in 1052/1642, [TBC].
Translation: Hasan Esiri’s (d. 1140/1727) Miyarü’d-düvel ve misbarü’l-milel has been characterized as a Turkish translation by Orhonlu.

(3) Taqvimü’t-tevarih
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Esad Efendi 2399, 92 fol., probably autograph, [TBC].
Editions: (1) Istanbul, 1146/1733.
Translations: (1) Italian translation: Giovanni Rinaldo Conte Carlì. Chronologia historica, scritta in lingua Turca, Persiana, e Araba da Hazi Halifé Mustafá e tradotta nell’idioma Italiano da già Rinaldo Carlì, nobile Justinopolitano e dragomano della serenissima repubblica di Venezia (Venice, 1696) (not exact) (2) Latin translation: J. J. Reiske, preserved in the Royal Library in Copenhagen. (3) French translation: Antoine Galland, Chronologie mahométane, depuis la création du monde, jusques à l’année 1079 de l’Hegire, c’est-à-dire jusques à l’année 1670 de la naissance de Jésus Christ. Par Mustapha Hadji Khalifeh, autrement dit Kiatib Zadeh. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Ms. Franç. 5587.

(4) Fezleke-i tevarih
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Süleymaniye, Atıf Efendi 1914. Autograph [TBC]. 
Editions: (1) Istanbul, 1286-7/1860-70, 2 vols. Printed edition with many mistakes and interferences of the editors, without the author’s preface. 
Translation: (1) Armenian translation: Excerpts in A.A. Papazjan. “Dzichan-njuma” i “Fezleke” Kiatiba Chelebi kak istochnik po istorii Armenii (XVII. v.) (Yerevan, 1973).

(5) Cihannüma
Manuscripts: (1) Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, cod. Mxt. 389, 4+ 308 fol., 25 lines, nesih (clean copy), ca. 35 lines, nesih (autographical parts) (partial autograph, first version with additions). (2) Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi, Revan 1624, fol. 1-159, 39 lines, nesih (autograph of the second version).
Editions: (1) Istanbul, 1145/1732 (Müteferriqa). A facsimile with introduction and indices has been prepared by Fikret Sarıcaoğlu to be published by Türk Tarih Kurumu.
Translations: (1) Latin translation of the Müteferriqa edition: M. Norberg. Gihan Numah - Geographia orientalis ex Turcico in Latinum versa (Göteborg, 1818). (2) Partial Russian translation in A.A. Papazjan. “Dzichan-njuma” i “Fezleke” Kiatiba Chelebi kak istochnik po istorii Armenii (XVII. v.) (Yerevan, 1973). (3) Partial French translations: Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont. “Les routes d’Asie centrale d’après le Cihân-Numâ de Kâtib Çelebi.” Cahier d’Asie Centrale 1-2 (1996), 311-322; idem., “La description de Chypre dans le Cihån-Numâ de Kâtib Çelebi.” Epetērida tou Kentrou Epistēmonikon Erevnōn 23 (1997), 189-214. (4) German translation of the first version: Joseph von Hammer. Rumeli und Bosna geographisch beschrieben von Mustafa Ben Abdalla Hadschi Chalfa (Vienna, 1812).

(6) Sullam al-wusul ila tabaqat al-fusul
Manuscript: Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Şehit Ali Paşa 1877. Autograph [TBC].
[A fine copy begun in 1062/1652 was probably never completed and seems to be lost. Brockelmann mentions one other manuscript in Cairo which has not been verified].

B. Translations and Rewritings
(1) Levamiu’n-nur fi zulmat Atlas Minur
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye Library, no. 2998; 429 fol., nesih. Autograph.

(2) Revnaqu’s-saltanat
Manuscript: (1) Konya, İzzet Koyunoğlu Library, no. 14032; [TBC].

(3) Ta’rih-i firengi
Manuscripts: (1) Konya, İzzet Koyunoğlu Kütüphanesi, no. 14031; [TBC]. Bound together with Revnaqu’s-saltanat. Both works together most likely served as basis for İrşadu’l-hayara.

C. Occasional Treatises
(1) Düsturü’l-amel li-ıslahi l-halel
Editions: (1) Printed as an appendix to Ayn Ali’s Qavanin-i Al-i Osman (Istanbul, 1863; reprinted Istanbul, 1979).
Translations: (1) German translation: W. F. A. Behrnauer. “Hâgî Chalfas Dustûru’l-amel. Ein Beitrag zur osmanischen Finanzgeschichte.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 11 (1847), 111-132, 330. (2) Turkish translation: Orhan Şaik Gökyay. Katip Çelebi’den Seçmeler (Istanbul, 1968), 153-161, partial translation. (3) Turkish translation: Kâtip Çelebi Bozuklukların Düzeltilmesinde Tutulacak Yollar (Düsturu l-‘amel fi islahi l-halel). Tr. Ali Can (Ankara, 1982).

(2) İrşadu’l-hayara ila Ta’rihi’l-Yunan ve’r-Rum ve’n-Nasara
Manuscript: (1) Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Berlin, Hs. or. oct. 866; [TBC].

(3) Tuhfetü’l-kibar fi esfari’l-bihar
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi, Revan 1192. Autograph, [TBC].
Editions: (1) Istanbul, 1141/1729 (Müteferrika). (2) Istanbul, 1329/1911.
Translations: (1) French translation: François Pétis de la Croix. Estat de la marine turque, other titles: Estat de la marine de l’empire othoman, Estat de la marine othomane, unpublished (see Babinger, GOW 202 for manuscripts in Paris). (2) French translation: Sieur la Roque. Histoire des conquêtes des Ottomans sur les Chrétiens tant das la mer méditerranée que dan la mer noire avec les noms des places [et] les circonstances des victoires, unpublished (see Babinger, GOW, 202, for a manuscript in Leiden) (3) French translation: Jules Demoret. excerpts, in Journal Asiatique 10 (1827), 264 ff. (4) English translation: James Mitchell. The History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks (London, 1831) (reprinted New York: Johnson, 1968). (5) English translation: History of the maritime Wars of the Turks of Haji Khalfa. Tr. J.C. from an original Persian Manuscript (London, n.d.) (mentioned by Babinger, GOW, 202). (6) Turkish translation: Tuhfetu’l-kibar fi esfari’l-bihar. Tr. Orhan Şaik Gökyay (Istanbul, 1973).

(4) Mizanü’l-haqq fi ihtiyari’l-ahaqq
Edition: (1) Mizanü’l-haqq fi ihtiyari’l-ahaqq (Istanbul, 1306/1888).
Translations: (1) English translation: The Balance of Truth. Tr. Geoffrey Lewis (London, 1957). (2) Turkish translation: Mizanu’l Hakk fi İhtiyari’l-ahakk. Tr. Orhan Şaik Gökyay (Istanbul, 1973).

(5) İlhamü’l-muqaddes mine’l-feyzi’l-aqdes
Edition: (1) Partial edition by B. Şehsuvaroğlu in O.Ş. Gökyay. Kâtip Çelebi. Hayatı ve Eserleri Hakkında İncelemeler (Ankara, 1957), 141-176.

D. Didactic and Entertaining Compilations
(1) Jami al-mutun min jall al-funun
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi, Emanet 1763; 666 fol., [TBC]. Partial autograph, written in 1054/1644.

(2) Tuhfetü l-ahyar fi’l-hikem ve l-emsal ve’l-aşar
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Esad Efendi 2539; 565 fol., [TBC].

(3) Dürer-i müntesire ve gurer-i münteşire
Manuscript: (1) Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye Library, no. 4949; 243 fol., ca. 24 lines. Autograph copy, [TBC].

General Bibliography:
Giambatista Toderini. Letteratura Turchesca, vol. 1-3 (Venice, 1787). W.F.A. Behrnauer. “Haggi Chalfa’s Dustûru’lamel. Ein Beitrag zur osmanischen Finanzgeschichte.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 11 (1847), 111-132; 12 (1847), 330. Franz Babinger. Stambuler Buchwesen im 18. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1919). Franz Taeschner. “Zur Geschichte des Djihannuma.” Mitteilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen, 2/29 (1926), 99-110. Franz Babinger. Die Geschichtsschreiber der Osmanen und ihre Werke (Leipzig, 1927). Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (Leiden, 1937-49 [first edition: 1898-1902], vol. 2. Abdülhak A. Adnan-Adıvar. “Garba Açılan İlk Pencere, Kâtip Çelebi.” Cumhuriyet Gazetesi, no. 8678, 8 October 1948. Reprinted in Dur, Düşün (Istanbul, 1950), 220 ff. Orhan Şaik Gökyay. Kâtip Çelebi. Hayatı ve Eserleri Hakkında İncelemeler (Ankara, 1957; Reprint: Ankara, 1985). Bedi N. Şehsuvaroğlu. “İlham-al Mukaddes Min-al Feyz-al Akdes Risâlesi ve Kâtip Çelebi’nin İlmî Zihniyeti Hakkında Birkaç Söz” in Gökyay (1957), 141-176. Mükrimin Halil Yinanç. “Fezleket Ekvâl al-Ahyâr Hakkında” in Gökyay (1957), 93-100. Victor Louis Ménage. “Katib Çelebiana.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 26 (1963), 173-175. Cengiz Orhonlu. “18. Yüzyılda Osmanlılarda Coğrafya ve Bartınlı İbrahim Hamdi’nin Atlası.” İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Tarih Dergisi, 19 (1964), 115-140. Hans Joachim Kissling (ed.). Ušâqîzâde’s Lebensbeschreibungen berühmter Gelehrter und Gottesmänner des Osmanischen Reiches im 17. Jahrhundert (Zeyl-i Šaqâ’iq [Uşaqizade]) (Wiesbaden, 1965), 191-192. Barbara Flemming. Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. XIII. Türkische Handschriften, vol. 1 (Wiesbaden, 1968). Orhan Şaik Gökyay. Kâtip Çelebi’den Seçmeler (Istanbul, 1968). Victor Louis Ménage. “Three Ottoman Treatises on Europe.” Iran and Islam. In Memory of the late Victor Minorsky, ed. C.E. Bosworth (Edinburgh, 1971), 421-433. Heidrun Wurm. Der osmanische Historiker Hüseyn b. Ǧafer, gen. Hezarfenn, und die Istanbuler Gesellschaft des 17. Jahrhunderts (Freiburg i. Br., 1971). Orhan Şaik Gökyay (trans.). Kâtip Çelebi: Mîzanü’l-hakk fi ihtiyari’l-ahakk (En Doğruyu Sevmek İçin Hak Terazisi) (Istanbul, 1972). Lewis V. Thomas. A Study of Naima, ed. Norman Itzkowitz (New York, 1972). Orhan Şaik Gökyay (trans.). Kâtib Çelebi: Tuhfetü’l-kibar fî esfari’l-bihar (Deniz Savaşları Hakkında Büyüklere Armağan) (Istanbul, 1973). A.A. Papazjan. “Dzichan-njuma” i “Fezleke” Kiatiba Chelebi kak istochnik po istorii Armenii (XVII. v.) (Yerevan, 1973). Bekir S. Kütükoğlu. Kâtib Çelebi “Fezleke”sinin Kaynakları (Istanbul, 1974). Abdülhak A. Adnan-Adıvar. Osmanlı Türklerinde İlim. 4th edition by A. Kazancıgil and Ş. Tekeli (Istanbul, 1982). Ali Can (trans.). Kâtip Çelebi: Bozuklukların Düzeltilmesinde Tutulacak Yollar (Düsturu’l-amel fi islahi’l-halel) (Ankara, 1982). Orhan Şaik Gökyay. Kâtip Çelebi: Yaşamı, kişiliği ve yapıtlarından seçmeler ([Ankara], 1982). P. Fodor. “State and Society, Crisis and Reform, in 15th-17th-Century Ottoman Mirror for Princes.” Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungariae, 40/2-3 (1986), 217-240. D.A. Howard. “Ottoman Historiography and the Literature of "Decline" of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.” Journal of Asian History, 22/1 (1988), 52-77. Şeyhî. Vekayiü’l-Fudalâ. Ed. Abdülkadir Özcan (Istanbul, 1989). Fikret Sarıcaoğlu. “Cihânnümâ ve Ebûbekir b. Behrâm ed-Dımeşkî-İbrahim Müteferrika.” Prof. Dr. Bekir Kütükoğlu’na Armağan (Istanbul, 1991), 121-142. Johann Strauss. Die Chronik des İsazade: ein Beitrag zur osmanischen Historiographie des 17. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1991). Th.D. Goodrich. “Old Maps in the Library of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.” Imago Mundi, 45 (1993), 120-133, 132.Rhoads Murphey. “Ottoman Historical Writing in the Seventeenth Century: A Survey of the General Development of the Genre after the Reign of Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617).” Archivum Ottomanicum, 13 (1993-94), 277-311. Eleazar Birnbaum. “The Questing Mind: Katib Chelebi, 1609-1657. A Chapter in Ottoman Intellectual History.” Corolla Torontonensis. Festschrift for Ronald Morton Smith, ed. E. Robbins and Stella Sandahl (Toronto, 1994), 133-158. Gottfried Hagen. “Überzeitlichkeit und Geschichte in Katib Celebis Gihannüma.” Archivum Ottomanicum, 14 (1995-96), 133-159. Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont. “Les routes d’Asie centrale d’après le Cihân-Nümâ de Kâtib Çelebî.” Cahier d’Asie centrale, 1-2 (1996), 311-322. Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont. “La description de Chypre dans le Cihân-Nümâ de Kâtib Çelebî.” Epetērida tou Kentrou Epistēmonikōn Erevnōn (Levkosia), 23 (1997), 189-214. Eleazar Birnbaum. “Katib Chelebi and Alphabetization: A Methodological Investigation of the Autographs of his Kashf az-zunun and Sullam al-Wusul.” Scribes et manuscrits du Moyen-Orient, ed. François Déroche and Francis Richard (Paris, 1997), 236-263. Gottfried Hagen. “Katib Çelebis Darstellung der eyalets und sancaqs des Osmanischen Reiches.” Archivum Ottomanicum, 16 (1998), 101-123. Gottfried Hagen. “Kâtib Çelebi and Tarih-i Hind-i Garbî.” Güney-Doğu Avrupa Araştırmaları Dergisi, 12 (1982-1998; Prof. Dr. Cengiz Orhonlu Hatıra Sayısı), 101-115. Gottfried Hagen and Tilman Seidensticker. “Reinhard Schulzes Hypothese einer islamischen Aufklärung. Kritik einer historiographischen Kritik.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 148/1 (1998), 83-110. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu (ed.). Osmanlı Coğrafya Literatürü Tarihi - History of Ottoman Geographical Literature (Istanbul, 2000). Fikret Sarıcaoğlu. “Kâtib Çelebi’nin Otobiyografileri.” İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Tarih Dergisi, 37 (2002), 297-319. Gottfried Hagen. Ein osmanischer Geograph bei der Arbeit. Entstehung und Gedankenwelt von Katib Celebis Ǧihannnüma. (Berlin, 2003). Gabriel Piterberg. An Ottoman Tragedy. History and Historiography at Play (Berkeley, CA, 2003). Gottfried Hagen. “Ottoman Understandings of the World in the Seventeenth Century.” Afterword in Robert Dankoff. Evliya Çelebi - An Ottoman Mentality (Leiden, 2004), 207-248. Fikret Sarıcaoğlu. “Pîrî Reîs’in Kitâb-ı Bahriyye’sinin İzinde Kâtib Çelebi’nin Yeni Bulunan Eseri: Müntehab-ı Bahriyye.” Türklük Araştırmaları Dergisi, 15 (2004), 7-57. S. Brentjes. “Mapmaking in Ottoman Istanbul between 1650 and 1750: A Domain of Painters, Calligrapher, or Cartographers?” Frontiers of Ottoman Studies: State, Province, and the West. Eds. C. Imber, K. Kiyotaki and R. Murphy (London - New York, 2005), vol. 2, 125-156. Gottfried Hagen. “Kâtib Çelebi and Sipahizade.” Essays in honour of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (Istanbul, 2006), 525-542. R. Quiring-Zoche. “Minhiyat – Marginalien des Verfassers in arabischen Manuskripten.” Asiatische Studien 60/4 (2006), 987-1019.

Gottfried Hagen
March 2007