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H.B.’s given name was Ahmed, and his sobriquet was Hamdi. He was generally referred to as Hasan Beyzade in reference to his father, Reisülküttab Küçük Hasan Bey. We do not know when and where H.B. was born. After receiving a medrese education, H.B. left the ilmiyye class because of his low income and entered the service of the imperial council during Dal Mehmed Efendi’s (d. 1006/1597-98) first term as minister of foreign affairs (re’isülküttab) (Dhulqada 998- Shawwal 999/September 1590-August 1591).

H.B. participated in Mehmed III’s (1003-12/1595-1603) Egri (Eger) expedition (1004/1596) as courier (teslimati) and, as secretary (tezkireci) for grand vizier Damad İbrahim Paşa (d. 1011/1602). After participating in the Varad (Nagyvarad) expedition (1006-07/1598-99) in the retinue of Satırcı Mehmed Paşa (d. 1007/1598-99), H.B. returned to Istanbul and was assigned to the secretariat of İbrahim Paşa. H.B. served grand vizier İbrahim Paşa as assistant secretary during the Uyvar (Ujwar) expedition which began on 20 Shawwal 1007/16 May 1599. He was promoted to chief secretariat (baştezkireci) in Muharram 1008/August 1599 at the station (menzil) of Vulqovar (Wuqowar) before the army arrived at the plain of Osek (Osijek). H.B. also participated in İbrahim Paşa’s Qanije (Kanisza) expedition (1009/1600) as chief secretary. When Yaycızade Hamza Efendi (d. 1032/1623), the minister of foreign affairs, was dispatched to Istanbul from the station of Qariha near Osek, H.B. was appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs (re’isülküttab vekaleti). He served Yemişci Hasan Paşa (d. 1012/1603), who had become grand vizier and commander-in-chief after the death of İbrahim Paşa, as chief-secretary (baştezkireci) during the recapture of İstolni-Belgrad (Székesfehérvár) on 11 Safar 1011/31 July 1602 and the siege of Peşte (Pest) during the same year. Although H.B. remained in office after the arrival in Istanbul of Yavuz Ali Paşa (d. 1013/1604), who was appointed to grand vizierate on 26 Rajab 1012/30 December 1603, he was dismissed before the beginning of grand vizier’s Hungarian expedition (1 Muharram 1013/30 May 1604). He continued, however, to serve Ahmed Paşa (d. 1022/1613), the grand vizier’s deputy while he was on campaign (sadaret qa’immaqamı), as secretary (tezkireci). After his warrant (berat) for a scribal position (gedikli katib) was renewed on 28 Dhulqada 1012/28 April 1604, H.B. became the deputy of the director of the main registry of revenues (defter-i haqani emini qa’immaqamı) on 15 Rabi II 1013/10 September 1604, and director of the registry of landed property (defter emini) on 15 Shaban 1013/6 January 1605.

H.B. continued his career as a finance officer. He handled the funding of campaign ammunition as director of financial administration of sultanic properties (emval-i sultani defterdarı) for Qara Davud Paşa (d. 1032/1623), who was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces sent to Anatolia to suppress the Celali uprisings on 10 Jumada II 1014/23 October 1605. As director of financial administration of Anatolian provinces (Anadolu defterdarı), he also recorded and submitted to chief minister of finance (başdefterdar) Etmekçizade Ahmed Paşa (d. 1026/1617) the inheritance of Yusuf Paşa, who had been executed on 14 Jumada II 1018/14 September 1609 for his revolt in the provinces of Aydın and Saruhan. H.B. then served twice as director of financial administration of Ṭuna, Qaraman and Haleb, and later as governor-general of Qaraman and Kefe (Theodosia). According to an archival document dated 18 Shawwal 1018/14 January 1610, H.B. was transferred to the directorship of the financial administration of Ṭuna. While at this post, in 1023/1614, H.B. participated in the Erdel (Transylvania or Ardeal) and Eflak (Wallachia or Vlahia) campaigns of İskender Paşa (d. 1028/1619 ?) and Ketenci Ömer Paşa (d. 1035/1625-26). He was then appointed to Kefe as governor-general. When H.B. arrived at the coast of Varna after his dismissal, he contributed to the defense of the fortress against the Cossacks. For his services in Varna, he was assigned to Qaraman as director of financial administration. Shortly after serving in Haleb as director of financial administration of sultanic properties, he was appointed to the directorate of financial administration of the province of Haleb. He retired after briefly serving as governor-general of Qaraman but was then appointed to the directorate of financial administration of Ṭuna for the second time.

When the Ottoman army under the command of the governors-general of Özi (Ochakov) and Rumelia gathered in Bogdan (Moldavia) to set out against the Poles who conspired with the Cossacks, H.B. was charged with the duty of funding the campaign expenses from the imperial treasury. He was, however, soon relieved from this duty.

H.B. seems to have spent long periods of time unemployed. This was probably caused by chief minister of finance (başdefterdar) Baqi Paşa (d. 1036/1626-27). In fact, H.B. was not in civil service during Baqi Paşa’s second term as defterdar (1 Dhulqada 1030-8 Rajab 1031/17 September 1621-19 May 1622), or even when he died on 29 Jumada II 1034/8 April 1625. H.B. participated in Murad IV’s (1032-49/1623-40) Revan (Yerevan) campaign (20 Ramadan 1044-16 Rajab 1045/9 March-26 December 1635), but he does not state the capacity in which he served. It is clear, however, that H.B. observed all events first-hand and died shortly after his return from the campaign. Sources give 1046/1636-37 as the date of his death. He was buried at Gümüşsuyu cemetery, which no longer exists.


The first volume of the work, entitled Telhis-i tacü’t-tevarih, is essentially a summary of Hoca Sadüddin Efendi’s (d. 1008/1599) Tacü’t-tevarih. It consists of a preface (dibace) and a summary (telhis). As an abbreviated version of its source, Telhis-i tacü’t-tevarih is not very original. The second volume, however, entitled Zeyl-i tacü’t-tevarih, is an entirely original work covering the period from the reign of Süleyman I (926-974/1520-66) up to and including most of the reign of Murad IV (1032-49/1623-40). Much of it is based on the author’s own personal observations, especially the part where H.B. relates the events that transpired from the reign of Mehmed III (1003-12/1595-1603) onward.

In terms of its content, Zeyl-i tacü’t-tevarih can be divided into two parts. The first part is based on the information provided by historians such as Kemal Paşazade, Matraqçı Nasuh, Celalzade Mustafa Çelebi, Ramazanzade Küçük Nişancı Mehmed Paşa, Hocazade Mehmed Efendi, and Mehmed Mecdi, as well as on the account of Hasan Beg, minister of foreign affairs (re’isülküttab) and H.B.’s father. In the more important second part, H.B. relates the expeditions in which he participated and the historical events he observed as a civil servant from the reign of Mehmed III onwards in a chronological fashion and at times with reference to their reasons and consequences. He also recorded the charities (hayrat) and good works (hasenat) of each sultan, as well as the biographical notices (hal tercümesi) of Ottoman princes, viziers, scholars and sheikhs.

Ta’rih went through six editions. The first edition does not include an introduction. H.B. states in the introduction of the second edition that he composed the summary (telhis) of, and the addendum (zeyl) to, Hoca Sadüddin Efendi’s Tacü’t-tevarih with the encouragement of the ulema of the time. In the third and final editions, however, he singles out şeyhülislam Zekeriyyazade Yahya Efendi (d. 1053/1644) as the figure who prompted the composition of the addendum. The composition of the first edition began before Muharram 1038/September 1628 and was completed in 1039/1629-30; the second edition was penned between Rabi II-Shawwal 1038/December 1628-June 1629; the third edition began after Murad IV’s succession on 14 Dhulqada 1032/9 September 1623 and was completed before Rajab 1040/February 1631; the fourth edition was penned during the reign of Murad IV and completed before that same date; and the fifth and sixth editions began after 11 Rabi II 1043/15 September 1633 and were completed when Murad IV returned from the Revan expedition (16 Rajab 1045/26 December 1635). H.B.’s references to the individuals who influenced him change with each edition. The phases of the composition of the work and their political consequences have been studied by Gabriel Piterberg.

Although the influence of the sources H.B. cites is discernable in the style of Ta’rih, the language of the work is not as ornate as that of its original sources. The language of the sections where the author relates his own observations is relatively plain in comparison to those parts that rely on other sources.

Zeyl-i tacü’t-tevarih has been published by Şevki Nezihi Aykut in 3 volumes. Volume 1 includes textual analysis and source criticism. Volume 2 includes the sections that rely on the information provided by historical sources and H.B.’s father (926-1003/1520-95). Volume 3, which includes an index, is the part based on H.B.’s personal observations (1003-1045/1595-1635).

Usulü’l-hikem fi nizami’l-alem

A political treatise (siyasetname) composed for Osman II’s (1027-31/1618-22) grand vizier Güzelce Ali Paşa (d. 1030/1621). It consists of an abbreviation of Muhyiddin Mehmed b. Hasib Qasım’s Ravzu’l-ahyar, which was based on Zamahshari’s Rabi al-abrar. The work is comprised of an introduction, four parts, and a conclusion. In terms of its coverage and the arrangement of its chapters, the work appears to be a compilation of relevant sections from Rabi al-abrar. The beginning of the conclusion includes an autobiographical note (hasbihal) consisting of 27 couplets composed as a mesnevi, which sheds light on periods of H.B.’s life. The copyist and the copy date of the manuscript located at Istanbul University Library (no. 6944) are unknown. The manuscript copy located at Istanbul Municipality Library (Belediye Kütüphanesi, Atatürk Kitaplığı O-49) was copied on an unknown date by Derviş Ahmed, a member of the cavalry forces of the artillery (humbaracı sipahisi).


This compendium, which appears to have been prepared by an anonymous member of H.B.’s retinue, was located in the private library of Cavit Baysun. As it was not mentioned among Baysun’s possessions which were transferred to Yapı ve Kredi Bankası after his death, I did not have the opportunity to consult this compendium (mecmua) personally. According to Baysun’s two articles on H.B., the compendium consisted of 131 folios written in taliq script and included Ayni Hatun Vaqfiyyesi and four poems penned by H.B. It also included copies of twenty letters and three copies of Qanice Fethnamesi, one of which was incomplete. The compendium also contained fetvas, letters, and compositions in verse and in prose.


(1) Ta’rih
Manuscripts, 1st Edition: 
(1) Istanbul, Arkeoloji Müzeleri Kütüphanesi, no. 482; 422 fols., 17 lines, taliq. (2) Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Hamidiye 898; 428 fols., 37 lines, 1b-368a nesih, 368b-428b taliq. (3) Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi, Hazine 1585; 109 fols., 23 lines, coarse taliq.

2nd Edition: 
(1) Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye Kütüphanesi, no. 3105; 321 fols., 33 lines, thin nesih. (2) Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi, Emanet Hazinesi 1434; 486 fols., 25 lines, nesih. (3) Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Ancien Fonds Turc, no. 124; 600 fols., 23 lines, nesih.

3rd Edition: 
(1) Cairo, Kutubhana al-Hidiwiyya, no. 8836/40; 325 fols., 29 lines, nesih. (2) Istanbul, Arkeoloji Müzeleri Kütüphanesi, no. 481; 320 fols., 29 lines, nesih. (3) Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye Kütüphanesi, no. 3134; 222 fols., 19 lines, nesih. (4) Istanbul, Ragıb Paşa Kütüphanesi, no. 987; 389 fols., 27 lines, taliq. (5) Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Hamidiye 974; 190 fols., 21 lines, taliq. (6) Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, no. OH 19; 326 fols., 25-27 lines, nesih and nestaliq. (7) Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, no. OH 65; 185 fols., 21 lines, nesih.

4th Edition: 
(1) Istanbul, Arkeoloji Müzesi Kütüphanesi, no. 234; 538 fols., 23 lines, nesih. (2) Istanbul, Istanbul Üniversitesi Kütüphanesi, no. 6028; 417 fols., 23 lines, nesih.

5th Edition:
Dr. Orhan Köprülü Özel Kütüphanesi, 93 fols., 25 lines, coarse divani.

6th Edition: 
(1) Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu Kütüphanesi, no. Y517; 370 fols., 23 lines, nesih. (2) Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye Kütüphanesi, no. 3106; 610 fols., 21 lines, sülüs. (3) Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi, Bağdad Köşkü 207; 405 fols., 16-29 lines, 1a-394a taliq, 394b-405b nesih. (4) Konya, Mevlana Müzesi Kütüphanesi, no. 3086; 400 fols., 25 lines, nesih. (5) Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, no. Mxt. 199; 100 fols., 17 lines, divani.

Editions: (1) Nezihi Aykut. Hasan Bey-zâde Târîhi. Unpublished PhD Dissertation (Istanbul Üniversitesi, 1980) [Istanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Tarih Semineri Kütüphanesi, Theses no. 3277]. (2) Hasan Beyzade Ahmed Paşa. Hasan Bey-zâde Târîhi (Tahlil - Kaynak Tenkidi, Metin, Metin ve İndeks). Ed. Ş. Nezihi Aykut (Ankara, 2004).

Secondary Sources: Gabriel Piterberg. An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play (Berkeley, 2003).

(2) Usulü’l-hikem fi nizami’l-alem
Manuscripts: (1) Istanbul, Belediye Kütüphanesi (Atatürk Kitaplığı), Belediye Yazmaları O-49; 23 fols., talik. (2) Istanbul, Istanbul Üniversitesi Kütüphanesi, TY 6944; 20 fols., nesih.

(3) Mecmua
Manuscripts: (1) It was in Cavit Baysun’s private collection but its current location is unknown.

Secondary Sources: M. Cavid. “Hasan Bey-zâde Ahmed Paşa.” Türkiyat Mecmuası, 10 (1951-53), 321 ff. M. Cavid Baysun. “Reîsü’l-küttâb Küçük Hasan Bey.” Tarih Dergisi, 2/3-4 (1952), 97 ff.

General Bibliography
Hısali. Matali’ü’n-nata’ir. Nuruosmaniye Kütüphanesi, Istanbul, no. 4252; 129b, 283b; no. 4253; 195b, 300a. Safi Mustafa Efendi. Zübdetü’t-tevarih. Veliyyüddin Efendi Kütüphanesi, Istanbul, no. 2429; 2a-b. Topçular Katibi Abdülkadir (Kadrî) Efendi Tarihi. Ed. Ziya Yılmazer (Ankara, 2003). Ata’i. Hada’iqu’l-haqa’iq fi tekmileti’ş-şaqa’iq (Istanbul, 1268/1851), 655-657. Ahmed Resmi Efendi. Sefinetü’r-rü’esa (Istanbul, 1269/1852), 21. Naima. Ta’rih, vol. 2 (Istanbul, 1281/1865), 132, 176-185. Peçuylu İbrahim. Ta’rih, vol. 2 (Istanbul, 1283/1867), 403. Katib Çelebi. Fezleke, 2 vols. (Istanbul, 1286-87/1870-71), 364, 399-400. Bursalı Mehmed Ṭahir. Osmanlı Mü’ellifleri, vol. 3 (Istanbul, 1342/1924), 46. J.H. Mordtmann (V.L. Ménage). “Hasan Bey-zade, Ahmed.” Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 3 (1971), 248-249. M. Cavid Baysun. “Hasan Bey-zâde Ahmed Paşa.” Türkiyat Mecmuası, 10 (1951-53), 322. M. Cavid Baysun. “Reîsü’l-küttâb Küçük Hasan Bey.” Tarih Dergisi, 2/3-4 (1952), 97 ff. O. F. Köprülü. “Hasan Bey-zâde.” İslam Ansiklopedisi, vol. 5/1 (1950), 334. Selaniki Mustafa Efendi. Tarih-i Selaniki. Ed. Mehmet İpşirli (Istanbul, 1989), 821. Feridun M. Emecen. “Ali’nin Ayn’ı: XVII. Yüzyıl Başlarında Osmanlı Bürokrasisinde Kâtib Rumuzları.” Tarih Dergisi, 35 (1994), 144.

[Translated into English by Historians of the Ottoman Empire
English version posted September 2008]
Ş. Nezihi AYKUT
October 2005