25 results in English
Al-Zaura, No. 422, February 28, 1874
Al-Zaura was the brainchild of the pro-Western, progressive Ottoman wali (governor) of Iraq, Midhat Pasha (reigned 1869–72). He established the newspaper when he brought with him from Paris a printing press, the first in Iraq, upon his assignment to Baghdad in 1869. Al-Zaura’s name was taken from a nickname for Baghdad, literally meaning a bend or curve, as the city sits within a wide bend of the Tigris River. The paper is arguably the most important source on Iraq’s history during the last 50 years of the ...
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Demonstration of the Truth
Izhar al-Haqq (Demonstration of the truth) is a work of Islamic apologetics that broke new ground in the Muslim approach to the Bible and to Christian doctrine. Written by Indian Shia scholar Rahmatullah al-Dihlawi (circa 1817−91), it received the approbation of the Ottoman sultan, Abdülaziz (reigned 1861−76). It was printed in 1867 at the imperial press in Istanbul for distribution among Arabic-speaking Muslims. Rahmatullah based his innovative approach on analysis of European Protestant historical or higher criticism, i.e., on reinterpretations and reformulations of biblical historiography made by ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
A Complete Portrayal of the Earth
This 1795 impression of a woodcut based on Oronce Fine’s 1534 heart-shaped map of the world is attributed to a cartographer from Tunis named Hajji Ahmad. At first glance, the map’s accompanying Ottoman Turkish text appears to be a captivating, first-person account of Hajji Ahmad’s remarkable odyssey across the Mediterranean. Upon closer inspection, cartography scholars have questioned the map’s authenticity and authorship. The text contains errors, and European sources such as Giovanni Battista Ramusio’s Delle Navigationi et Viaggi (Travels and voyages) appear to have influenced ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Imperial Military Middle School, Ṣanʻāʾ
This photograph from the Abdul-Hamid Collection in the Library of Congress shows the Imperial Military Middle School in Ṣan'ā', Yemen. Sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1842-1918) ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1909. The Abdul-Hamid Collection consists of 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums dating from about 1880 to 1893. An avid collector and promoter of photography, the sultan appears to have conceived the work as a portrait of his empire for a Western audience, intended to highlight the empire's modernization. Well-known Ottoman commercial photographers such as Abdullah ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
High School, Monastir
This photograph from the Abdul-Hamid Collection in the Library of Congress shows a high school in Bitola, Macedonia, a city known in the Ottoman Empire as Monastir. Sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1842-1918) ruled the empire from 1876 to 1909. The Abdul-Hamid Collection consists of 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums dating from about 1880 to 1893. An avid collector and promoter of photography, the sultan appears to have conceived the work as a portrait of his empire for a Western audience, intended to highlight the empire's modernization. Well-known Ottoman ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Plan, Imperial Military Middle School, Monastir
This photograph from the Abdul-Hamid Collection in the Library of Congress reproduces an architectural drawing for the Imperial Military Middle School in Bitola, Macedonia, a city known in the Ottoman Empire as Monastir. Sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1842-1918) ruled the empire from 1876 to 1909. The Abdul-Hamid Collection consists of 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums dating from about 1880 to 1893. An avid collector and promoter of photography, the sultan appears to have conceived the work as a portrait of his empire for a Western audience, intended to highlight ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Imperial Military Middle School, Monastir
This photograph from the Abdul-Hamid Collection in the Library of Congress shows the Imperial Military Middle School in Bitola, Macedonia, a city known in the Ottoman Empire as Monastir. Sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1842-1918) ruled the empire from 1876 to 1909. The Abdul-Hamid Collection consists of 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums dating from about 1880 to 1893. An avid collector and promoter of photography, the sultan appears to have conceived the work as a portrait of his empire for a Western audience, intended to highlight the empire's modernization ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Studio Portrait of Models Wearing Traditional Clothing from the Province of Selanik (Salonica), Ottoman Empire
Pascal Sébah was a prolific and well-known Ottoman photographer who worked for both Ottoman and Western clients. Sébah’s studio produced a number of collections of ethnographic and costume photos, some in collaborations with the painter and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey. This photomechanical print is drawn from one such collaboration, a book entitled Les costumes populaires de la Turquie en 1873 (Folk [or Traditional] costumes of Turkey in 1873). This album depicting ethnic costumes from throughout the Ottoman Empire was commissioned by the Ottoman government for the 1873 International Fair ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Book of Aroodh
This manuscript, by an unknown author, is an incomplete work that endeavors to apply Arabic poetry metrics to Ottoman Turkish poems. It starts with the seas (or metrics) of al-mutaqarib, ar-ramal, and al-munsarih. The transcription is possibly from the 17th century. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of ...
On the Art of al-Aroodh
This manuscript book from 1554 is in two sections. The first section is a grammatical work by an unknown author that compares the conjugation of verbs in Arabic and in Farsi, indicating changes in the forms each time a different tense is used, and that also contains a list of the singular and plural forms of many Arabic nouns. The second section of the book is a brief article, in Ottoman Turkish, by an unknown author, on the metrics of Arabic poetry. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of ...
Free Will and Acts of Faith
This manuscript is a philosophical-religious work with citations from the Qur’an. The text of this copy dating from the early 19th century is written in a very small and poor quality Nasta’liq script with black ink on thin yellowish paper. This style of Perso-Arabic script was the predominant style of Persian calligraphy in the 14th and 15th centuries and was very popular with Ottoman calligraphers. The manuscript is bound with ten other works dealing with grammar, rhetoric, and other subjects. It is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic ...
Sketches from the Life of Mahmud Pasa
This manuscript, completed by an anonymous scribe in 1716, is a copy of a late-15th century biography of Mahmud Pasha, who served as grand vizier to Sultan Mehmed II. Mahmud Pasha (surnamed Angelović) came from Byzantine Christian parents, and was known for his military leadership and his patronage of literature and the arts. He fell out of favor with the sultan and was executed in 1474. Mahmud Pasha was popular, and stories from his life were widely read. The author of the original 15th-century work is unknown. The manuscript is ...
Manual on Conditions and Contracts, Income and Expenditure
This work by the Turkish poet and historian Mustafā bin Ahmed (1541-99), also known as Ālī Efendi, was written in the year 1599 (1008 A.H.), during the reign of Sultan Mehmed III. It is a selection from a longer work by the same author, and contains 32 chapters on the history of the origin, fall, and territorial extent of 32 dynasties. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register ...
Exploits of Sultan Selim
This work, ascribed to the well-known Turkish historian Hoca Sa'deddīn Efendi (1536-99), tells stories and anecdotes from the life of Sultan Selim I (1465-1520, reigned 1512-20). The stories are said to have come from the author’s father, who served for six years in the court of Sultan Selim I. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet ...
Studio Portrait of Models Wearing Traditional Clothing from the Province of Iles d'Archipel (Islands of the Archipelago), Ottoman Empire
Pascal Sébah was a prolific and well-known Ottoman photographer who worked for both Ottoman and western clients. Sébah’s studio produced a number of collections of ethnographic and costume photos, some in important collaborations with the painter and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey. This photomechanical print is drawn from one such collaboration, a book entitled Les costumes populaires de la Turquie en 1873 (Popular costumes of Turkey in 1873). This album depicting ethnic costumes from throughout the Ottoman Empire was commissioned by the Ottoman government for the 1873 International Fair in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Mufradat Page
This fragment contains what would have been the first page of an album of calligraphic mufradat (alphabetical) exercises. Such albums include al-huruf al-mufradah or, in the Ottoman tradition, huruf-i muqatta'a (the single letters) of the Arabic alphabet in sequence, followed by letters in their composite form (in the Turkish tradition, murekkebe, literally "pairs"). Exercise books appeared by at least the 17th century in Ottoman Turkey and continued well into the 20th century. They were used as books of calligraphy exemplars to introduce students to the Arabic alphabet and the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Levha, or Calligraphic Panel
This calligraphic sheet states that "whoever writes the bismillah ("in the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful") in a beautiful writing enters Paradise without judgment." This saying is quite popular in Ottoman qit'a (calligraphic panels), as husn-i khatt (good handwriting) was considered an outward manifestation of the religious and moral values cultivated by calligraphers. This panel includes a minute signature at the bottom center of the lowermost register. Although almost illegible today, the signature indicates that the work was executed by a certain Mawlana Hasan (or Hamid) Hilli ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Jokes Relating to the Commentary on Al-Mataalia and Its Honorable Marginal Notes
The present work is a further commentary on the ḥāshiyah (gloss) by al-Sayyid al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī (died 816 AH [1413 AD]) on the Lawāmi’ al-asrār by Qutb al-Dīn al-Taḥtānī al-Rāzī (died 766 AH [1364 AD]). The latter is, in turn, a commentary on a book of logic entitled Maṭāli’ al-anwār by Sirāj al-Dīn Maḥmūd al-Urmawī (died 682 AH [1283 AD]). The scribe of this work, who may also have been the author, was Muhammad ibn Pir Ahmad al-Shahir bi-Ibn Arghun al-Shirazi. Written for the library of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Album
This muraqqa’ (album) of calligraphy in an accordion format was compiled in Ottoman Turkey in the 12th century AH (18th century AD). The medium is ink and pigments on paper mounted on thin pasteboard. It consists, in part, of leaves bearing fragmentary passages from the Qur’an, from chapter 2 (Sūrat al-baqarah), verses 65–68, and chapter 4 (Sūrat al-nisā’), verses 103–6. Also included are the hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), and two sheets of karalama (pen exercises). The Qur'anic verses and the passages of hadith ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
The Eloquent Prosody in the 40 Verses
This manuscript is an Ottoman Turkish commentary on forty verses of the Qur'an, with hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) and verse citations by Okçuzade Mehmet Şahî, who died in 1039 AH (1629 AD). This copy was made in the 11th century AH (17th AD). The text is written in Naskh script in black and red ink. The waqf (bequest) stamp of al-Wazīr al-Shahīd ‘Alī Pāshā, dated 1130 AH (1717 AD), appears on folios 1a, 1b, and 2a. The name of a former owner, Sayyid Burhān al-Dīn, and ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Two Works on Islamic Beliefs and Practices
This codex comprises two works on Islamic beliefs and practices by the Ottoman writer Aḥmet bin Muḥammed Şemsī Pāşā, who died in 990 AH (1580 AD). These works are entitled Tercümet ül-Viḳāye (The translation of “Wiqāyat al-Riwāyah”) and I’tiḳādiyāt (Beliefs), as inscribed in the headings on folios 2b and 29b, respectively. Both texts were copied in black Nasta’līq script in the 10th century AH (16th century AD). On folio 2a is a note of approval by the famous Ottoman jurist Abū al-Su’ūd (Ebussuud) Efendi (died 982 AH ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Prayer Book of Düzdidil
This luxuriously decorated prayer book was commissioned around 1844 for Düzdidil, the third lady in the harem of the Ottoman sultan, Abdülmecid I (reigned, 1839–61). The occasion for the commission was tragic: the 19-year-old woman had fallen victim to the epidemic of tuberculosis then raging in Istanbul. As was fitting for her position, the prayer book is lavishly ornate. It contains 33 surahs of the Qur’an, 80 prayers of request and praise, and 61 miniatures. The rococo style of the manuscript corresponds to contemporary Ottoman taste. An artist ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Book on Navigation
Originally composed in 1525 and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman I (the Magnificent), this great work by Piri Reis (died circa 1555) on navigation was later revised and expanded. Born in about 1470 in Gelibolu (Gallipoli), Piri Reis became an Ottoman admiral, geographer, and cartographer. The present manuscript, made mostly in the late 17th century, is based on the later expanded version and has some 240 exquisitely executed maps and portolan charts. They include a world map with the outline of the Americas (folio 41a) and maps of coastlines, with bays ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Maritime Atlas
This work is an illuminated and illustrated maritime atlas, referred to as the Walters Deniz atlası. It is one of the earliest Ottoman atlases, tentatively dated to around the mid-16th century. The work contains eight double-page charts executed on parchment. Four of the maps show the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black seas. There is also a world map and a chart of the Indian Ocean. The various geographical names are written in black nasta‘līq script. A distinguishing feature of this atlas is the detailed approach to representing such features as ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Ottoman Turkish Version of “Sindbād-nāmah”
This work is an Ottoman illustrated and illuminated copy of the Tuhfet ül-ahyār, which is an Ottoman Turkish version of the well-known story of Sindbad (Sindbād-nāmah). It concerns Sindbad the Wise (not Sindbad the Sailor), who was tutor to the son of an Oriental king. It was written by ‘Abdülkerīm bin Muhammed during the reign of Sultan Süleyman I, called the Magnificent, who ruled from 1520 to 1566. The text is written in black naskh script with incidentals in gold and red, and the chapter headings are in gold. The ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum