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Kemalpaşazade

(2,260 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Kemalpaşazade (873–940/1469–1534, Kemālpaşazāde or Kemāl Paşazāde), also known especially in his religious and scholarly writings as İbn or İbn-i Kemal (İbn Kemāl), was the most prominent Ottoman scholar, judge, and historian of the early tenth/sixteenth century, highly regarded by three sultans, Bayezid II (Bāyezīd II, r. 886–918/1481–1512), Selim I (Selīm I, r. 918–26/1512–20), and Süleyman I (Süleymān I, r. 926–74/1520–66). As Şemseddin Ahmed b. Süleyman b. Kemal Paşa (Şems ud-dīn Aḥmed b. Sü…
Date: 2021-02-14

Gazavat-name

(1,316 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Gazavat-name (ghazavāt-nāme, sing., gaza-name/ghazā-nāme) is a generic term (cf. Ar. maghāzī) used in Ottoman Turkish for accounts of military activity at varying levels, on land and at sea. Although gazavat-name can be translated as “book of holy wars/raids,” this is a narrow definition applicable in its literal sense primarily to early warfare against Christian opponents in the Balkans. More broadly, texts in this genre comprise works under various headings, including feth or fetih-name ( fetḥ, fetḥ-nāme, lit., conquest, book of conquest), zafer-name ( ẓafer-nāme, book of vi…
Date: 2021-02-14

Müneccimbaşı Ahmed Dede

(812 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Müneccimbaşı Ahmed Dede (Aḥmed, 1041–1113/1631–1702) was an Ottoman historian, scholar, and Ṣūfī. He was the author of a universal history from the Creation to his own time, concluding in 1083/1673. Educated chiefly by Mevlevi şeyhs ( sheykhs), his principal career, from 1078/1668, was as chief court astrologer to Mehmed IV (Meḥmed, 1058–99/1648–87). The later part of his career, from 1102/1691, was spent in Mecca and Medina, as a Mevlevi şeyh and teacher. Ahmed was born in Selanik (Thessaloniki), the son of Lutfullah (Lutf Allah) Efendi, a weaver from Ereğli near K…
Date: 2021-02-14

Nişancı Abdurrahman Abdi Paşa

(823 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Nişancı Abdurrahman Abdi Paşa (Nişāncı ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ʿAbdī, d. 1103/1692) was an Ottoman administrator and historian, and the author of Vekayiname ( Veqāʾiʿ-nāme, sometimes Vaqʿa-nāme, “History of events”), a narrative centred around palace events from the beginning of the reign of Mehmed IV (Meḥmed, r. 1058–99/1648–87) until 1093/1682. He served as private secretary to Mehmed IV, then as nişancı (affixer of the sultan’s tuğra, ṭūghrā, monographic signature), and subsequently in various high-level administrative posts in Istanbul and, from 1093/1682, in the provinces. As nişa…
Date: 2021-02-14

Hasan Beyzade

(650 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Hasan Beyzade Ahmed (Ḥasan Beyzāde Aḥmed) Paşa (d. 1046/1636–7) was an Ottoman finance official and historian. He was probably born in Istanbul. His father, Küçük Hasan (Ḥasan) Bey (d. 995/1586), was an Ottoman katib ( kātib, secretary/clerk) in the imperial chancery who in 993–4/1585–6 served briefly as reisülküttab ( reʾīs al-kuttāb, chief secretary). Around 999/1590–1, after an initial medrese ( madrasa, theological college) education, Hasan Beyzade also entered the Ottoman central chancery as a katib. During the Ottoman-Habsburg war of 1593–1606, he served as tezkireci ( tedh…
Date: 2021-02-14

Historiography, Ottoman

(7,401 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Historiography was the most popular genre of Ottoman prose. Three main developmental phases can be identified, corresponding roughly to Ottomanist historians’ modern periodisation of Ottoman history. In the first phase, from about the beginning of the ninth/fifteenth century until the late tenth/sixteenth century, Ottoman historical writing developed from virtually nothing to become a major, court-centred, literary genre, benefitting from extensive sultanic patronage in a dynamic age when there was muc…
Date: 2021-02-14

Çelebizade İsmail Asım

(742 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Çelebizade İsmail Asım Efendi (Çelebizāde İsmāʿīl ʿĀṣım, also known as Küçükçelebizade/Küçükçelebizāde, 1096–1173/1685–1760) was an Ottoman şeyhülislam ( shaykh al-Islām, head of the judicial hierarchy), historian, and poet. Born in Istanbul, son of the reisülküttab ( raʾīs al-kuttāb, chief secretary in the imperial chancery) Küçük Çelebi Mehmed (Meḥmed) Efendi (d. after 1108–9/1699), he received a scholarly education and taught in several Istanbul medreses ( madrasa, theological college): Kenan Paşa medrese (appointed in 1120/1708), the Dizdariye (Dizdāriyye) (…
Date: 2021-02-14

Celalzade Mustafa Çelebi

(1,025 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
As nişancı ( nişāncı, head of the Ottoman imperial chancery), major prose stylist and historian Celalzade Mustafa (Celālzāde Muṣṭafā) Çelebi (c. 896–975/1490/1–1567) was one of the most significant and long-serving state servants during the reign of Süleyman (Süleymān) I (r. 926–74/1520–66) and the most influential Ottoman historian of his era. The eldest son of Celaleddin (Celāl al-Dīn, d. 935/1528) from Tosya in the Anatolian Black Sea province of Kastamonu, Mustafa was born c. 896/1490–1, probably in a Balkan town where his father was serving as kadı ( qādī, judge). He spent hi…
Date: 2021-02-14

Cafer Çelebi, Tacizade

(900 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
Tacizade Cafer Çelebi (Tācīzāde Caʿfer Çelebi) (856?–921/1452?–1515) was a leading Ottoman poet, prose stylist, and administrator, principally during the reign of Bayezid (Bāyezīd) II (r. 886–918/1481–1512). He was born in Amasya, where his father Taci (Tācī) Beg (d. 890/1485) was a member of Bayezid’s princely household, possibly his personal secretary. Cafer and his brother Sadi (Saʿdī) Çelebi (d. 922/1516) both studied at leading medreses in Bursa and both graduated to teaching careers. Cafer Çelebi’s first teaching post in Simav, western Anatolia, also required him to act as k…
Date: 2021-02-14

Fetihname

(1,760 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
A fetihname ( fetḥnāme/fatḥnāma, lit., victory letter) was an official letter announcing a military victory, originally written immediately after the event, on the order of a sultan, to inform neighbouring rulers, potential allies, important vassals and/or senior officials within the state. The term fetihname (fetḥnāme/fatḥnāma) is also used for longer literary and historical narratives of battles and campaigns composed later, sometimes many years after the event; such accounts appear also under various other titles, including gazaname (ghazānāme) or gazavatname (ghazāvātn…
Date: 2021-02-14

Wed̲j̲īhī

(358 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
, Ottoman historian and poet (1031?-1071/1620?-1661). He was born in Bag̲h̲če Sarāy [ q.v.], capital of the k̲h̲ānate of the Crimea, the son of a certain ʿAbd Allāh ʿĀrif al-Rūmī. According to Ottoman sources, his given name was Ḥasan (though Ḥüseyin sometimes occurs in later European works). His date of birth is calculated as around 1031/1620, based on a statement in his poetic dīwān that he was entering his fortieth year in 1070/1659. In 1624-5 his family moved to Istanbul, where he received a good secretarial and literary education. Taken into the household of the ḳapudan-i deryā [ q.v.] …

Ṭurk̲h̲ān Sulṭān

(337 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
, Ṭurk̲h̲ān K̲h̲ādid̲j̲e Sulṭān ( ca. 1626-83), mother of the Ottoman sultan Meḥemmed IV [ q.v.]. Ṭurk̲h̲ān Sulṭān entered the Ottoman imperial harem as a slave of the wālide sulṭān Kösem Sulṭān [ q.v.], mother of Murād IV (1623-40) and Ibrāhīm (1640-8) [ q.vv.]. Nothing is known of her background, except that she had a brother, Yūsuf Ag̲h̲a, who died in Istanbul in 1100/1689. She gave birth to sultan Ibrāhīm’s eldest son Meḥemmed in 1641; there may also have been a daughter, Fāṭima Sulṭān, 1642-57. On Ibrāhīm’s deposition in 1648 and he…

Meḥmed Ṭāhir, Bursali̊

(400 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
(1861-1925), Ottoman biographer and bibliographer. Meḥmed Ṭāhir was born in Bursa in northwestern Turkey on 22 November 1861, the son of Rifʿat Bey, clerk to the city council, and grandson of Üsküdarli̊ Seyyid Meḥmed Ṭāhir Pas̲h̲a, formerly a commander in sultan ʿAbd ül-Med̲j̲īd’s imperial guard. He studied at the Bursa military academy from 1875 and at the élite Ḥarbiy̲y̲e̲ (War) academy in Istanbul from 1880. Graduating in 1883 he spent the next twenty years teaching geography…

Seyfī

(539 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
(d. probably after 998/1590), Ottoman historian. Practically nothing is known about Seyfī aside from the fact that he compiled a unique historiogeographical work on the rulers of Asia and China contemporary with Murād III, and the possibility that he may have been a defterdār in the Ottoman bureaucracy. Neither he nor his work is mentioned in the standard Ottoman bio-bibliographical sources. Seyfī’s history has been published by J. Matuz, L’ouvrage de Seyfī Čelebī : historien ottoman du XVI e siècle; édition critique, traduction et commentaires, Paris 1966. Its title, added pos…

Selīm II

(1,407 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
, the eleventh Ottoman sultan (r. 974-82/1566-74), the third son and the fourth of the six children of Ḳānūnī Süleymān I and K̲h̲ürrem Sulṭān [ q.vv.]. He was born in Istanbul on 26 Rad̲j̲ab 930/30 May 1524, during the festivities accompanying the marriage of Süleymān’s Grand Vizier Ibrāhīm Pas̲h̲a [ q.v.]. Together with his elder half-brother Muṣṭafa and his elder brother Meḥmed, Selīm was one of the three princes in whose honour was held the sünnet dügünü (circumcision feast) of 1530, one of the major dynastic spectacles of Süleymān’s reign. He r…

Ṭūrsūn Beg

(378 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
, 9th/15th-century Ottoman historian. What little is known about Ṭūrsūn Beg derives mainly from incidental references in his History . He was born probably in Bursa in the mid-1420s, to an already prominent ümerāʾ family. His uncle D̲j̲übbe ʿAlī had served as governor in Bursa, and his grandfather Fīrūz Beg in Iznik. Ṭūrsūn Beg was, while relatively young, the holder of a tīmār [ q.v.], probably inherited from his father Ḥamza Beg (cf. Tursun Bey, Târîh-i Ebü’l-feth , ed. M. Tulum, Istanbul 1977, pp. xi-xii; H. İnalcik and R. Murphey, The history of Mehmed the Conqueror by Tursun Beg

Silāḥdār, Fi̊ndi̊ḳli̊li̊ Meḥmed Ag̲h̲a

(417 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
, (1068-1139/1658-1726-7), Ottoman historian. The palace official Silāḥdār Meḥmed Ag̲h̲a was born on 12 Rabīʿ I 1068/8 December 1658 in the Fi̊ndi̊ḳli̊ district of Istanbul. A protégé of the bas̲h̲ muṣāḥib S̲h̲āhīn Ag̲h̲a, he was educated in the sarāy and entered the palace bostānd̲j̲i̊ [ q.v.] corps in 1084/1674. In 1089/1678 he became a zülflü baltad̲j̲i̊ [ q.v.] and in 1090/1679, was promoted to the seferli odasi̊ . In this capacity he took part in the 1683 Vienna campaign led by Ḳara Muṣṭafā Pas̲h̲a [ q.v.]. In 1099/1688 he entered the k̲h̲āṣṣ oda [ q.v.] and was promoted successively to d…

Taʾrīk̲h̲

(48,480 words)

Author(s): De Blois, F.C. | Van Dalen, B. | Humphreys, R.S. | Marin, Manuela | Lambton, Ann K.S | Et al.
(a.) “date, dating, chronology, era”, then also “annals, history”. ¶ I. Dates and Eras in the Islamic World 1. In the sense of “date, dating”, etc. i. Etymology . The non-Arabic origin of this word was recognised by the mediaeval philologists, but the often-cited derivation of the participle muʾarrak̲h̲ “dated”, from a supposed Persian compound māh-rōz “month-day”, is naturally fanciful. In fact, it clearly belongs to the common Semitic root for “moon” and “month”; cf. Akkadian ( w) arḫu , Sabaic wrḫ , Ethiopic wärḫ , Mehri wark̲h̲ , or, with the usual Northwe…

Rūznāmed̲j̲i

(301 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
(p.-Tkish.), the Ottoman term for the keeper of a daybook ( rūznāme or rūznāmče ), referring principally to the official in charge of the register of daily income and expenditure of the central treasury, k̲h̲azīne . From the diminutive form rūznāmče, this official was known alternatively as rūznāmčed̲j̲i , a title often contracted to rūznāmče and identical with the name of the daybook itself. The rūznāmed̲j̲i and his scribal staff formed part of the financial bureaucracy headed by the bas̲h̲ defterdār [ q.v.]. The late-15th century ḳānūnnāme of Mehmed II ass…

Oḳču-Zāde

(341 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
, meḥmed s̲h̲āh beg (970-1039/1562-1630), Ottoman nis̲h̲ānd̲j̲i̊ and prose stylist. Oḳču-zāde Meḥmed S̲h̲āh (or S̲h̲āhī) Beg was born in 970/1562, the son of a long-serving Ottoman chancery official, later beglerbegi [ q.v.] Oḳču-zāde Meḥmed Pas̲h̲a (d. ca. 995/1587). His own chancery career spanned 44 years. Appointed kātib of the dīwān-i hümāyūn [ q.v.] (988/1580), he held office as reʾīs ül-küttāb (1005/1596), defter emīni (1006/1597), and nis̲h̲ānd̲j̲i̊ [ q.vv.] (1007-10/1599-1601). He then served as defterdār [ q.v.] of Egypt with the rank of sālyāne begi
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