Ottoman Geography Literature and 'Ajāib al-Makhlūqāt' Genre


Turkish translations of Arabic and Persian cosmographies have a significant place in Ottoman geographical literature. Having been used as the sources for many Ottoman geographical works, the cosmographies and their translations were viewed negatively with the concern that they did not possess scientific quality. This led them to be categorized as literary sources rather than scientific, with their importance for the history of science and thought not being fairly understood.  However, as some scholars have noted, it would be more appropriate to take the cultural context of these sources into account while evaluating them. These works, which were copied and read across a wide geographical area for centuries, have the potential to provide us with important hints about their readers’ different ways of seeing the world in medieval and early modern times. This article aims to present an overview of the Turkish examples of famous cosmographical works and touch upon the academic debate regarding their classification within the genre of Ajāib al-Makhlūqāt.  


Key words: Cosmography, Ajāib al-Makhlūqāt, al-Qazwīnī, Ibn al-Wardī, gharāib

Feray Coşkun
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