NEW PUBLICATON: Silsile-nâme-î Varşova - Genealogy of Warsaw (1692)  

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Silsile-nâme-î Varşova

Genealogy of Warsaw (1692)  

Illustrated Genealogy of Prophets and Rulers

The Transcription of the Ottoman Illustrated World History, Its Translation into Modern Turkish and  Facsimile of Manuscript nr. BOZ 183 in Polish National Library


This manuscript written in Ottoman Turkish preserved at the National Library in Warsaw, Poland, the Biblioteka Ordynacji Zamojskiej1 (Zamoyski Family Library) in Warsaw (Rps. BOZ 183), is an important addition to our knowledge about Ottoman Illustrated World Histories. It consists of thirty-five folios, each measuring 24 x 35,5 cm.

There is a note at the beginning about the former owners of the manuscript. As stated in this note, the manuscript was completed during the reign of Sultan Suleiman II (r. 1098-1102/1687-1691).Hence, by the time of the reigns of Sultan Ahmed II or Sultan Mustafa II, the manuscript must have already left Ottoman lands and have been brought to Europe where it was acquired by the eminent English mathematician, astronomer, and theologian Sir Isaac Newton.Newton’s interest in Islam and his endeavor to discover the date of the creation of the world by calculating the life span of the prophets is well known. This manuscript details the life span of every prophet. Evidently this was an important work for Newton, and there are some notices from Newton's hand transcribing from Arabic to English the names of the persons portrayed. After Newton's  death the manuscript was removed from his inheritance. Later owners are Sir John Barnard  Lord Mayor of London, it was bought by Chevalier Jaubert  and in 1820 transfered to Warsaw by Stanislas Zamoyski.

This work comprises names and biographies of more than 650 illustrious persons and their genealogical connections with each other from the time of Adam to 1700 CE. What makes it important is that 205 of them are illustrated with portraits. The illustrations are presented chronologically and are, to a certain extent, interrelated. It thus presents an ideal source to learn about the affinities and the genealogy of the reigning dynasties and prophets. Because of all the afore-mentioned qualities, we named this work, which does not bear any title, the Genealogy of Warsaw (Silsile-nâme-î Varşova).

In the portrait section of the work, the names of the people portrayed are sometimes written below the Arabic inscription in pencil in French and in English. These are additions to notices written in different hands of the respective owners of the manuscript (Newton, Barnard, Jaubert etc.). In the Genealogy, some lineages can be followed carefully along lines. These are the Israelites, the Turks, the Prophet Mohammed followed by the Caliphs. 

The publication  consist of a facsimile of the complete manuscript. Transcription into Turkish (Latin script), and Translation into Modern Turkish with the protraits, and an introduction with intercultural and inttellectual history of the manuscript highlighted.  

ISBN 978-90-6921-01 5-5

Haarlem, SOTA  2019, 184 pages

Price € 120 excl. Shipping costs

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Sample pages and introduction can be downloaded from my academia page: