An Ottoman Cosmography

Translation of Cihānnümā


Cihānnümā is the summa of Ottoman geography and one of the axial texts of Islamic intellectual history. Kātib Çelebi (d. 1657) sought to combine the Islamic geographical tradition with the new European discoveries, atlases and surveys. His cosmography included a comprehensive description of the regions of the world, extending westward from Japan and as far as the eastern Ottoman provinces. Ebū Bekr b. Behrām ed-Dimaşḳī (d. 1691) continued with a survey of the Arab countries and the remaining Ottoman provinces of Anatolia. İbrāhīm Müteferriḳa combined the two, with additional notes and maps of his own, in one of the earliest Ottoman printed books, Kitāb-ı Cihānnümā (1732).
Our translation includes the entire text of Müteferriḳa’s edition, distinguishing clearly between the contributions of the three authors. Based on Kātib Çelebi’s original manuscript we have made hundreds of corrections to Müteferriḳa’s text. Additional corrections are based on comparison with Kātib Çelebi’s Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Latin and Italian sources.

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Gottfried Hagen (PhD Freie Universität Berlin, 1996) is Professor of Turkish Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Ein Osmanischer Geograph bei der Arbeit. Entstehung und Gedankenwelt von Kātib Čelebis Ǧihānnümā (2003, Turkish translation 2017) and many articles on Ottoman geography, cartography, and cosmology.

Robert Dankoff (PhD Harvard University 1971) is Professor Emeritus of Turkish and Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago. His most recent book is Ottoman Explorations of the Nile (2018, with Nuran Tezcan and Michael D. Sheridan).
References and Abbreviations
Outline of Cihānnümā

Introduction to Cihānnümā
Gottfried Hagen

Introduction to the Translation
Robert Dankoff

Translation of Cihānnümā

Part 1, by Kātib Çelebi
Ferenc Csirkés, John Curry and Gary Leiser
 1  On the Earth
 2  On the Seas
 3  On the Major Parts of the Earth
 4  On the Continent of Europe
 5  On (the Continent of) Africa
 6  On the Continent of Asia
 7  On (the Continent of) America, i.e., the New World
 8  On 90 Latitude
 9  On the South Pole
 10  On the Relation of Countries and Directions, According to the Triplicities of the Constellations and Planets
 11  On the Inhabitants of the World with Respect to Religions
 12  Island of Yāpūnīā (Iaponia, Japan)
 13  Map of (New) Guinea
 14  Islands of Chīn u Hind (East Indies)
 15  Islands of Gilolo and Molucca
 16  Mindanao, etc.
 17  Sumatra
 18  Borneo
 19  Island of Ceylon
 20  Clime of Chīn u Māchīn (China)
 21  Clime of Khitāy (Cathay)
 22  Clime of India
 23  Clime of Sind
 24  Country of Makran
 25  Clime of Zābulistān, Khwāst and Ashnāghar
 26  Country of Kashmir and Tibet
 27  Country of Sijistan
 28  Country of Badakhshān, Ghūr and Ṭukhāristān
 29  Clime of Kirmān, Hormuz and Lār
 30  Clime of Fārs
 31  Country of Khūzistān and Lūristān
 32  Clime of Jabal (i.e., Jibāl) or Persian Iraq
 33  Clime of Khurāsān and Quhistān
 34  Country of Qūmis, Ṭabaristān and Māzandarān
 35  Clime of Khwārazm, Daylam and Gīlān
 36  Clime of Transoxiana
 37  Clime of Turkistan and the Steppe
 38  Clime of Azerbaijan
 39  Clime of Arrān, Mūqān and Shirwān
 40  Country of Dagestan, Georgia, etc.
 41  Clime of Arminiyya

Part 2, by Ebū Bekr b. Behrām ed-Dimaşḳī
Gary Leiser
 42  Clime of al-Jazīra (Upper Mesopotamia)
 43  Clime of ʿIrāq al-ʿArab (Lower Mesopotamia)
 44  Description of the Arabian Peninsula
 45  Region of Shām (Syria)
 46  Description of (Province of) Anaṭolı

Appendix: Maps and Diagrams

About Maps and Diagrams
Maps and Diagrams

All interested in Islamic intellectual history, particularly geography.