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.
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