Risāle-i Mi‘māriyye

An Early-Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Treatise on Architecture. Facsimile with Translation and Notes


The Risāle-i Mi‘māriyye by Ca'fer Efendi is the most extensive and detailed Ottoman literary source devoted to a particular architect. In addition to being an account of the life and works of the imperial architect Mehmed Ağa, builder of the Sultan Ahmed Complex in Istanbul, it serves to suggest something of the general character and career evolution of the entire class of Ottoman imperial architects of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and includes as well a trilingual glossary of terms related to architecture. With the exception of the more abridged teẕkeres of Mustafa Sa'i Çelebi dealing with Sinan, the Risāle-i Mi‘māriyye is the only systematic Ottoman account of the life an imperial architect known to exist.

Review Quotes

' Thanks to the scholarly apparatus provided by Professor Crane, scholars can extract from this highly intense compilation of compilations an incredible wealth of useful information, not only on the Ottomans in particular, but on broader seventeenth-century Islamic architectural theory and practice in general.' Walter B. Denny, Mesa Bulletin, 1988. ' This is a welcome contribution not only to the specialized field of Islamic architecture, but also to that of architectural history in general.' Gülru Necipoglu, JSAH, 1990.