Sciences such as geometry, trigonometry and mathematics started to be central elements of the military curriculum of the time; this text, compiled during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I (r. 1730-1754), is a testament to this new interest.
The title on f.1a reads Ceride-i Fenn-i Mi‘mari-i Harbi (“Volume on the Art of Military Architecture”), although this work is known elsewhere simply as Fenn-i Harb and it is a translation into Ottoman Turkish of a number of European works on military architecture. According to the introduction it was made in the reign of Sultan Mahmud I (r. 1730-1754) and consists of a main text and three addenda. The works present in the volume are as follows:
i. A translation of the Commentarii bellici, a Latin translation of Raimondo Montecuccoli’s Mémoire de la Guerre
ii. A translation of the Cursus Mathematicus of Gaspar Schott
iii. Selections from a work by the French cartographer and military engineer Alain Manesson Manet
iv. A work on trigonometry (the name of the author is not stated)
The name of the compiler is not given, though some scholars have suggested that it was Ibrahim Müteferrika, the Hungarian renegade and founder of the first Arabic-letter printing press in the Ottoman Empire. For this work and a discussion of the various European authors and the identification of the translator/compiler, see Gábor Ágoston, "The Ottoman Empire and the technological dialogue between Europe and Asia: the case of military technology and know-how in the gunpowder age", Science between Europe and Asia: Historical Studies on the Transmission, Adoption and Adaptation of Knowledge, edited by Feza Gunergun and Dhruv Raina (New York, 2011), pp. 27-39, esp. pp. 32-34. Two other treatises on artillery and siege engines, dated to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, were sold at Christie’s London, 15 October 2002, lot 56 and 29 April 2003, lot 52.
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