RUB » Library Gateway » Historiography in Ottoman Europe
Please click to enlarge

© Antiphonary - The Cloisters Collection, 1925 - The Metropolitan Museum New York, USA
  CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication


The catalogues of manuscript and book collections represent one of our main sources of information, as they supply data on both published and unpublished texts included or to-be-included in the database. Inescapably however, on many occasions, the catalogues do not contain items related to the writing of history; the repositories they describe might consist entirely of liturgical, theological, medical, literary, etc. manuscripts and / or books. If this were the case, a short description of the catalogue (together with its online coordinates, when available) is included in the Tools Section. The reason is twofold. On the one hand, one can easily keep record of the catalogues already consulted. On the other hand, such descriptions offer a synoptic perspective on the manuscript and book production and collecting, and thus put into context the collections which actually include texts of direct interest for HOE database.

Example 1

Arkivi të Shtetit (ed.), Arnavutluk Devlet Arşivleri Osmanlı yazmalar kataloğu / Katalogu i i dorëshkrimeve Osmane ne Arkivat e Shqiperise / Ottoman manuscripts catalog of Albanian State Archives, Ankara: Türk Hava Kurumu Basımevi 2001 (Gazi Üniversitesi Türk Kültürünü ve Hacı Bektaş Merkezi Yayınları – Katalog dizisi).

Catalogue of the Ottoman manuscripts held in the Albanian State Archives. Among the 495 Ottoman manuscripts, one may find an anonymous Arabic / Turkish narration in prose and verse of the wedding ceremonies of Sultan Ahmed, entitled Hikâie-i Sultan Ahmed (no 349 – pp. 134-135).

Example 2

Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (with contributions by Georgi R. Parpulov), “Greek Manuscripts at the Wellcome Library in London: A Descriptive Catalogue”, Medical History 59 (2015), pp. 275-326.

Detailed catalogue of the 16 manuscripts of Wellcome Library in London. Most of the manuscripts contain medical texts. However, one may also find a collection of Byzantine oracles, created ca. 1800 in the Ottoman Empire (MS. 413).

Full text:

The Tools section also includes short descriptions of important research tools, such as bibliographies and repertoires, related to the topic of writing history in Ottoman Europe.

Example 1

Cesare Pasini, Bibliografia dei manoscritti greci dell’Ambrosiana (1857-2006), Milano : Vita e Pensiero 2007 (Bibliotheca erudita 30).

Impressive bibliography of the studies published between 1857 and 2006 on the Greek manuscripts in the Ambrosiana Libary of Milan. It is a useful complement to the 1906 two-volume Catalogus codicum graecorum Bibliothecae Ambrosianae by Emidio Martini and Domenico Bassi ( &, as well as to the 1997 Codici e frammenti greci dell’Ambrosiana. Integrazioni al Catalogo di Emidio Martini e Domenico Bassi by the same Pasini.

Example 2

Klimentina Ivanova, Bibliotheca Hagiographica Balcano-Slavica, Sofia : Академично издателство “Проф. Марин Дринов” 2008.

Important repertoire of hagiographic and homiletic works from 209 Balkan Cyrillic manuscripts and fragments. These 209 items date from the 11th to the 17th century and are either South Slavic (Bulgarian and Serbian), or copied in Moldavia and Wallachia. The material is arranged according to the calendar (September – August).

In addition, the Tools section provides short descriptions of the most important editions of documents concerning Ottoman Europe. Albeit not directly connected with the writing of history (the items connected with it, such as the fake charter of Zographou monastery, are presented in the Main section), these editions are vital for the reconstruction of the historical and cultural framework in which the texts from the Main Section were created.

Example 1

Cyril Pavlikianov, The Byzantine Documents of the Athonite Monastery of Karakallou and Selected Acts from the Ottoman Period (1294-1835), Sofia : St. Kliment Ohridski University Press 2015.

Critical edition and commentary of 25 authentic and 3 false Greek and Slavonic documents from the archives of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, dating from July 1294 to ca. 1835. Facsimiles and 12 maps are also included.
Full text:

Example 2

Peter Bartl, Albania Sacra. Geistliche Visitationsberichte aus Albanien IV. Diözese Pulati, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2017 (Albanische Forschungen 26/4).

76 ecclesiastical visitation reports and other documents concerning the smallest Albanian Catholic diocese, the one of Pulati, written in Italian between 1628 and 1909, extracted from the Historical Archives of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide in Rome (Archivio Storico della Sacra Congregazione “de Propaganda Fide”). See also Peter Bartl / Bardhyl Demiraj (ed.), “La lettera dei frati di Pulati (1761), lo sfondo storico e il suo rapporto con la storia della scripta albanese”, in Monica Genesin / Joachim Matzinger (ed.), Nordalbanien. Linguistisch-kulturhistorische Erkundungen in einem unbekannten Teil Europas / L’Albania del Nord. Contributi linguistici e culturali su un’area sconosciuta dell’Europa, Hamburg : Verlag Dr. Kovač 2009, pp. 63-81.

Finally, the Tools section comprises short descriptions of some of the most important funds and collections containing materials connected with the writing of history in Ottoman Europe (in special) and with the history of Ottoman Europe (in general). For example, one may find here presentations of the Archivio Mediceo in Florence, of the Fondo Marsili in Bologna, and of the Trumbull Papers in London. The presentations include: a) a short history of the fund / collection in question; b) a list of catalogues, check-lists, and inventories which can help navigate both the open seas and the narrows of the repository under survey; c) a list of further “Ottoman” readings, that is, a selective bibliography concerning the Ottoman-related items in the fund / collection (in the case of the Medici Archive, the anti-Ottoman projects of Fakhr-al-Din ibn Ma’an and of “Sultan Jachia”).

nach oben