Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār

Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār

17th century

Not a paper scroll as usual: the family tree of a proud Ottoman dynasty in rare book form

  1. This is the family tree of the Ottoman dynasty, written by Mahmud ibn Shaik Ramadan in the 16th century

  2. Such works are typically found recorded on long paper scrolls, allowing ample space for the family trees

  3. The geometric scheme is maintained in book form, connecting red lines allow for a kind of sequence

Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (2)
Description
Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār

The Ottoman dynasty through the centuries: the so-called Rosary of World History is a genealogical work of the highest artistic quality. It is also an unusual manuscript for this genre because was created as a codex rather than a scroll.

Rosary of World History

This is the family tree of the Ottoman dynasty, called the Rosary of World History. It was written by Mahmud ibn Shaik Ramadan who lived during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. This family tree has since been appended in the years to follow. Such works are typically found recorded on long paper scrolls, whereby the character of the family tree stands out all the more clearly. Nonetheless, the geometric scheme is maintained in book form, and the connecting red lines were stretched to the margins of the pages in order that they build a sequence from page to page. These family trees offer little in the way of new insights for historians, but they are of great art-historical worth nonetheless.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Rosary of World History
Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte
Subḥat al-aḫbār
Genealogy of Suleiman the Magnificent
Biblia Otomana
Size / Format
34 pages / 30.0 × 18.5 cm
Date
17th century
Language
Illustrations
102 medallion miniatures

Available facsimile editions:
Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār – Cod. Vindob. AF 50 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1981

Biblia Otomana (Subhat-al-ahbar)
CM Editores – Salamanca, 2021
Detail Picture

Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār

Introduction

The introduction page has a decorative header that is as splendid and detailed as any of the miniatures that follow. It is an exemplary specimen of Islamic art and has the title written against a gold leaf background on a carpet, a popular decorative element in Muslim manuscripts that also appeared in Christian art, Insular manuscripts in particular. The deep blue background contrasts wonderfully with the winding golden tendrils, which are filled with colorful blooming flowers.

Der Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte
Single Page

Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār

Orhan, Murad I, Bayezid I, and Mehmed I

After tracing their line back to early Muslim rulers, Persian dynasties, historic figures like Alexander the Great, and biblical figures ranging from Adam and Eve to Jesus Christ, the manuscript depicts the actual line of descent of the Ottoman’s ruling house. Four beys (chieftains) and sultans are presented here in glimmering golden medallions with golden flowers.

These four monarchs ruled over the Ottoman Turks from 1323 to 1421, a century during which time they established themselves as the most powerful force in the Middle East. They are all shown sitting cross legged and leaning up against large cushions. Each is dressed in a turban with flowing brocade robes and Bayezid I, who built one of the world’s largest armies, holds a sword.

Der Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte
Facsimile Editions

#1 Der Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte

Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār – Cod. Vindob. AF 50 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Rosary of World History - Subḥat al-aḫbār – Cod. Vindob. AF 50 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Commentary: 1 volume (8 pages) by Kurt Holter
Language: German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!

#2 Biblia Otomana (Subhat-al-ahbar)

CM Editores – Salamanca, 2021

Publisher: CM Editores – Salamanca, 2021
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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