DOI :10.26650/PB/AA08.2023.002.027   IUP :10.26650/PB/AA08.2023.002.027    Full Text (PDF)

George Amirutzes’s Arabic Translation of Ptolemy’s Geography made in 1465 at the Order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror: The Cultural Aspect of the Translation

Ebrahim Al Khaffaf

Ptolemy’s Geography is a significant book in terms of its impact on the history of science. This interesting work is a kind of atlas, gazetteer, and treatise on cartography, compiling the geographical knowledge of the 2nd-century Roman Empire. The Geography was originally written in the Greek language in Alexandria around 150 AD. The first Arabic translation of this book was made in the 9th century by al-Kindī. However, this paper deals with another late Arabic translation made by George Amirutzes and his son in 1465 at the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. Two manuscripts of this translation have survived, which are both in the Süleymaniye Library in Istanbul, under the numbers of Ayasofya Manuscripts 2610 and 2596. Because the latter manuscript is less discussed by scholars, this paper will primarily focus on it. At any rate, George Amirutzes is an important historical figure, not only because he had a very close relationship with Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, but because he also lived in a critical period, where power was transferred from the Byzantine Empire, which represented Christianity, to the Ottoman state, which represented Islam. Therefore, before talking about his translation, a discussion about the life of George Amirutzes would be fruitful. Since—as this paper will explain—the reason behind this translation could have some ideological and cultural motifs, thus, knowing some information about the translator could be relevant to the prospective research.


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