printed surface: 100×160 mm;
page: 150×200 mm;
Müteferrika tried to rediscover the New World
for the Turkish public with this historical and natural historical
description of the American continent with the publication of this work,
abounding in engraved illustrations. The author of the work which served
as a basis to the printed version was Mehmed
bin Hasan al-Sucûdī (died 1591), but the authorship of Seydī cAlī Re’īs
(1498-1562) has been proposed as well. The earliest copy of the work was
donated to Sultan Murād III (1574-1595) in 1583, almost a century after
the discovery of the new continent.
The volume, which can be divided into two major sections, offers a more detailed and ampler historical (1492-1552) and geographical description of the continent than the books published in the 16th and 17th century.
The 13 smaller illustrations show not only human figures, animals and plants, but also fabulous creatures. The printed version complements with modern astronomical charts and maps the text which has been preserved in its original form. The engraving illustrating the seven zones was also included in the printed version of Cihānnümā (see item 11).
Two copies of the work are preserved in the Oriental
shelfmark: 756.152] and [MTAK shelfmark: 768.410]. The latter
also includes some possessor’s notes, the earliest being of April 1743.
Not every copy included the three supplemental fold-out maps, so for
example the first of the above two copies have them (after fols 4 and 8),
while the second not.