Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar Dergisi Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

Translations as Ego-Documents: Notes of Two Ottoman Physicians in the Turkish Translation of Ibn Baytar’s Kitab Al-Mughni



This article examines the lives and ideas of two seventeenthcentury Ottoman physicians, Muhammed b. Ahmed of Edirne and his disciple İbrahim b. Hüseyin Çavuş, as reflected in their notes in the Turkish translation of Ibn Baytar’s Kitab al-Mughni. In these notes, Muhammed b. Ahmed emerges as a Kadızadeli-minded Turkish physician, translator, and a “world traveler” who claimed to have traveled the world for “forty to fifty years.” In contrast, his disciple İbrahim b. Hüseyin Çavuş appears as a religiously moderate Ottoman officer who had a passion for medicine. These notes disclose new interpretive possibilities for early modern Ottoman cultural and medical history and help researchers explore untold stories of several individuals and groups. They reveal details that are often difficult to find in conventional sources and constitute hitherto neglected personal narratives or ego-documents. They also contain new insights into some of the critical events in the period, including the Kadızadeli movement and the 1672 Kamaniçe campaign. Ultimately, these notes remind us of the need in Ottoman studies to scrutinize translations under a new light.

M. Fatih Çalışır

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