KĀŠEFI

KĀŠEFI (d. 9th/15th century), an Ottoman poet of Iranian origin who composed the epic poem Ḡazā-nāma-ye Rum on the lives of the Ottoman sultans Morād II (r. 1421-44 and 1446-51) and Moḥammad II (r. 1444-46 and 1451-81). The date and place of his birth and his real name are unknown. In his work, he referred to himself only as Kāšefi. According to the autobiographical elements in his work, he first visited various Arabian countries but left because of political disturbances (enqelāb). After a long journey and many hardships he reached Istanbul, where he lived for some time as a jester and minstrel. He was living in poverty until he met the renowned Ottoman statesman and poet Abu’l-Fażl Aḥmad b. Wali-al-Din Pasha (d. 902/1496), who introduced him to Meḥmed (Moḥammad) Pasha, the grand vizier. The latter brought him to the palace of Sultan Moḥammad II (Meḥmed). The Sultan was very generous towards him and invited him to stay as a poet at his palace. From this time on, there is no further information on his life, and the time of his death remains unknown.

The only work of Kāšefi that has come down to us is the Ḡazā-nāma-ye Rum. It is an epic in 1,139 couplets, probably written for Abu’l-Fażl Aḥmed around 1456. It begins with a narration on the birth, childhood, education, and enthronement of Sultan Moḥammad II and continues with an account of the crusades of 1444 (the battle of Varna) and 1448 (the battle of Kosova), which were fought between Morād II and various European powers. The work comes to a sudden end with the wedding of Moḥammad II.

The Ḡazā-nāma-ye Rum is one of the best Ottoman sources on the battle of Varna (İnalcık, p. 111). The author drew on eyewitness accounts of the battle, thus providing valuable and very detailed information on strategy, weapons, and conduct of warfare. It is also equally significant as the oldest Persian work written in the style of Ferdowsi’s Šāh-nāma during the Ottoman Empire. Kāšefi also used some couplets from the Šāh-nāma. The only known manuscript of the Ḡazā-nāma-ye Rum is kept at the Library of Istanbul University (İstanbul Üniversitesi Kütüphanesi, FY, no. 1388; on the manuscript see Tauer, pp. 94-95; Sobḥāni-Āqsu, pp. 601-2; Özgüdenli, p. 441). It was written in fine nastaʿliq script probably in the 10th/16th century (Sobḥāni-Āqsu, p. 601); some folios (e.g., 29b 37b) seem to be missing.

Adnan Sadık Erzi (d. 1990) worked on an edition of the Ḡazā-nāma, but it has not been published. A Turkish translation with an introduction and the facsimile reproduction of the manuscript (pp. 46-90) was presented by Moḥammad-Ebrāhim M. Esmāʿil as an MA thesis. 

Bibliography:

Dāneš-nāma-ye adab-e fārsi VI: Adab-e fārsi dar Ānātuli wa Bālkān, ed. Ḥasan Anušah, Tehran, 2004, p. 681. 

Moḥammad-Ebrāhim M. Esmāʿil, “Kâşifî’nin Gazânâme-i Rûm Adlı Farsça Eseri ve Türkçe’ye Tercüme ve Tahlili,” Magister Thesis, Mimar Sinan Güzeaal Sanatlar Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Istanbul, 2005. 

Tawfiq Hāšempur and Sobḥāni Ḥosām-al-Din Āqsu [Hüsamettin Aksu], Fehrest-e nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭi-e fārsi-e Dānešgāh-e Estānbul, Tehran, 1995, pp. 601-2. 

Halil İnalcık, “Osmanlı Tarihçiliğinin Doğuşu,” in Oktay Özel and Mehmet Öz, eds., Söğüt’ten İstanbul’a: smanlı devleti’nin kuruluşu üzerine tartışmalar, Ankara, 2000, pp. 93-117.

Kāšefi, Ḡazā-nāma-ye Rum, İstanbul Üniversitesi Library, FY, no. 1388. 

Günay Kut, “Ahmed Paşa, Bursalı,” in Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi II, 1989, pp. 111-12. 

Elhāma Meftāḥ and Wahhāb Wali, Negāh-i ba ravand-e nofuḏ wa gostareš-e zabān o adab-e fārsi dar Torkiya, Tehran, 1995, p. 331. 

Saʿid Nafisi, Tāriḵ-e naẓm o naṯr dar Irān wa dar zabān-e fārsi tā pāyān-e qarn-e dahom-e hejri, 2 vols., Tehran, 1984, I, p. 338.

Osman G. Özgüdenlı, Turco-Iranica: Ortaçağ Türk-İran tarihi araştırmaları, Istanbul, 2006, p. 441, n. 52. 

Moḥammad-Amin Riāḥi, Zabān o adab-e fārsi dar qalamrow-e ʿOṯmāni, Tehran, 1990; tr. Mehmet Kanar as Osmanlı topraklarında fars dili ve edebiyatı, Istanbul, 1995, p. 153. 

Charles A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey I/2, London, 1970, p. 412. 

Felix Tauer, “Les manuscrits persans historiques des bibliothèques de Stamboul: Histoire des états Turcs en Asie Mineure et de l’empire Ottoman,” Archiv Orientální 4, 1932, pp. 92-107. 

Türk dili ve adebiyatı Ansiklopedisi III, Istanbul, 1978, pp. 295-96.

İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı tarihi, 4 vols., Ankara, 19885, II, p. 602.

Taḥsin Yāziji [Tahsin Yazıcı], Pārsinevisān-e Āsiā-ye Ṣaḡir, Tehran, 1992, p. 54. 

(Osman G. Özgüdenlı)

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