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A Book Of Kings Produced And Presented As A Treatise On Hunting

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Chapter Summary

In the Topkapı Palace collection is an early-seventeenth-century manuscript secured in a fine leather binding, an Ottoman Turkish translation of a medieval Arabic text, ʿUmdat al-mulūk, bearing the title Tuḥfetü ?lmülūk ve?s-selāṭīn. It is composed of three parts, the first on hippiatry and hippology, the second on horsemanship, and the third on hunting. This chapter explores the contents of the third chapter on hunting. It demonstrates that not only the ?subject-types? of the Book of Kings?battle, hunt, and feast?but also the ?person-types??that is, its combatants, hunters, and partying royalty?appear in the Tuḥfetü ?lmülūk ve?s-selāṭīn, where they turn out, in both the text and the miniatures, to have lives of their own. Finally, the chapter argues that the miniatures, more than anything else, provide us with clues regarding the identity of the patron and his motives for the production of such a sumptuous manuscript.

Keywords: ʿUmdat al-mulūk; Book of Kings; early-seventeenth-century manuscript; hunting; medieval Arabic text; Topkapı palace; Tuḥfetü ?lmülūk ve?s-selāṭīn



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