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Mustafa 'Âli And The Epic Deeds Of Artists

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Chapter Summary

Accounts of the life and work of Mustafa ʿÂli of Gallipoli are found in two of his works; Ṣadef-i Ṣad Güher, a versified text including autobiographic notes dated 1593, and Nüsḥ atu's-Selāṭīn dated 1563, a treatise on reform focusing on the causes and suggested remedies for the alleged Ottoman decline in the sixteenth century. At the end of a long and productive life during which he served four Ottoman sultans, Mustafa ʿÂli left behind nearly fifty-five works in about five thousand manuscript folios. The Epic Deeds is a prose narrative with interspersed verse having to do with the lives and works of calligraphers, decoupage artists, illuminators, painters, limners, book repairers, and binders. There are today twenty extant versions of the text: eighteen in manuscript form and two printed editions. All of the manuscript copies were reproduced from a finished version and no draft by Mustafa ʿÂli exists.

Keywords: Epic Deeds; manuscript copies; Mustafa ʿÂli; Ottoman sultan



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