In the 1720s, the Ottoman grand vizier Dāmād İbrāhīm Pasha ordered a translation of the Persian world history Ḥabīb al-Siyar into Turkish. The chronicle deals with the history of the Islamic world until the 1520s and was penned 200 years earlier by the historian Khvāndamīr in Iran for the ruling dynasty of the Safavids. As its author composed it for the archenemies of the Ottomans and gave it a Shiʿi outlook, the committee of eight translators assigned by the grand vizier faced the challenge of translating explicitly anti-Ottoman and pro-Shiʿi sections within the text. By contextualizing the Turkish version of the Ḥabīb al-Siyar, the article sheds light on the question of how texts were translated during the so-called Tulip Age. Specifically, it analyzes the approach taken by the translators concerning historical events of utmost importance to the Ottomans, such as Sultan Bāyezīd I’s defeat by Timur at Ankara in 804/1402 and Sultan Selīm’s victory over Shah Ismāʿīl at Chāldirān in 920/1514. Another point of interest is the depiction of the Sayyid lineage of the Safavids as given in both texts, which was a controversial issue between the two dynasties for centuries.
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