Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Codex Vindobonensis AF 50

Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte - Subḥat al-aḫbār Facsimile Edition

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This is the family tree of the Ottoman dynasty, called "Rosary of World History". It was written by Mahmud ibn Shaik Ramadan who lived during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century.

“The portraits of the six Ottoman Sultans are found on the last two sides of this Subhat al-ahbar (Rosenkranz of world history) family tree of the house of Osman, written by Darwis Mahmud ibn Saih Ramadan, during the time of Sulaiman the Magnificent who lived in the 16th century. This family tree in the manuscript was continually lengthened over time. Often one finds such works written on long paper rolls so that the members of the family tree are more clearly prominent. However, in book form the geometric pattern is also maintained and the connecting red lines are drawn completely to the edge so that they form a kind of continuum from page to page. For the historian these family trees offer little new information, however they still hold cultural historical worth. In the manuscript, the genealogy begins with Adam and Eve, their children and the prophets of the Old Testaments, alongside are portraits of old legendary Iranian rulers in succession (as they are known in the ahn=ma) and finally Alexander the Great, John the Baptist, Christ, then Mohammed with caliphs following behind him and other religious political personalities. The line is continued forward through the most important rulers and Caliphs of Middle Age Islamic history and as well as the periodic insertion of various Turkish ancestors and legendary Turkish princes, which lead into attestable rulers of the early Persian dynasties and then to the Mongols, Ilhans and Timurides. Sulaiman, Ertogrul, Utmanazi and Orjan mark the entrance of the Ottoman Dynasty, which shows the governing rulers in complete order. The Sultans themselves appear in portraits, the family members shown by name in golden Oriental Manuscripts circular disks. A short biography of the Sultans is attached in Nash writing on each medallion portrait. From an artistic standpoint the drawings of the miniatures display a special full quality in their design, fine colour choice and soft shaping. The European influence, which is also somewhat noticeable in the throne representations, includes such a strong Eastern ornamental perspective, that the maturity and self-confidence of the painters personality shines through.” 

Exhibition Catalog “Culture of Islam”, Vienna, Austria. National Library 1980

We have 2 facsimiles of the manuscript "Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte - Subḥat al-aḫbār":

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Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
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#1 Biblia Otomana (Subhat-al-ahbar)

Salamanca: CM Editores, 2021

  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte - Subḥat al-aḫbār: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

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#2 Der Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1981

  • Commentary (German) by Holter, Kurt
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Rosenkranz der Weltgeschichte - Subḥat al-aḫbār: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

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