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Mathematical Treasure: Katib Celebi’s Cihannuma

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Kātib Çelebi (1609–1657) was a Turkish intellectual who wrote numerous scientific treatises and commentaries while he held government positions in the Ottoman Empire. He was especially known for drawing maps. In his Cihânnümâ (completed after 1648), he brought together Islamic traditions in geography with new information revealed by European explorations and the Scientific Revolution. A page from a 1732 copy is shown below.

Drawing of an armillary sphere from Cihānnümā by Katib Celebi.

This image appeared in the Muslim Heritage blog on December 31, 2021, to announce An Ottoman Cosmography: Translation of Cihānnümā, translated by Ferenc Csirkés, John Curry, and Gary Leiser and edited by Gottfried Hagen and Robert Dankoff (Brill, 2021).

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Katib Celebi’s Cihannuma," Convergence (December 2022)