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Document Details :
Title: Ottoman Philology and the Origins of Persian Studies in Western Europe
Subtitle: The Gulistān's Orientalist Readers
Author(s): BABINSKI, Paul
Volume: 46 Issue: 2 Date: 2019
This article reconstructs how the study of Persian literature in non-Ottoman Europe developed over the course of the seventeenth century through a sustained encounter with an earlier Ottoman philological tradition. Focusing on the case of Sa'dī’s Gulistān, this article examines the manuscripts of the orientalists who first collected, read, and translated the work to reveal their sources, reading practices, and collaborations with Persian-speaking scribal assistants. These efforts culminated in the 1651 publication of Georg Gentius’ Rosarium Politicum, the first complete translation of the Gulistān in non-Ottoman Europe. After detailing the working practices of orientalists like Adam Olearius, Jacob Golius, and Gilbert Gaulmin, this article shows how Gentius encountered the text in Istanbul through the Turkish commentary of Aḥmed Sūdī, which he studied under the supervision of an Ottoman scholar, and how subsequent generations of readers read Gentius’ translation alongside earlier commentaries.