By Robert Dankoff
Evliya Celebi was once the seventeenth century's so much diligent, adventurous, and sincere recorder, whose puckish wit and humor are laced all through his ten-volume masterpiece. This fresh translation brings Evliya sparklingly again to existence. ""Well worthy a read.""-Irish Echo 7/2011
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Additional info for An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya Celebi
It is on the western side of this town, a small convent with a grassy meadow and a few weeping willows. If a Hindu dies in Istanbul and its environs, the body is brought here and cremated. This humble one witnessed it three times. Convent of the Indian Kalender dervishes. It is at the head of the Kağıthane bridge. They are all Muslims. Sultan Ibrahim Khan, like Ibrahim ibn Adham (a famous Sufi, d. 777), used to set aside his crown and share food with the dervishes at this Indian convent. 4 Elsewhere (Vol.
Bilal recited a Fatiha. ’ He told me to kiss his blessed hand. ’ He recited a Fatiha, and all the noble Companions recited it after him. I kissed the hands of everyone present in the assembly and received each one’s blessing. Some of their hands smelled of musk, some of ambergris, some of hyacinths, some of roses, some of sweet basil, some of wild basil, some of violets, some of carnations. But the scent of the Prophet was of a blooming saffron rose. And when I kissed his right hand, it felt as if it had no bones and was soft as cotton.
Due to your friendship, I have sent to you this amount of money from the treasury and these jewels. Sell them and spend the money, and take pains to finish the mosque. ’ The emissary arrived with such taunting letters before Süleyman Khan, who was surrounded by a sea of labourers and masons employed about the mosque. Süleyman was incensed by the letter. In the presence of the emissary he distributed the 1000 purses of money to the Jews in Istanbul, and not a grain was left. He addressed the emissary, saying: The heretic on judgement day Will be an ass beneath the Jew.