Kâtip Çelebi

February 1609 - Oct 6, 1657

Kâtip Çelebi, or Ḥājjī Khalīfa; was the celebrated Ottoman-Turkish polymath and leading literary author of the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. He compiled a vast universal encyclopaedia, the famous Kaşf az-Zunūn, and wrote many treatises and essays. “A deliberate and impartial historian… of extensive learning”, Franz Babinger hailed him "the greatest encyclopaedist among the Ottomans."
Writing with equal facility in Alsina-i Thalātha—the three languages of Ottoman imperial administration, Arabic, Turkish and Persian – principally in Arabic and then in Turkish, his native tongue— he also collaborated on translations from French and Latin. The German orientalist Gustav Flügel published Kaşf az-Zunūn in the original Arabic with parallel Latin translation, entitled Lexicon Bibliographicum et Encyclopaedicum. The orientalist Barthélemy d'Herbelot produced a French edition of the Kaşf az-Zunūn principally with additional material, in the great compendium, Bibliothèque Orientale.
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