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Arts&Culture Lecture Series: A. Tunc Sen

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Yunus Emre Institute

10 Maple Street

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W1T 5HA

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ARTS&CULTURE LECTURE SERIES

“Why did Piri Reis call Christopher Columbus a ‘munajjim’? Exploring the Cultural History of Astrology in the Early Modern Ottoman World

By Dr. A. Tunç Şen (Leiden University)

@yeelondra

Date: Thursday 4th May 2017
Time: 7 pm
Venue: Yunus Emre Enstitüsü – London
10 Maple Street, London, W1T 5HA

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For more information: londra@yee.org.tr

Why did Piri Reis call Christopher Columbus a ‘munajjim’? Exploring the Cultural History of Astrology in the Early Modern Ottoman World

In his Book of Navigation (Kitāb-ı Baḥriye) the famous sixteenth-century Ottoman cartographer and naval captain Piri Reis introduces Christopher Columbus as a Genoese “munajjim”, who possessed a legendary book that descended from the time of Alexander and comprised of the secrets of the science of sea. Taking Piri Reis’ curious appellation as a stepping-stone, Şen will probe in this talk the social, cultural, and scientific order in the early modern Ottoman world that provides ample evidence to challenge modern widespread assumptions about the practice of astrology and identity of astrologers in the Ottoman realm.

A. Tunç Şen is Assistant Professor of Ottoman History and Culture in the Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) at Leiden University. He received his PhD (2016) in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Anchored in early modern Ottoman history, culture, and philology, his main areas of research and teaching include the history of knowledge, science, and the occult in late-medieval and early modern Islamicate world, practices of reading and writing in Islamic manuscript culture, and comparative political and religious history of the Turko-Persian polities in the post-Mongol era. His published and forthcoming research includes studies on Ottoman dream narratives, cultivation of astrology and other divinatory practices in the early modern Ottoman world, social and cultural history of Ottoman learned class, and Ottoman book culture.

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Yunus Emre Institute

10 Maple Street

London

W1T 5HA

United Kingdom

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