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Quarantine in the Ottoman Empire: ترجمان حقيقت و مصور ثروت فنون



[Tercüman-ı Hakikat ve Musavver Servet-i Fünûn / Interpreter of Truth and Servet-i Fünun]

A special edition of a cultural magazine with a first modern Ottoman article on the quarantine by a prominent author Ahmet Mithat

Small Folio, 158 pp., [2 pp.] index, [8 pp.] with portraits printed recto only, original green boards with imperial insignia, later black cloth spine (soft folds in paper, margins with small tears and sporadic small loss of paper, sporadic old annotations, bindind slighty scuffed and restored).

1 in stock


A joined publication of two Ottoman periodicals, a daily Tercüman-ı Hakikat (Interpreter of Truth) and a modern journal Servet-i Fünun (Wealth of Knowledge) was published in 1897 to support the Muslims of the island of Crete. In February of that year, the Great Powers sent their troops to the island, which finished the Ottoman rule and marked the beginning of the Cretan State, which lasted until 1908.

The magazine includes various short literary texts, reports and poems, written by prominent Ottoman authors, many of which are illustrated with their portraits on the last pages. This illustrated pages offer a valuable visual information for the researches of the Ottoman literature and science.

Possibly the most important article in the publication, printed on the last pages of the magazine is titled “Karantina” (The Quarantine) and was written by a prominent Ottoman journalist and author Ahmet Mithat (1844-1912), who also served as a Quarantine minister. It is the first modern text on the quarantine in the Ottoman Empire and it is the first article describing the history and use of the procedure. Ahmet Mithat derived the word from the Italian quarantene or quaranta giorni, meaning 40 days, first used in the 14th century in Dubrovnik to isolate the arriving ships and people for 40 days to fight the plague.

References: 977109841, 1030919307, 269208184, 976860512, 1036258956, 777687671, 39830643 & 643952371 (including eBooks).


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