By Robert Dankoff

Evliya Celebi used to be 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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Extra resources for An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya Celebi

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None of the other hunters – whether the chief falconers, or the keepers of hounds of the palace gardeners or of the janissaries, or the janissaries of the Istıranca hunters’ corps – can interfere with these furriers’ hunters. They shoot swans, goldfinches, mallard drakes and speckled ducks in the Great and Little Çekmece inlets and in the Terkoz lakes, and give their throat-fur to the chief furrier and their wings to the chief arrowsmith. They too pass in procession with their game. Guild of leopard keepers.

Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas gave all these instructions while sitting at my side. What should I see next? A clear light broke through the door of the mosque. While the inside had already been filled with light, it was now light upon light (24:35). All the noble Companions and the spirits of the prophets and the saints rose to their feet and stood ready. The Prophet appeared felicitously at the foot of his green standard, with face veiled, staff in hand and sword girded at his waist. Hasan stood on his right and Husayn on his left.

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.

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