Songül Çolak

Keywords: 18TH Century, Ottoman, Ahmed Bin Mahmud, History

Abstract

There remain a very large number of hand-written Ottoman manuscripts outside of Turkey that are awaiting investigation. One of these is a single copy of a manuscript, today in the collection of the Berlin Staatsbibliolthek Orientabtilung (Ms.or.quart 1209), that was written by Ahmed Bin Mahmud, a clerk at the hazine-i birun (Public Treasury). Very little is known about either this manuscript or about its writer, Ahmed b. Mahmud, a researcher of Ottoman history. Actually, Ahmed b. Mahmud was, both a witness and a recorder of the political, social, and economic changes that were occurring in the Ottoman Empire of the 18th century. For this reason, this record represents a primary resource for those who are researching the history of the Ottoman State during this time period. The almost 150 page portion of the manuscript that is devoted to the events occurring within the state during the years spanning 1711-1759 represents a very significant chronicle. Because Ahmed b. Mahmud was not an official state historian he was able to impart his own ideas into the chronicle and in this respect this manuscript becomes quite different from other contemporary chronicles. In this work, for the first time Ahmed bin Mahmud ventures off part of an endeavor to bring a more general perspective to his life and his work.