A Study of the Two Types of Versions of İdris-i Bitlisî's Heşt Bihişt
Keywords: İdris-i Bitlisî, Heşt Bihişt, Ottoman, Eight Paradises, Persian
The chronicle Heşt Bihişt (Eight Paradises), written in Persian by İdris Bitlisi in the early 16th century, occupies a special space among the sources concerning the early Ottoman period. Except for some research done on its various copies during the 1920's and 1930's, this work has not been sufficiently studied up to now, even though it has long been considered a very important source about Ottoman history. Recently we have investigated approximately forty copies of Heşt Bihişt in Istanbul. At the end of our research, we have reached the conclusion that from the point of view of the choice of words and differences of expression, these copies can be subdivided into two categories. In this article we explain why and how these two types were born, the differences and characteristics of each type and in the conclusion we attempt to establish which type should be preferred for future research. In summary, the copies kept as Esad Efendi 2198-2199 in the Süleymaniye Library are termed the B type and derive from the work dedicated to Sultan Bayezid II around the year 913/1507-08, while the copies kept as Esad Efendi 2197 in the Süleymaniye Library are termed the A type and derive from the work dedicated to Sultan Yavuz Selim around the year 919/1513-14. Clearly, the copy, which we must use for future research is the one included in the A type and which was written down by İdris Bitlisi himself. However, we must also use copies of the B type that include passages that were erased in the A type and that were written by İdris himself.