Yunus Emre Enstitüsü – London presents a lecture in the Arts & Culture Series by Dr. A. Tunç Şen (Leiden University): “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,Dr. A. Tunç 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.
Dr. 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.
Admission is free, but registration is required at https://tuncsen.eventbrite.co.uk