Ottoman Explorations of the Nile and Evliya Çelebi

Jo Salisbury Book Notes 3 Comments

The trust library was delighted to receive as a gift the newly published Ottoman Explorations of the Nile : Evliya Çelebi’s ‘Matchless Pearl These Reports of the Nile’ map and his accounds of the Nile and the Horn of Africa in The Book of Travels by Robert Dankoff, Nuran Tezcan and Michael D. Sheridan.  This is a new, revised and expanded English edition of the 2010 Turkish publication, which first contextualises Çelebi’s elaborate map of the Nile and his account of his Nile journeys in Volume 10 of his Seyahatname (The Books of Travels) and then presents both the map and travel account in an English translation.  The book is the third in the Royal Asiatic Society‘s Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund Series, published in collaboration with the Gingko Library and includes a folded, colour copy of the complete map of the Nile (held in the Vatican Library; Vat. Turc. 73).

As the preface states, these two documents attest to “the most ambitious effort, before the time of Napoleon…to explore and map out the Nile…undertaken by the Ottomans – circa 1685 – and both apparently by the same man.” (Preface, x).

The book can be accessed for reference in AIIT’s library, shelfmark: AIIT.a.1972



Comments 3

  1. Post

    Thank you for your response to our blog post. Although we do hold a copy of Evliya Çelebi’s book ‘Ottoman Explorations of the Nile’, our collection does not include maps of that region. You could try several institutions that may have maps by Evliya Çelebi from 1672 (which I believe is when he was in the Sudan) including; The British Library (, The Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies (, most Turkish Universities hold full catalogues of Çelebi’s books, also the American University in Cairo. They may also hold access to the online version of ‘Ottoman Explorations’ and ‘The Ottoman Traveller: selections from the Book of Travels by Evliya Çelebi.

    I hope this is helpful.

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