Academics discover 550-year-old Italian epic poem for Sultan Mehmed

Dorothy S. Bass

Historical past is stuffed with misplaced works of artwork, but from time to time luck offers an undiscovered gem. That is how affiliate professor Filiz Barın Akman of Social Sciences at the College of Ankara, and her wife or husband and tutorial Beyazıt Akman, unearthed a 5,000-line epic poem from the Renaissance time period prepared by an Italian poet in honor of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.

The operate, titled “Amyris, de vita et gestis Mahometi Turcorum imperatoris” (“Emir: The Lifetime and Conquests of Mehmet the Turkish Emperor”), was published by poet and historian Gian Mario Filelfo in 1475.

The Akman few, in an job interview with the Anadolu Agency (AA), spoke about the discovery and the capabilities of the get the job done. The perform has not been translated into Turkish or English in the just about 550 yrs of its heritage and has not been the subject of any academic study.

Beyazıt Akman stated that he was functioning with his spouse on the notion of Turks and Islam in the West. “We have been continuously hoping to locate new sources. In our study, we have observed various references to this work and the creator, but we experienced hardly ever found the do the job by itself. Citations to this perform had been also citing as a result of citations. We have not encountered a examine that reads and interprets the operate from beginning to finish,” he claimed.


'Amyris, de vita et gestis Mahometi Turcorum imperatoris' (Emir: The Life and Conquests of Mehmet the Turkish Emperor), a Latin 5,000-line epic poem written by Gian Mario Filelfo in honor of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1475. (AA Photo)
“Amyris, de vita et gestis Mahometi Turcorum imperatoris” (Emir: The Lifetime and Conquests of Mehmet the Turkish Emperor), a Latin 5,000-line epic poem prepared by Gian Mario Filelfo in honor of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1475. (AA Image)

Akman claimed they have a facsimile duplicate of the do the job printed in Italy in 1978, and underlined that they will test to get to the first Latin manuscript from the Bibliotheque de Geneve library in Geneva, Switzerland.

He explained that their first move would be to full the poem’s translation.

“Right up until now, it ought to have been translated into lots of languages, not just Turkish, and should really have been the issue of lots of reports. Can you picture, an Italian wrote a work of 5,000 lines on Sultan Mehmed in the 15th century, and it was not translated into any language,” Akman reported.

“If this get the job done experienced been penned about a Christian emperor and not a Muslim Turkish ruler, I am sure it would have been described between classical epics this kind of as Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. They imprisoned it in the archives of their libraries.”

“There is no question that orientalist historiography has a terrific influence on the fact that the get the job done has been unidentified to these kinds of a diploma right until now. We 1st want to translate this perform into Turkish and English, and then assess it. I will not know why it has not attracted anyone’s awareness for five hundreds of years,” he said.

Literature’s Bellini

Akman pointed out that Filelfo’s poem carried as substantially historic importance as Venetian artist Gentile Bellini’s well known portrait of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.

“Undoubtedly, this do the job is no distinctive from Bellini’s portrait of Mehmed. What 1 did with the art of painting, the other did with literature. It is important that the operate is offered to our own persons and other cultures with up-to-date translations. With this project, we intention to fill this hole.”

In the meantime, Filiz Akman gave some perception into the background and the tale of the poem.


'Amyris, de vita et gestis Mahometi Turcorum imperatoris' (Emir: The Life and Conquests of Mehmet the Turkish Emperor), a Latin 5,000-line epic poem written by Gian Mario Filelfo in honor of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1475. (AA Photo)
“Amyris, de vita et gestis Mahometi Turcorum imperatoris” (Emir: The Everyday living and Conquests of Mehmet the Turkish Emperor), a Latin 5,000-line epic poem written by Gian Mario Filelfo in honor of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1475. (AA Picture)

Just after Sultan Mehmed conquered Istanbul, amongst all those imprisoned was the brother-in-regulation of a Venetian service provider named Othman Lillo Ferducci of Ancona. Ferducci sent a letter to the Sultan, asking his brother-in-legislation to be introduced, and the Sultan freed him without demanding any ransom.

Influenced by the Sultan’s gallant act, Ferducci extra the name “Othman” to his title as a demonstrate of gratitude, as “Othman” was the title of Sultan Mehmed’s ancestor and the founder of the Ottoman Empire. He also requested from his pal, Renaissance poet Gian Mario Filelfo, born in Pera in 1426, to write an epic poem about Sultan Mehmed, describing his achievements and conquests.

“He aimed to thank the Sultan and convey his thanks to him,” she reported.

Akman noted that the operate will be translated from the Latin unique into Turkish and English, accompanied with comprehensive literary readings and explanations of the historical context. She stated that they goal to have the book on cabinets in a handful of months.

The guide will be published by Kopernik Publishing less than the title, “Emir: Fatih’s Epic of 5 Generations.”

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