Historical Mesnevis in Istanbul

During the times of Suleyman the Magnificent many a poem was written on the battles the Sultan and his immediate companions were involved in. Among these works there are those which are anonymous due to loss of names of their poets or even those which we know exist by certain poets but cannot locate. Some of the poets who wrote about the wars and battles of those days were Arifi. Bahari, Eyyubi, Futuhi, Gubari. Hadidi, Haki, Levhi, Mahfi, Mahremi, Merahi and Senai. In addition to these, Muradi, Nidai, Nigari and Yetimi wrote mesnevis glorifying the battles of Barbarossa, Oruç Reis, Piyale Pasha and Sinan Pasha.

Arifi (died 969/1562) wrote a mesnevi of sixty thousand couplets on Ottoman history of which we have only one single section in our possesions today on the personal orders of Suleyman the Lawgiver. The work was about the rule of Sultan Yavuz Selim, also encompassing the first years of Suleyman the Lawgiver. Still another work by another poet, “Ungurus Fetihnamesi” of Bahari describes the campaign to Hungary in the year of 932/1526, consisting of three hundred and some couplets. Eyyubi’s mesnevi of a thousand and five hundred couplets about the Rhodes and Budin campaigns,  and Futuhi’s “Enisü-l Guzal” is about the campaign to Hungary in 932/1526.

Besides the usual names given to mesnevi’s about warfare such as fetlhnaine Con conquest), gazavatname Con battle) and Şehname Con Commander), we see that the words Selim-name are developed during this period as new phrases of literature.

Gubari who was mentioned previously and who has another historical work called “Gazavat-i Midilli” wrote his “Süleymanname” in Persian.

This work was a mixture of prose and verse, and it was completed in 959/1551. It contains a number of eulogies on Suleyman the Lawgiver.

Hadidi lived during the first years of Suleyman the Lawgiver. He wrote and completed “Tevarih-i Al-i Osman”, a mesnevi encompassing the days of the empire up to his times in more than six thousand couplets, in 930/1523-1524. Starting with the six thousand seventy fourth couplets he wrote about Suleyman and his rule.

The “Süleymanname” by Haki Efendi was written on the order of Suleyman the Lawgiver when the poet was cadi of Nigde. Haki Efendi described the campaigns of Erivan and Nahcevan C961/1554) in this work.