[FIRST ENGINEERING ENCYCLOPEDIÆ IN THE MIDDLE EAST] Mecmuatü'l-mühendisîn. [i.e. Encyclopediæ of the engineering]

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HÜSEYIN RIFKI [TAMANÎ], (1750-1814), Matbaa-i Âmîre, Kostantiniyye [Constantinople - Istanbul], [AH 1260] = 1844.

Original full dark brown leather bdg. Decorated borders on boards, five compartments on the spine, second lettered gilt in the title. Cr. 8vo. (19 x 14 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 294 p., 17 folded engraved plates, and richly engraved illustrations.

Early edition of this extremely rare encyclopedic book of the first comprehensive Ottoman engineering including the firsts in Ottoman literature of science, especially on various subjects of modern physics and mechanics, cartography, map making, surveying, arrangement of army camps, construction of pulleys, cannon shooting, etc. This book was written by Hüseyin Rifki, who was the chief professor of the Mühendishâne [i.e. Ottoman Engineering School] and was assigned to Medina, Arabia in 1816 to repair the holy buildings in Medina, Arabia. Another important aspect of the book is that it contains the ratios between the measurements used in various European countries before the meter system and the Ottoman measurements, as well as French measures and scales. Early typographic imprint on European paper with a watermark.

Hüseyin Rifki translated the ancient mathematician Euclid's book Elements, in which he laid the foundations of geometry, from the English original of the English mathematician John Bonnycastle (1760-1821) in 1789, into Turkish with the name of "Usul-i Hendese", together with Selim Efendi, a converted English engineer. He was appointed as "Engineering-i Berri-i Hümâyûn Serhocasi" [i.e. The Chief Professor of the Engineering School] after the Code of Engineers was put into effect in 1806. He served as the chief teacher between 1806 and 1816. He was sent to the Balkans in 1816 and then was assigned to repair the holy buildings in Medina, Arabia. He died in 1817, just after returning from Mecca to Medina.

Özege 12620.; TBTK 14349.; This edition is not located in OCLC.

-- Engineering History of Science Middle East