Notes sur le 'Târîh-i Ungurus' de Terdzümân Mahmûd. [Separatum Acta Orient. Hung. tomus XIII. Fasc. 1-2).
HAZAI GYÖRGY, (1932-2016).
Acta Orient. Hung., Budapest, 1961.
Paperback. Roy. 8vo. (24 x 17 cm). In French. 70-84 pp. Including the introduction, transcription in Ottoman Turkish, translation into French, and facsimile of the original manuscript text in the Ottoman Turkish. "The Tarih-i Ungurus, written between 1543 and 1566, tells the history of the lands of Hungary from the conquest of the region by Alexander the Great to the death of King Louis II at the Battle of Mohács in 1526. The only known copy is held in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, where it arrived after its rediscovery and initial publication by Ármin Vámbéry in 1860. The 210 folios of unillustrated text are composed of a combination of Ottoman Turkish prose and verse. The title page reads Tarih-i Ungurus with the partially rubbed out subtitle Iskendername, or history of Alexander the Great. The page also includes the signatures of two previous owners, one Muhammed Amin Abu l'Is'ad Tusturzade and the other of the nineteenth-century scholar Vámbéry. Hazai, the publisher of the critical edition, found no evidence to suggest it exists in other forms, concluding that this was the autograph copy. Thus, the text cannot have been created before the capture of Székesfehérvár in 1543, given the reference to the event, and its dedication to Sultan Suleiman provides it with a terminus ante quem of 1566, the year the sultan died on the battlefield in Szigetvár. The self-deprecating request for a favor from the “current padishah and those that follow” seems to be a formulaic request for support. Given the date range and the information contained within, it seems quite plausible that the work operated in dialogue with the ongoing consolidation of power in the conquered portions of the fragmented Hungarian territories. The author, Tercüman Mahmud, was a well-known dragoman (translator, or, interpreter) at the Ottoman court of Sultan Suleiman. His unusually prolific diplomatic career has been reconstructed by scholars from archives in Vienna and Istanbul. Captured during the Battle of Mohács, he came from a Viennese Jewish family. Before his conversion, his name was Sebold von Pibrach, the son of a burgher merchant, Jacob von Pibrach. He was well educated and arrived in the palace schools reading and writing in Latin, German, and Hungarian. During his tenure, he served in diplomatic missions to Transylvania (1550 and 1554), Poland (1543 and 1554), Paris (1569), Venice, and Cypress (1570), Vienna (1550, 1574) and finally Prague (1575) where he died. Some scholars question if Tercüman Mahmud composed the Tarih-i Ungurus, based primarily on the fact that tough while only one dragoman by the name of Mahmud operated at the time, he left no evidence that he wrote works of history outside of this volume. This led Hazai to suggest that he commissioned the work, or at the very least worked closely with a secondary author more well versed in Ottoman Turkish and Arabic. Hazai’s critical edition includes a philological study of the quality and character of the Ottoman Turkish and Arabic quotations used throughout the text. Looking for traces of the author’s German roots in syntax errors, he concludes that text suggests multiple authors who wielded Ottoman Turkish and Arabic as native speakers. Identifying a few mistakes and few loan words, Hazai also suggested that the deformed names suggested the hand of a non-German speaker. In an earlier publication, Hazai also suggested that the missing words were probably meant to be written in a different color, and thus blames errors on a scribe rather than hypothesizing about a secondary author.". (Source: Ottoman Hungary - Blog spot).