[SEBASTOPOL - THE CRIMEAN WAR] Manzûme-i Sivastopol. [i.e. The poetry for Sevastopol - Sebastopol]

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AHMED RIZÂ [RIZÂ'Î] TRABZONÎ, (1819-1893)., Istanbul, [AH 1286] = 1869.

Contemporary cloth bdg. Marbled boards. Roy. 8vo. (24 x 17 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 84 p. Slight marginal stains, wear on extremities. Overall a good copy. Hegira 1286 = Gregorian 1869.

Lithographed edition. Extremely rare first edition of this poetic eyewitness and first-hand account of the Siege of Sebastopol (1854-1855) during the Crimean War by the allies with the support of the Imperial Ottoman and the Kingdom of Sardinia against the Russian army. It's the first and only work written by Rizâ'î (1819-1893), containing 2,163 epic couplets, in the style of the Ottoman mathnawis, qasidas, ghazals, marsiyah of Hussain, munajats and munajat al-ilâhîs. 

In the work, which tells of the events and battles within the Siege of Sebastopol are described in a striking style in chronological order, such as the alliance for the war and the navies' setting sail into the Black Sea, the Battles of Sevketil, Arpaçay, Kars, Ardahan, Sinop, Çatana, Kalafat, Matschin, Sahcha, Harsova, Silistra, Yergök, Kerç, Uzreket, etc. respectively. The poet places special highlights on the personalities of the commanders while describing these battles. The heroism of Laz begs [i.e. the chiefs and princes of Lazistan] such as Hasan Bey, Ali Bey, and Dede Aga are praised in many couplets.

The Siege of Sevastopol lasted from October 1854 until September 1855, within the campaign known as Crimean War (1853-1856). The allies (French, Sardinia, Ottoman, and British) landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854, intending to make a triumphal march to Sevastopol, the capital of the Crimea, with 50,000 men. However, the 56-kilometer (35 mi) traverse took a long year of fighting against the Russians. The city of Sevastopol was the home of the Tsar's Black Sea Fleet threatening the Mediterranean Sea. The Russian field army withdrew before the allies could encircle it. The siege was the culminating struggle for the strategic Russian port in 1854-55 and was the final episode in the Crimean War.

Özege 12245.; Library of Congress. Karl Süssheim Collection, no. 2233.; OCLC 933386528, 1030751787, 66733639.