BILIMNAME, vol.45, no.2, pp.79-119, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.28949/bilimname.855277
  • Title of Journal : BILIMNAME
  • Page Numbers: pp.79-119
  • Keywords: Islamic History, History of Mathematics, Ottoman mathematics, Ottoman classical period, Istanbul


During its long stay on the stage of history, the Ottoman state had significant effects in almost every aspect, from science to art, from politics to the military, from economy to international relations. On the other hand, the number of studies on the Ottoman scientific tradition is very low. Thus, the History of Ottoman Mathematical Literature, History of Astronomy Literature During the Ottoman Period, History of Music Literature During the Ottoman Period and other books of the series in the fields of natural and applied sciences, astrology, military and geography are almost the only reference sources. When it comes to mathematical sciences, it is seen that much more new research is needed. Therefore, this article will be based on the classical period, which is less studied than the last period of the Ottoman Empire. Considering the mathematical works produced and used in the Ottoman science tradition, it would be appropriate to accept the classical period of mathematical sciences between the XIV and XVIII centuries. It was aimed to give general information about the superficial content of mathematics produced, learned, taught, used, widespread and transferred in this period, the places where these actions related to mathematics took place and the areas in which the aforementioned mathematics is closely related. Thus, it was aimed to show how much mathematics was intertwined with daily life, city, architecture, aesthetics, management and economy through the city that best represented the Ottoman Empire, namely the capital Istanbul. For this purpose, the research is divided into three main sections after a general introduction. In the introduction part, the scope, purpose and boundaries are put forward through a general explanation of the concepts mentioned in the title of the study. In the first chapter, theoretical and practical major mathematical sciences are introduced through basic works, taking into account a distinction between sciences that produce mathematical knowledge and sciences that use mathematical knowledge. Although mathematical sciences are not divided into theoretical and applied in the classical classification of sciences, such a path has been followed here for pedagogical purposes. However common feature of all sciences introduced here is that they are included in the classical classification of sciences under the umbrella of mathematical sciences. By theoretical mathematics sciences, the pure mental branches of mathematics that are executed not for an external cause or necessity, but only for itself, which contain laws and rules that do not have to exist in the external world are meant. The main theoretical mathematical sciences are ilm-i adad, ilm-i hisab, ilm-i handasa, ilm-i jabr. With the practical mathematics sciences, it is meant the areas where the laws produced by the theoretical branches of mathematics are used for a purpose other than producing mathematical knowledge in order to achieve practical purposes. Main practical mathematics sciences are ilm-i misaha, ilm-i hay'at, ilm-i mikat, ilm-i faraid, ilm-i music, ilm-i hiyal, ilm-i manazir. In the second part, four of the places where mathematical sciences were produced in Istanbul in the Ottoman classical period are explained. These are madrasahs, timekeeping houses (muvakkithanas), finance offices and Istanbul observatory.