Historiography of Ottoman Europe

Fondo Marsili

Marsili, Luigi Ferdinando [Marsigli] (1658-1730) | URL | URL | VIAF | ISNI
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Born in Bologna, in 1658, count Luigi Ferdinando Marsili / Marsigli had soon become interested in the scientific studies and in everything related to the Ottomans. Aged 21, he visited the Ottoman empire. Aged 24, he was wounded and enslaved while fighting against the said Ottomans. Aged 41, he was entrusted with the task to trace and negociate the Habsburg-Ottoman Balkanic borders after the 1699 treaty of Karlowitz. In 1703, Marsili was forced to quit the army, titles and honors stripped off. Until his death, in 1730, he focused on the travels and on the scientific activity. The main works associated with him are Osservazioni intorno al Bosforo Tracio (Rome 1681); Danubius Pannonico-Mysicus (The Hague 1726); and L’Etat militaire de l’Empire ottoman (Amsterdam 1732). In 1712, Marsigli returned to Bologna. He donated his collections to the University and he founded an Institute of Sciences and Arts. Since his death, in 1730, his own manuscripts form the Marsili fund. For more than one hundred years, scholars from all over the world have explored this fund. Nevertheless, in spite of their efforts, it has not yet discarded his secrets – count Marsili has amassed hundreds of Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts (whose 1720 catalogue by Giuseppe Simonio Assemani, as well as the 1803-1808 catalogue by Giuseppe Gaspare Mezzofanti, are still unpublished – BUB ms. 2 951 & BUB ms. 4 111); he drew and collected hundreds of maps depicting generally and in detail the Balkans (of which only partial catalogues exist, like those by Kisari Balla György and Antal András Deák); and he also gathered a huge amount of data on the Ottoman Empire and its South-Eastern Europe (only partially published). For Marsili, see John Stoye, Marsigli’s Europe... (1994). For his own 146 manuscripts, see Lodovico Frati, Catalogo dei manoscritti di Luigi Ferdinando Marsili... (1928). For his collection of Arabic manuscripts, see Victor Rosen, “Remarques sur les manuscrits orientaux de la Collection Marsigli à Bologne...” (1885). For the Greek manuscripts, see Angelo Bernasconi, I fondi manoscritti greci Lambertini e Marsili... (2004); Idem, “Un gruppo di codici greci bolognesi...” (2006). For the Persian manuscripts, see Angelo M. Piemontese, Catalogo dei manoscritti persiani..., pp. 3-35. For the Turkish manuscripts, which comprise 205 items, see Orazgozel Machaeva, “A little-known collection of Turkish manuscripts...” (1994); Eadem, “Il Tarvīḥ al-arvāḥ di Tāj-ad- Dīn Aḥmedī...” (1995); Eadem, “Due album ottomani del ’600” (2003); Maurizio Pistoso, “I manoscritti islamici della Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna (2004).
  • Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna | BUB ms. 2 951 | BUB ms. 4 111
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