Science and technology in the Ottoman Empire
Science and Technology in the Ottoman Empire covers the topics related to achievements and distinguished events that happened during the existence of the empire. The study of scientific, cultural and intellectual aspects of Ottoman history is a very new area. Initial studies show that Ottoman history is very rich in cases of Muslim encounters (interpretation and use) with modern western science and technology.
While others see Islam as one of the primary reasons why the Ottoman Empire made such scientific and technological advances, the culturalist approach that blames "Oriental dogmatism" and "Islamic mentality" for the neglect of the scientific and technological achievements has been questioned as the collections on this subject are getting richer.
Translations and Collections
The Ottomans managed to build a very large collection of libraries. The purpose of their activities is may have been their desire to continue their conquests. For instance, Sultan Mehmet II ordered Georgios Amirutzes, a Greek scholar from Trabzon, to translate and make available to Ottoman educational institutions the geography book of Ptolemy. One of the oldest sources on the history and philosophy of Christianity was also developed for the palace school: the İ'tikad nâme, a work on Christian beliefs by Patriarch Gennadius. Another example is mathematician Ali Qushji from Samarkand, who wrote twelve volumes on mathematics.
The Piri Reis map was discovered in 1929 while Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey was being converted into a museum. It consists of a map drawn on gazelle skin, primarily detailing the western coast of Africa and the eastern coast of South America. The map is considered to have been drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, a famous admiral of the Turkish fleet.
Advancement of Madrasah
The madrasah, which its first institution came forward during the Seljuk period, had reached its highest point during the Ottoman reign.
Considered as the world's first institution of higher learning in 1773, the university was founded by Sultan Mustafa III as the Imperial Naval Engineers' School (original name: Mühendishane-i Bahr-i Humayun), and it was originally dedicated to the training of ship builders and cartographers. In 1795 the scope of the school was broadened to train technical military staff for the modernizing Ottoman army. In 1845 the engineering function of the school was further widened with the addition of a program devoted to the training of architects. The scope and name of the school were extended and changed again in 1883 and in 1909 the school became a public engineering school which was aimed at training civil engineers who could provide the infrastructure for the rapidly building country.
- History of Astronomy Literature during the Ottoman Period by Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu
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