Claudia RÖMER
(Institut für Orientalistik der Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria)

Keywords: Ottoman manuscripts, Muṣṭafā Bostān, Hammer-Purgstall, ink analysis

Cod. ÖNB H.O. 42a is a copy of Muṣṭafā Bostān’s (1498-1569) Süleymānnāme on the earlier part of the reign of Süleymān the Magnificent (1520-1566). Earlier scholars believed that its author was called Ferdī. This assumption is based on the alleged occurrence of this pen-name in the author’s Persian poem (fol. 6r). Yurdaydın proved that the last verse of this poem had been misunderstood and the author of Süleymānnāme was Bostān (Hüseyin G. Yurdaydın, Bostân’ın Süleymânnâmesi (Ferdî’ye atfedilen eser), Belleten 19/74 (1955): 137-202).
The title in red ink (fol. 1r) says mü’ellifi Ferdī “Its author is Ferdī”. In the margin of fol. 6 r next to the above-mentioned poem, there is a remark in black ink formulated perhaps by a non-first-language speaker (ṣāḥib mü’ellif Ferdī ile taḫalluṣ ėder “the owner author/the Lord author gives his pen-name as Ferdī”). The handwriting of both remarks possibly is European.
In order to determine whether this is true, an analysis of the ink of the manuscript versus the ink of the remarks would be helpful. As a first step, both remarks as well as a piece of normal text were photographed with a UV, VIS, NIR Microscope provided by Sebastian Bosch of the University of Hamburg ( under visible light, UV, and NIR wavelengths . The red ink on fol. 1r vanishes under NIR light, whereas the black inks on fol. 6r and the ink used for Hammer-Purgstall’s oriental seal (the ms. originally belonged to him) are visible in all three photographs. Thus, the original question will only be solved with a more detailed analysis of the inks by X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Fourier Transform Infra Red Spectroscopy (FTIR) and/or Raman Spectroscopy.

Relevance for the conference: Ink analysis helps finding out about manuscript owners and the marginal notes they added to the texts…
Relevance for the session: Being able to determine an author of a marginal note to a text prevents a detail of its history from staying obscure.
Innovation: Finding out the origin of the inks used (Oriental vs. European) may help solve the linguistic riddle of a misleading marginal note by an author hitherto unknown.
• Römer, Claudia: “The Language and Prose Style of Bostan’s Süleymanname”, in: Humanism, Culture, and Language in the Near East. Studies in Honor of Georg Krotkoff, ed. by Asma Afsaruddin and A.H. Mathias Zahniser, Eisenbrauns, 1997, 401-418; .