Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Or. 1980.8167 (not an autograph).
Dorogi, I. – G. Hazai, “Zum Werk von Ebû Bekr b. Bahram Dimişkî über die Geschichte und den Zustand des osmanischen Reiches”, Archivum Ottomanicum 28 (2011), 49-94; 29 (2012), 193-325; 30 (2013), 303-352; 31 (2014), 167-350 [For the references of the present entry, the folios in the Dorogi – Hazai edition is used]
The author begins El-fethü’l-rahmânî fî tarz-i Devletü’l-Osmanî (“The divine gift on the form of the Ottoman state”) stating that he designed his work in order for the Sultan to be able to have a complete knowledge of the Ottoman Empire (devlet-i alîye) in a short time. He first describes with numbers the expansion of Ottoman territories, noting that because of some oppressive pashas and governors (2.B) some of them were lost to the infidel. In the first part (3.A-4.A), Dımışkî explains that God ordained kings who use either the reason or the Holy Law; the second is the best but states fall because of injustice, rather than infidelity. He also stresses the importance of punishment (siyaset), as a realms finds order when the people oscillates between fear and hope (halk beynü’l-havf ve’r-recâ olmağla saltanat nizâm bulur). Then, Dımışkî lays down some of the usual advice, such as the selection of a wise vizier whose independence must be secured. He claims that three Sultans expanded the empire (Mehmed II, Selim I, Suleyman I), all because they looked after its affairs night and day. Another section (4.A-5B) speaks of the qualities of a vizier; among others, he should not grant zeamets to his retinue, he must not take bribes, nor covet the public treasury; he should appoint and consult with the right people and look after the price regulations (which are “the affairs of the poor”). Dımışkî also repeats Lütfi Pasha’s warning against peasants turned soldiers. In the next section (5.B-11.A) Dımışkî speaks of the army (asker), which he divides into two categories: the first, the state notables (a’yân-ı devlet), includes four elements or pillars (the viziers and pashas, the şeyhülislam and the judges, the governors and the high-rank scribes). The second category is the army proper (asâkir-i osmaniye), those salaried and the timariot who “have ordained shares of the lands of the Empire” (6.A: memâlik-i mahrûsa arâzîsinde hisse-i mu’ayeneleri vardur). Then Dımışkî proceeds in enumerating in detail the various corps and groups of the army, in a careful hierarchy of divisions and subdivisions; in fact, he begins with the Palace personnel and describes in length the protocol of the imperial council. Then he speaks of the servants of the imperial harem and the personel of the Enderun (11.A-16.B), inserting also information on taxes and dues destined for the Sultan’s horses (13.A) and detailed lists of the daily salaries of the palace personnel. In the next section (16.B-20.B) Dımışkî speaks of the ulema, dividing them to external and internal; the şeyhülislam is higher than the Grand Vizier, since “the state was founded on the religious affairs” (devlet umurı din üzerine bina olunup), and is the head of religion, whereas the Grand Vizier the head of state (devlet re’isi), with the Sultan being the head of both; an excursus on the history and function of şeyhülislams follows, as well as of kazaskers and judges.
The section on governors (20.B-22.B) concentrates on the need to avoid oppression of the subjects; Dımışkî stresses that the governor is the Sultan’s proxy (vekil) and points out several specific points on the governors’ retinue, the timariots and so forth, before proceeding to a detailed enumeration of the governorships, their revenue and the number of soldiers owed by each one (22.B-23.B), as well as some rules on the bestowment of timars. The next sections (24.B-36.B) deal with the salaried army; here Dımışkî inserts an excursus on the creation of the janissaries (25.B-35.A), where he almost puts the point of their decline in their very beginning: “Peasants heard this news and wanted to enlist in the Sultan’s service. Many men enlisted... and as time passed they began being seditious” (25.B-26.A). Allegedly, it was after this that the janissaries began to be recruited with the devşirme. After describing their rules and structure in detail, Dımışkî describes the arsenal and the navy and summarizes the budget of the year H.1090/1679 (36.B-37.A). Next, he gives the rules and protocol of imperial campaigns, adding a short history of the great Ottoman conquests (37.A-43.A).
The rest (and indeed the greatest part) of Dımışkî’s treatise is a concise description of the Ottoman territories, from Istanbul (43.B-49.B) with stories on its creation, conquest, buildings and population) and Edirne, to the Bulgarian and Greek lands (51.B-58.A; using sources on ancient history) and from Albania to Crete (61.B-63.B), the Aegean islands, Bosnia and Serbia, Hungary, the Danubian principalities (71.B-73.A), Crimea (74.A-77.B), Ucraine and Podolia. Next comes Anatolia and the Arab lands (memâlik-i Anadol ve Kurd ve Arab ve gayri; 80.B), from Üsküdar to Erzurum and from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Palestine and then to the Arab peninsula (118.B-122.A), North Africa and finally Egypt (126.B-134.A).
Close resemblances to Kavânîn-i osmanî ve râbıta-ı Âsitâne