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Volume :9 Issue : 33 1983      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE OTTOMAN ANNALS (SALNAMAH) AND THEIR RESEARCH IMPORTANCE

Auther : By: Dr. Mohammed Harb

            The term Salnamah is derived from two Persian words: “sal”, meaning year and “namah” meaning book or message.  It has come into use in Ottoman epoch as an official periodical publication published by the state, or as an unofficial periodical sometimes published by the private institutions.  The first State Salnamah was published in 1847 and was divided into nine volumes dealing with nine different aspects of the Ottoman Empire namely: the affairs of the state, military affairs, maritime, foreign, scientific, educational, astronomical, custom and the affairs of territorial dependencies.  Two distinctive types of salnamahs dealing with the affairs of Ottoman dependencies are distinguished: one dealing with the affairs of non-Arabic Ottoman states and the other pertained to Arabic Ottoman states.  The later comprised the salnamahs of the states of Beirut, Lebanon, Aleppo, Egypt, Syria and Cyranica.  As regards the salnamahs dealing with the affairs of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, they contained the salnamahs of the states of Baghdad, Basra, Hijaz, Mosul and Yemen. 

           The welt of material relevant to the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula included historical, geographic, social and archaeological data of great importance to serious researchers.  They also included statistical details on education, minorities, official Ottoman newspapers and archaeological discoveries.  Useful information about the pilgrimage, postal movement, pearl diving in Qatif district, the coffee and rice, culture in Yemen, the harvesting of gum, Arabic in Asir and the textiles of Basra, was also included.  Three appendices came at the end of this paper one dealing with a glossary of Ottoman terms, the second comprising a list of Ottoman Salnamahs ascertained in the general Sulimaniya Library of Istanbul and the third appendix listed the names of libraries acquiring different numbers of the official Salnamahs.

 

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