Back in the Saddle: The Spirit of Turkey's Greatest Adventurer Rides Again

Susan Wirth

Four hundred years after he was born, the 17th century Ottoman traveler Evliya Celebi (Celebi being an honorific title that roughly corresponds with esquire) is making a long-overdue comeback. Explorer, peace broker, tax collector, court raconteur, war chronicler, gourmand, mystic and, by his own description, "boon companion to mankind," Evliya spent 40 years traversing the breadth of the Ottoman Empire and beyond — from present-day Austria to Egypt, Sudan to Poland — and writing about it. His 10-volume Seyahatname, or Book of Travels, is an epic travelogue that provides a fascinating account of everyday life in the 17th century....

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