Mîrim Çelebi

Astronomi Bilgini, Matematik Bilgini, Astronom

Diğer İsimler
Mahmud (asıl adı), Mirim Çelebi

Mathematician and astronomer (B.?, Istanbul - D. 1525 Edirne). Mîrim Çelebi was one of the most significant mathematicians and astronomers in the Ottoman Empire after Kadızâde-i Rumî and Ali Kuşçu. His real name was Mahmud. His grandfather Muhammed, Kadızâde's son, got married to the daughter of Ali Kuşçu in Semerkand, but died at a young age. Mîrim Çelebi's father, Kutbüddin Muhammed, came to Istanbul with his grandfather Ali Kuşçu, and there he married the daughter of Hocazâde Muslihuddin Efendi. Mîrim Çelebi was born from this marriage. Since Kutbüddin Muhammed died also young while working as a scholar in Bursa Manastır Madrasah, Mîrim Çelebi was raised by his grandfather Hocazâde. Hocazâde provided that Mîrim Çelebi studied under great mentors like Sinan Pasha.

Having initially worked in Madrasahs at Gelibolu, Edirne, Bursa and Istanbul, Mîrim Çelebi became the greatest authority particularly in mathematics and astronomy, which led him getting invited to the Ottoman Royal Palace by Sultan Bayezid II in order to teach him mathematical sciences. Even though he was appointed as the Anatolian Kazasker (T.N: Military Judge) in the reign of Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1519, after a short time he was retired with a pension of 100 silver coins. Towards the end of his life he went on pilgrimage and settled in Edirne on his return. He died there, and was buried near Kasım Paşa Mosque, alongside the Tunca River.

Also qualified in the fields of history and literature, Mîrim Çelebi followed the school of Samarkand mathematics and astronomy, represented by his grandfathers Kadızâde-i Rumî and Ali Kuşçu. But as seen especially in his work Risâle fi’I-Hâle and Kavs-i Kuzah in optics, he adopted the synthesis, which İbnü'l-Heysem practiced in mathematics and natural sciences, as his scientific method. This clearly shows that he partially abandoned both Kadızâde's view of pure mathematical-geometrical way and Ali Kuşçu's theological mathematics.

Mîrim Çelebi followed all of the different scientific schools in classical Islamic culture; and as can be understood from his works, he studied different physicists, mathematicians and kalam masters (people who try to justify the existence of Allah with proofs), and consulted the works of İbnü'l-Heysem and Kemâleddin el-Fârisî as well as Avicenna and Fahreddin er-Râzî in positive or negative aspects while not hesitating to put his own views and theories forth, thus contributing to the technical details of mathematical sciences.

He gained his fame mainly in astronomy, which in turn shaped his scientific activity. "Düstur el-Amel ve Tashih el-Cedvel" (Law of Operation and Correction of Table, 1498), for example, was written to expound Ulugh Beg Zici. The article he wrote for Ali Kuşçu's "Fethiye" was also an expounding astronomy work. In the same way, though an astrological work, "el-Makâsid" is also seen as related to the field of astronomy since astrology and astronomy are relatively close branches. He did not only work on astronomy, but also worked on other topics besides astronomy, thus having demonstrated the general trend of the Ottoman scientists as showing interest in almost all sciences instead of focusing on just one of them. In this aspect, another field he was interested in was optics, which can be seen by the tractates he wrote.

His tractate named "fi’I-Hâle ve Kavs-i Kuzah" may seem to have been written on how sky phenomenons such as rainbows and haloes, formed, but when analyzed, the work was a general book on optics. At the beginning of the book, some information on optics were given, and pursuant to the arrangement of traditional books on optics, the rest was divided into three main sections: First, direct vision, then reflection and refraction, and lastly colors, rainbows and haloes. The tractate shows that Mîrim Çelebi was interested in optics, and that he had sufficient knowledge on optics to issue such a tractate. Therefore, he must have researched many long and short treatises, and understood the standards of knowledge on optics of his age. This is also important in that it proves that Mîrim Çelebi approached optics with a scientific concern.

Though his main works that survived till today are mostly on astronomy, astrology and optics, since he was a good mathematician, he always handled his problems with detailed mathematical analysis. For example, when he analyzed a part of Kadızâde's "Şerhu’l-Mülahhaş fÎ İlmi’l-Hey’e", which deals with “tedâris”, the issue of the highest mountain's proportional rate to the radius of Earth, he solved this problem using mathematics. His work called "Düstûrü’l-‘amel ve taşhî-hu’I-cedvel" was the coomentary on the “Zîc-i Uluğ Bey" in Persian. In this treatise, which he completed in 1499 by the orders of Bayezid II, he benefited from Kâşi's "Zîc-i Hâkanî" and Ali Kuşçu's "Zîc-i Uluğ Bey Şerhi” to calculate the sinus of a one-degree arc and showed five different ways to solve this problem with examples in an informative language. He was also particularly interested in trigonometric expressions and came up with original conclusions. His works in astronomy are voluminous tractates called “Rub’u'l-Müceyyeb", “Rub’u’ş-Şikâzî”" and “Zerkâle" that dealt with calendars, determining qibla and many other problems. He also wrote on astrology like his "el-Makösıd fi'l-ihtiyârât" to follow the orientation of his contemporary scientists. Besides that, he had a work called "Münteyü'ş-Şayyaâdîn fi'l-Âv."


Düstûrü'l-'Amel ve Tashîhu'l-cedvel (Persian expounding of Zîc-i Uluğ Bey), Şerhu'l-Fethiyye İî ilmi'l-hey'e (expounding of Ali Kuşçu's important work er-Risâletü'l-Fethiyye), Risale fi'l-Hâle ve Kavs-i Kuzah (deals with visual phenomenon and its conditions, light, propagation and refraction of light, colors, formation of rainbows and haloes, and their optical qualities). Hüseyin Gazi Topdemir commented on this tractate in one of his articles.

  REFERENCE: İbrahim Alaeddin Gövsa / “Mîrim Çelebi, Mahmut Efendi” (Türk Meşhurları, 1946), Salih Zeki / Âsâr-i Bâkiye I (s. 199-200, 1329), A. Ad­nan Adıvar / Osmanlı Türklerinde İlim (Haz. Ay­kut Kazancıgil - Sevim Tekeli, s. 61-63, 1982), Ekmeleddin İnsanoğlu / Osmanlı Astronomi Literatü­rü Tarihi (s. 33-34, 90-101, 1997), Ay­dın Sayılı / “Bir İlim Adamımızın Adı Üzerine” (II, s. 547-553, TTK Bildiriler VII, 1970), YYO Ansiklopedisi (II, s. 215-216; 1999), İhsan Fazlıoğlu / “Mîrim Çelebi” (TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi (c. 30, 2005), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 2, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013). 



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