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[Masters of Our Culture]


MATRAKCI NASUH (.... - 1564)      


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He was a miniature artist who also wrote books on mathematics and history topics and was truly a versatile Turkish scholar. The date and place of birth are unknown. He studied in Enderun. His name Matrakci or Matraki is thought to originate from his proficiency in a swordplay war game called “matrak” or perhaps its discovery. Nasuh was also a very good man at-arm. For this reason he was also called Sihali. Because of his talent in weapon and lance games, he was given a title of privilege of “ustad” or “reis” in the Ottoman counry, signed by I Sultan Suleyman (Kanuni) in 1530. He also wrote a guide book named Tuhfetu’l-Guzat about usage of various weapons and war techniques.

Nasuh was a scientist who especially talented in the areas of geometry and mathematics. His two books about mathematics - Cemalu'l-Kuttab and Kemalu'l- Hisab and Umdetu'l-Hisab'I were written during Sultan Selim’s (Yavuz) period and were dedicated to the sultan. The last one was used as a handbook of mathematicians for many years.

Matrakci Nasuh who was also a bright historian of his time died on 28th of April, 1564.