Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

MS. Bodl. Or. 515-518 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)

Oriental Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: One copy of Hamdullah Hamdi, 1449-1508's Yūsuf ü Züleyḫā in Ottoman Turkish.

Language(s): Ottoman Turkish

Title: Yūsuf ü Züleyḫā
Title: یوسف و زلیخای حمدی
Title: Yūsuf ü Züleyḫā-yı Ḥamdī
Title: Historia Josephi et Zelichae, Turcicé
Rubric: بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم هذا احسن القصص في کلام القدیم
Incipit: ذِکْر اُلِنْمَاسَه اَوَّل اِسْمُ اللَهْ هَرْ نَه بَشْلَنْسَه اَخِرْ اُولَه تَبَاهْ

A complete copy of Ḥamdüllāh Ḥamdī's Yūsuf ü Züleyḫā in two volumes, modeled on the Yūsuf va-Zulaykhā of Jāmī and completed in 897 AH (between 4 November 1491 and 22 October 1492 CE).

Filiation: At least one other complete (MS. Marsh 633) and one partial (MS. Laud Or. 87) copy of the same text exist in the Bodleian Libraries.
Language(s): Ottoman Turkish


Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 2 volumes, i flyleaf + 105 folios & i flyleaf + 84 (numbered 106-190) folios
Dimensions (leaf): 20.6 × 13 cm.

Arabic script foliation in black ink does not appear to be original, or in a native hand.

Latin script foliation in pencil on every fifth folio does not correspond to the Arabic, and is one folio earlier (i.e. Latin 110 = Arabic 111).

Both foliations continue from volume 1 to volume 2, the first ending with folio number 105 and the latter beginning with folio number 106.


Ethé (1930. col. 1202 § 2128) notes that the folios between 73 and 92 in volume 1 are out of order; the correct order is 73, 76-91, 74-75, and 92 .


Two columns of 17 lines per page throughout both volumes.


Nasta‘līḳ in black ink with red and blue inks for headings.


Text borders in red ink throughout.


Flyleaf ia-b of volume 1 bears several invocations in Arabic.

Flyleaf ia of volume 1 and folio 106a (in volume 2) give the title of the work in Latin as Historia Josephi et Zelichae, Turcicé and Josephi et Zelichae, Turcicé, respectively.

Flyleaf ib of volume 1 bears a note in (slightly misspelled) Ottoman Turkish giving the number of total folios in both volumes: همان یوز ضقسان بر کاغت‌در ۱۹۱.

Some marginalia in mixed French, Latin, and transliterated Ottoman on folios 1b & 2a of volume 1, probably in the hand of Edward Bernard, 1638 1696.


A seal on flyleaf ib of volume 1 is only partially legible, reading خلیل [...] بن عمر جلیل.


Origin: Place of origin unknown. Completed per the colophon in 983 AH; 1575/1576 CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

The following inscription in Arabic on folio 1a of volume 1 suggests that this item entered the ownership of one al-Faqīr Ḥāj Aḥmad al-Jalabī (el-Faḳīr Ḥāc Aḥmed el-Çelebī) on 1 Ramażan 1027 AH (1 Ramażan 1027 AH): هثا کتاب یوسف زلیخا صاحبه الفقیر حاج احمد الجلبی في ۱ شهر رمضان سنه ۱۰۲۷.

The seal and a note on flyleaf ib suggest that a previous owner may have been named Khalīl ibn ‘Umar (Ḫalīl bin ‘Ömer).

Per an inscription on flyleaf i, formerly owned by E. Bernard, i.e. Edward Bernard, 1638 1696.

Bought from the executors of the estate of Edward Bernard, 1638 1696 in 1698.

Record Sources


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Funding of Cataloguing



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