Matrakçı Nasuh

Nasuh bin Karagöz bin Abdullah el-Visokavi el-Bosnavî, commonly known as Matrakçı Nasuh (Turkish pronunciation::; Bosnian: Matrakčija Nasuh Visočak) for his competence in the game of Matrak, invented by himself, (also known as Nasuh el-Silâhî, Nasuh the Swordsman, because of his talent with weapons; 1480 – c. 1564) was a 16th-century Bosniak statesman of the Ottoman Empire, polymath, mathematician, teacher, historian, geographer, cartographer, swordmaster, navigator, inventor, painter, farmer, and miniaturist. He was brought to Istanbul after being recruited by the Ottoman scouts in Rumelia, educated, served several Ottoman sultans, and became a teacher at Enderun School.



Matrakçı Nasuh, born in the Bosnian town of Visoko, was a gifted Janissary who went through both the Infantry and devşirme system, a gifted swordsman, and sharpshooter well known for his intellect; he spoke five languages and was recruited into the Ottoman Navy.

Although born to Bosnian Muslim parentage, Nasuh was drafted into the devşirme system, otherwise reserved for the Christian populace of the empire. Exceptionally, however, in Bosnia, the devşirme was also extended to local Muslim families.

After a long period of studies on mathematics and geometry, he wrote his works Cemâlü'l-Küttâb and Kemalü'l- Hisâb and submitted them to the Ottoman sultan Selim I. He wrote also the two books named Mecmaü't-Tevârih and Süleymannâme. They deal with the history of the period of 1520–43. He also wrote a historical piece on the Persian campaign of Suleiman I titled Fetihname-i Karabuğdan. A recent study of his book Umdet-ul Hisab revealed an unknown fact that Matrakçı had invented some genuine multiplication methods. One of the significant results displayed in this book was that the lattice method had been widely used in the Enderun Sch... more

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