Reproduced on the website of Bilkent University . (Source).

Who was Matrakci Nasuh, he was born in a Bosnian town of Visko, a talented Janissary who went through both of the devşirme system and Infantry, a sharp shooter and gifted swordsman. Nash was famous for his intellect, speaking five languages and was taken into the Ottoman Navy. Even though he was a born Muslim Parentage but Nasuh was drafted in the devşirme system and though it was reserved for the Christian populace it was still extended to the local Muslim families. Nasuh lived from 1480-1564 A.D. he was an Ottoman statesman, Mathematician, teacher, historian, geographer, cartographer, sword-master, navigator, painter, inventor, and much more.

After many years of studies in the field of geometry and mathematics some of the works he created was known as “Cemâlü’l-Küttâb and Kemalü’l- Hisâb” which was given to Ottoman Selim I. Other works he produced were : “Mecmaü’t-Tevârih and Süleymannâme”. These historical pieces of work take place between the years of 1520-43 A.D. Matrakçı wrote historical works on a Persian campaign of which Suleiman I lead to battle, which was called “Fetihname-i Karabuğdan” and more Umdet-ul Hisab. Many of his works were used in the Ender school.


The paper fortresses of Matrakçi depicted in his book Tuhfat al-Ghuzat (Süleymaniye Library, Esad Efendi, MS 2206).

Nasuh  created interesting a naturalist style which focused on different cities and landscapes with some greatest details. These great works include paintings such as the Istanbul landscape and showing the everyday social life.


City of Istanbul and Develi illumination from Matrakçi’s Beyân-i Menâzil-i Sefer-i ‘Irakeyn. (Source).

Some of the most important works which detailed Suleiman and Safavid wars, and other great illustrations of the Ottoman army from Istanbul to Baghdad, Tabriz and other cities. Nasuh included all the cities met by the army along the way, most of these works are at the Library of Istanbul University.

Nash was a jack of all trades because he was a master bladesmith and soldier, even to the extent the he worked as a weapons teacher at Endren school. He showed much of his skills to his students and Suleiman’s I circumcision celebrations. So he will be remembered for many things so the title of jack of all trades is fitting…