402 not a reference

Ottoman Genius

By Raheel Mohammed

Who would be the Ottoman “Renaissance man”, the Ottoman Leonardo da Vinci?

This is the question raised and answered by Caroline Finkel, author of the authoritative Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire.

How about Mehmed II’s Grand Vezir, the Serbian noble Mahmud Pasha Angelovic? A warrior and diplomat he was also a poet who patronised other notable writers of his time. He supported men of learning and students alike, and assembled a library of 300 volumes on subjects such as theology and legal sciences. He also managed to established charitable foundations to provide food for the needy, religious colleges, and fountains.

Philanthropy as well as being skilled in the arts seemed to be a natural partnership for men like Mahmud Pasha Angelovic.