The Latifi Tezkeres

A genre of Islamic culture, the biographies of poets (tezkeres) provide information about the poets’ lives and works. The first tezkere in Anatolia is Sehî Bey’s tezkere (1538). This first tezkere was followed by Latifi’s Tezkere written eight years later. The tezkere tradition started by Sehî Bey continued until the 19th Century. The most significant representative and pioneer of the early tradition is Latifi. Latifi wrote the first recension of his tezkere in 1546. He dedicated the Tezkere to Sultan Suleiman. In the Epilogue (Hatime) to this manuscript it is stated that 300 poets are included in the Tezkere but entries were added to the text throughout the MS tradition, some of them clearly derived from marginal notes. The 1574 and 1575  manuscripts (Nur-u Osmaniye and Halet Efendi) should be regarded as a single unique text in draft and final form. New poet entries are added and existing entries and sections are expanded. Moreover, it appears that there are significant differences in language and style.