Note 041
From Chapter 64 of the Decline & Fall

I am ignorant whether the Turks have any writers older than Mahomet II., nor can I reach beyond a meagre chronicle (Annales Turcici ad Annum 1550) translated by John Gaudier, and published by Leunclavius (ad calcem Laonic. Chalcond. p. 311-350), with copious pandects, or commentaries. The history of the Growth and Decay (A.D. 1300 - 1683) of the Othman empire was translated into English from the Latin MS. of Demetrius Cantemir, prince of Moldavia (London, 1734, in folio). The author is guilty of strange blunders in Oriental history; but he was conversant with the language, the annals, and institutions of the Turks. Cantemir partly draws his materials from the Synopsis of Saadi Effendi of Larissa, dedicated in the year 1696 to Sultan Mustapha, and a valuable abridgment of the original historians. In one of the Ramblers, Dr Johnson praises Knolles (a General History of the Turks to the present Year. London, 1603) as the first of historians, unhappy only in the choice of his subject. Yet I much doubt whether a partial and verbose compilation from Latin writers, thirteen hundred folio pages of speeches and battles, can either instruct or amuse an enlightened age, which requires from the historian some tincture of philosophy and criticism.

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