Hikayet manuscript

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 29 EUL MS 222
  • Dates of Creation
      ? 19th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Turkish, and English.
  • Physical Description
      One volume

Scope and Content

One MS vol. in Ottoman Turkish containing copy of 'Hikayet-i Dikyanus, a treatise on 'The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus'. Date unknown [?19th century], and scribe/commentator unknown. Pastedown: 'C.M.S.', 'V.6'. Opposite title page in ?19th c. hand: 'D.C. Bell', 'Written by Syud Mohammed, Persian Secretary to the Bagdad Presidency, March 1821', 'Presented by D.C. Bell, ?Esq.'. Title page in ?19th c. hand: '?Com: ?Oct: 8/32', 'Seven Sleepers'

Administrative / Biographical History

This treatise is based on the popular tale 'The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus' which is recounted in the Qar'an (18:9-22). In this story, a group of young men, persecuted for believing in one God in times before Islam, take refuge in a cave, where they slept for many years in an act of grace from God. Of the questions put to the Prophet by the Quaraysh in order to test his prophetic knowledge, one was about how long the sleepers had slept.

D.C. Bell was the British resident surgeon and Assistant Resident in Baghdad, and was appointed c1820. It is possible there may be a connection with Doyne Courtenay (1830-1888), Permanent Secretary to Privy Purse, and antiquary.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Listed by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 21 April 2004 and encoded into EAD 1 June 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Currently not listed in detail (see brief entry in World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts, p.465, vol. 3).

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Donated to the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, in 1993, and transferred to Special Collections in 2003 by the Arabic Subject Librarian. Possibly this item once formed part of or has connections to the Arabic manuscript collection of Claudius Rich, Orientalist, a prominent 19th century bibliophile and manuscript collector with links with the East India Company (now held at the British Library).

Related Material

Papers of the Orientalist Claudius James Rich (1787-1820) are held at the British Library (Oriental and India Office Collections), the National Archives and Herefordshire Record Office.



Additional Information

Not known.

Geographical Names