Reflections of “Seven Climates” Theory on Our Culture and Literature
Keywords: Geography,literature,seven climates,Ptolemy
Geography (Géographie) is a Greek-derived word. Main lines of methodical thinking that its foundations laid in ancient Sumerian, Babylon and Egypt took shape in ancient Greek philosophy school as a sub-discipline of philosophy. The fact Aristotle's works such as Physics, Kosmos and Meteorologica have been translated many times, reveals the impact of the Greek school of prhilosophy and science on Islamic world. Nonetheless, the creation and development of the information related to astronomy, world and geography is shaped through the cult of alexandria and the translation of the theory of ptolemy. Ptolemy's iconographic works "Almagest" and "Geography Guide" are based on world-centered universe design. These sources are the result of a large study including astronomical information such as cosmogony, star and planetary movements, and inferences about the settled and unsettled areas of the earth. In particular, from the time of the Caliph Al-Ma'mun, it was also adopted by the Islamic scholars. It can be observed that the work was re-assessed and translated via partial changes by scholars of geography such as İbn-i Hurdazbih, Ferganî, Muhammed b. Musa el-Harizmî, Ebûl- Fidâ. Deductions concerning the residential and non-residental areas of the earth exist as a result of this work. As a geographical term, "seven climates" is the design of the world which is built on these foundations. This theory points to the fact that the settled parts of the world are divided into seven climatic zones and also surrounded by seven large seas. The cultural influences of this view shaped the geography perception of our literature. Since literature cannot be considered without the "space" concept, it has a direct connection with geography. Geography in literature/"géo-littéraire" is a literary criticism theory that is spoken today as a natural consequence of humans desire to make sense of the world in which they live. In this study, the place of astronomical and geographical theories -which are significant in term of history of science- in our culture and literature will be discussed. The concepts which sometimes are evaluted as real value and sometimes as symbolic are explained with the dictionaries of concepts in the multi-layered structure of classical texts. The guiadance of this work which accumulates tremendously rich cultural datas is very important beyond any doubt. However, most of the concepts, terms and various symbolic elements which are caught in the cultural pattern of the texts have sophisticated roots deep down. Analyzing elements like this with a multidisciplinary reading will enhance the interpretation of literature texts. In this work, it is aimed to observe the origin, development and transformation of a geographical term which is quite familiar to our culture and literature as this type of reading. The transformation of the concept "seven climate" which is an astro-geographical term and which explains the relation between celestial bodies and the sections of earth will be searched in texts. In classical texts, "seven climates" appears in different ways:as a term, symbol or motif. In this work, the forms of reflection of world design formed around the concept "seven climates" to our culture and literature will be analyzed in the light of mesnevis and divans.