Koni: La ville des derviches tourneurs
Clément Huart (1854-1926) graduated in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Modern Greek and served as a French diplomat in Istanbul (or, as he called it, Constantinople) for twenty years before becoming Professor of Persian at the Ecole des Langues Orientales in Paris. He edited and translated many oriental texts and published widely on Middle-Eastern cultures. This 1897 publication describes a visit to Konya, where Huart hoped to find out more about the capital of the Seljuk Empire than was recorded in Byzantine or Persian sources. Travelling on horseback from Istanbul, Huart noted his impressions of archaeological sites and historic buildings, and recorded details of many inscriptions from the Seljuk period on mosques, mausoleums, caravanserais and fortresses. He also met the whirling dervishes. His fascinating account of his experiences is interwoven with references to medieval battles and Islamic legends, together with advice for future travellers to this rapidly modernising region.