ḤAYĀTI, ABDÜLHAY (ʿAbd-al-Ḥayy), 9th/15th century poet who wrote a series of Turkish poems modeled on Neẓāmi’s Ḵamsa. Nothing is known about his life other than that he lived during the reigns of Sultan Mo-ḥammad II and Bāyazid II (855/1451-918/1512). It is only in his Eskandar-nāma that his name is given as ʿAbd-al-Ḥayy, but in view of the semantic correspondence between it and his penname “Ḥayāti” it seems likely that this was his actual name. While still young, he joined the entourage of Maḥmud Pāšā (d. 878/1474), vizier to Sultan Moḥammad, who employed him to compose satirical verses directed against his enemies. His talent for satire apparently brought about Ḥayāti’s own death, for, deprived of the protection of his patron Maḥmud Pāšā after his execution in 878/1474, Ḥayāti was himself executed for the barbs he had directed against the historian Tursun Bey.
The first part of Ḥayāti’s Ḵamsa, following the example of Neẓāmi, is entitled Maḵzan al-asrār; the second, corresponding to Neẓāmi’s Haft peykar, bears the title Bahrām-nāma; and the third and fourth are Eskandar-nāma and Ḵosrow o Širin, again in conformity with the model of Neẓāmi. However, Ḥayāti’s Ḵamsa lacks a fifth component, either because he was unable to complete the work or because no fifth part has survived. A manuscript containing all four surviving parts is held in Agâh Sırrı Levend’s personal library, and there is a copy of the Bahrām-nāma in the library of Istanbul University (Türkçe Yazmaları, 7575).
Sehi, Tezkire, ed. M. Şükri, Istanbul, 1329/1911, pp. 69-70.
Agâh Sırrı Levend, “Hayatî’nin İskendernâmesi,” Türk Dili 1, 1951, pp. 195-201.
Türk dili ve edebiyatı ansiklopedisi, Istanbul, 1981, IV, p. 175.
Originally Published: December 15, 2003
Last Updated: March 20, 2012
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Vol. XII, Fasc. 1, p. 68