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A Persian translation of the Qurʾān with no further information.
Ḥāfiẓ Abrū (d. 833/1430) was a Timurid historian who spent the greater part of his active life in Herat. An accomplished chess-player, he was a regular guest at the court of the chess-loving Tīmūr Lang (d. 807/1405). His works were all commissioned by Tīmūr’s son Shāhrūkh (d. 850/1447), whom he had joined at his court in Herat after his accession to the throne in 807/1405. The Jaghrāfiyā is of special interest because in the parts on Fārs, Kirmān,Transoxania and Khurāsān, geographical data—often collected personally by him during military campaigns in which he took part—are supplemented with much valuable historical information. The three volumes published here contain the first of the two books of which the Jaghrāfiyā is composed, treating of Kirmān (vol. 3), Fārs (vol. 2), and the known world to the west of these (including Arabia), with separate listings of mountains, rivers, lakes and seas (vol.1 , beginning vol. 2). 3 vols; volume 1.
Bakhsh-i Qazwīn, Gīlān wa Dār al-marz wa nawāḥi-yi ān
In Persian literature, tadhkira (‘note’, ‘memorandum’) works are for the most part collections of biographies of poets, combined with selections from their writings. The earliest such work is Dawlatshāh Samarqandī’s Tadhkirat al-shuʿarāʾ (completed in 892/1487), which set a standard for posterity. The tadhkira genre was especially popular in the 10th/16th century and following. The work by Mīr Taqī al-Dīn Kāshānī (alive in 1016/1607) published here is an important example of this. It consists of an introduction, four divisions, and an epilogue ( khātima), six volumes in all. From among these volumes, the epilogue listing some 394 poets from specific cities and regions in the Persianate world, many of whom were contemporaries of the author, is of special interest. Having met with many of them on his literary travels, their biographies contain a lot of information on the social and cultural climate of the time, besides new poets and poems. This volume: 6.5-6, Qazvin, Gilan, and Mazandaran.
Bakhsh-i Yazd wa Kirmān wa nawāḥi-yi ān
In Persian literature, tadhkira (‘note’, ‘memorandum’) works are for the most part collections of biographies of poets, combined with selections from their writings. The earliest such work is Dawlatshāh Samarqandī’s Tadhkirat al-shuʿarāʾ (completed in 892/1487), which set a standard for posterity. The tadhkira genre was especially popular in the 10th/16th century and following. The work by Mīr Taqī al-Dīn Kāshānī (alive in 1016/1607) published here is an important example of this. It consists of an introduction, four divisions, and an epilogue ( khātima), six volumes in all. From among these volumes, the epilogue listing some 394 poets from specific cities and regions in the Persianate world, many of whom were contemporaries of the author, is of special interest. Having met with many of them on his literary travels, their biographies contain a lot of information on the social and cultural climate of the time, besides new poets and poems. This volume: 6.8, Yazd, Kirman, and India.
Tārīkh-i siyāsī u ijtimāʿi-yi Mushaʿshaʿiyān
In Islam, messianic beliefs are typically associated with the doctrines of the Shīʿa. The idea of the Manifestation of the Hidden Imam at the appointed time has always been part of their beliefs, then and now. Besides mainstream Shīʿa movements such as Twelver Shīʿism, Zaydism, or Ismailism, there have also been marginal and extremist groups around charismatic leaders claiming a messianic role. One of these is Sayyid Muḥammad b. Falāḥ (d. 861/1456-7), founder of the Mushaʿshaʿ movement among the Shīʿī Arab tribes of Khūzistān, western Iran. Fighting or arranging themselves temporarily with their neighbors, notably the Safavids and the Ottomans, the Mushaʿshaʿ dynasty continued to exist in different forms and shapes well into the nineteenth century. The present work is a nineteenth-century Persian translation of a history of the Mushaʿshaʿ dynasty in Arabic by the governor of Ḥuwayza and descendant of Ibn Falāḥ, ʿAlī Khān Mushaʿshaʿī (alive in 1128/1716). Based on written and oral sources.
In the history of Islamic literature, the ‘Forty Traditions’ genre goes back as far as the 3th/9th century at least and exists in all of Islam’s major and minor languages. It finds its origin in the tradition saying that whoever commits forty traditions to memory will be reckoned among the jurists on Resurrection Day. Collections vary, from a simple listing of the basic teachings of Islam to more dedicated works around some specific theme, in either case with or without a commentary. There are also collections of sayings of the Prophet’s son-in-law ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661), from among which al-Sharīf al-Raḍī’s (d. 406/1088) Nahj al-Balāgha is the most famous. The work by Yūsuf b. Āybayk published here is a Persian text in the arbaʿūn tradition but based on the Nahj al-balāgha. Dedicated to the Qaramānid ruler of Anatolia ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Beg (d. 800/1397-8), it deals mostly with ethics explained from a mystical perspective.
From the time that the art of writing was invented, people have been sending letters. This is true of the Sumerians who wrote on clay tablets 5.000 years ago, as it is true today in the information age. But not every letter is the same: a letter to a lover, a friend, or a business relation, each requires a different tone. In the case of official correspondence, the need for a standard is even more pressing than in industry or trade. In the medieval Islamic world with its highly developed bureaucracies, there evolved a special type of textbook in the form of manuals for secretaries. These would include general information on the secreterial trade as well as collections of sample letters. This Persian manual by Shams Munshī was completed in 767/1366 and dedicated to Sultan Uways Jalāyirī of Tabriz (d. 776/1374). Wide in scope and well organized, it was superior to anything written before it. 2 vols; volume 1.
From the time that the art of writing was invented, people have been sending letters. This is true of the Sumerians who wrote on clay tablets 5.000 years ago, as it is true today in the information age. But not every letter is the same: a letter to a lover, a friend, or a business relation, each requires a different tone. In the case of official correspondence, the need for a standard is even more pressing than in industry or trade. In the medieval Islamic world with its highly developed bureaucracies, there evolved a special type of textbook in the form of manuals for secretaries. These would include general information on the secreterial trade as well as collections of sample letters. This Persian manual by Shams Munshī was completed in 767/1366 and dedicated to Sultan Uways Jalāyirī of Tabriz (d. 776/1374). Wide in scope and well organized, it was superior to anything written before it. 2 vols; volume 2.
Persian poetry of the pre-modern era is divided into three successive styles, each belonging to a different period: Khurāsānī, ʿIrāqī and Hindī. The Hindī style is called such because in Safavid times, during which it developed, poets no longer enjoyed the shah’s patronage so that many of them went to India, where Persian poetry had flourished since Ghaznavid times (11th-12th century CE). The Hindī style is often regarded as a lesser style, but has the merit of having put a halt to the decline that Persian poetry was suffering from at the time and also, by its accessible language and subject matter, of having brought poetry within reach of the ordinary man. The poetry of Hātif Iṣfahānī (d. 1198/1783) published here was written in the latter half of the 12th/18th century, at the beginning of the neo-classical period of return ( bāzgasht) to the poetical styles of the pre-Safavid era.
ʿUlūm-i Qurʾānī etc.
This catalogue of Persian manuscripts in Pakistan was compiled by the well-known specialist of Islamic manuscripts ʿĀrif Nawshāhī (1955). It can be seen as a sequel to Aḥmad Munzawī’s (d. 2015) 14-volume Fihrist-i mushtarak-i nuskhahā-yi khaṭṭi-yi Fārsi-yi Pākistān (1983-1997), besides Nawshāhī’s own catalogues of the Persian manuscripts in the National Archives of Pakistan and the Punjab University Library in Lahore. The catalogue published here contains information on around 8000 manuscripts in 335 collections in Pakistan, mostly in non-government and private libraries, madrasas, and monasteries. In view of the threat of decay of manuscripts in private collections due to poor storage conditions and a declining interest in the Persian language, this catalogue is both a witness and a wake-up call. In this work, Nawshāhī relies on his own research, on notes by others, until then forgotten in the archives of the Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies in Islamabad, and also on different kinds of published sources. 4 vols; volume 1.
ʿIrfān etc.
This catalogue of Persian manuscripts in Pakistan was compiled by the well-known specialist of Islamic manuscripts ʿĀrif Nawshāhī (1955). It can be seen as a sequel to Aḥmad Munzawī’s (d. 2015) 14-volume Fihrist-i mushtarak-i nuskhahā-yi khaṭṭi-yi Fārsi-yi Pākistān (1983-1997), besides Nawshāhī’s own catalogues of the Persian manuscripts in the National Archives of Pakistan and the Punjab University Library in Lahore. The catalogue published here contains information on around 8000 manuscripts in 335 collections in Pakistan, mostly in non-government and private libraries, madrasas, and monasteries. In view of the threat of decay of manuscripts in private collections due to poor storage conditions and a declining interest in the Persian language, this catalogue is both a witness and a wake-up call. In this work, Nawshāhī relies on his own research, on notes by others, until then forgotten in the archives of the Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies in Islamabad, and also on different kinds of published sources. 4 vols; volume 2.
Adabiyyāt etc.
This catalogue of Persian manuscripts in Pakistan was compiled by the well-known specialist of Islamic manuscripts ʿĀrif Nawshāhī (1955). It can be seen as a sequel to Aḥmad Munzawī’s (d. 2015) 14-volume Fihrist-i mushtarak-i nuskhahā-yi khaṭṭi-yi Fārsi-yi Pākistān (1983-1997), besides Nawshāhī’s own catalogues of the Persian manuscripts in the National Archives of Pakistan and the Punjab University Library in Lahore. The catalogue published here contains information on around 8000 manuscripts in 335 collections in Pakistan, mostly in non-government and private libraries, madrasas, and monasteries. In view of the threat of decay of manuscripts in private collections due to poor storage conditions and a declining interest in the Persian language, this catalogue is both a witness and a wake-up call. In this work, Nawshāhī relies on his own research, on notes by others, until then forgotten in the archives of the Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies in Islamabad, and also on different kinds of published sources. 4 vols; volume 3.
Namāyahā u taṣāwīr
This catalogue of Persian manuscripts in Pakistan was compiled by the well-known specialist of Islamic manuscripts ʿĀrif Nawshāhī (1955). It can be seen as a sequel to Aḥmad Munzawī’s (d. 2015) 14-volume Fihrist-i mushtarak-i nuskhahā-yi khaṭṭi-yi Fārsi-yi Pākistān (1983-1997), besides Nawshāhī’s own catalogues of the Persian manuscripts in the National Archives of Pakistan and the Punjab University Library in Lahore. The catalogue published here contains information on around 8000 manuscripts in 335 collections in Pakistan, mostly in non-government and private libraries, madrasas, and monasteries. In view of the threat of decay of manuscripts in private collections due to poor storage conditions and a declining interest in the Persian language, this catalogue is both a witness and a wake-up call. In this work, Nawshāhī relies on his own research, on notes by others, until then forgotten in the archives of the Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies in Islamabad, and also on different kinds of published sources. 4 vols; volume 4
For over a hundred years, between 1507 and 1622, the island of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf was in the hands of the Portuguese. It was only under Shāh ʿAbbās I that the Safavids were able to recapture Hormuz and the neighbouring island of Qishm, under the leadership of general Imām Qulī Khān and with the unexpected help of some forces of the British East India Company that happened to be in the area at the time. The two epic poems from the 11th/17th century published in this volume, one by an otherwise unknown ‘Qadrī’ and the other by an anonymous author, deal with the recapture of Qishm and Hormuz under Imām Qulī Khān. While not of high literary quality, the poems show some interesting local and historical features, especially the longer one on Hormuz whose author had a great admiration of Imām Qulī Khān, whom he appears to have known personally.
va pizhūhishī dar nigāh-i ū bih Īrān
In literary criticism, the blending of historical fact and literary invention is often referred to as ‘fictionalized history’. While the main characters and episodes are largely based on historical record, in works of this kind, the author takes the liberty to invent or manipulate thoughts, dialogues, or events. Gore Vidal’s Lincoln or Robert Graves’ I, Claudius are modern examples of fictionalized history. In early Persian literature, Firdawsī’s (d. 411/1020) Shāh-nāma is a fine specimen of fictionalized history. Rustam al-ḥukamā’s (19th century) Rustam al-tawārīkh pretends to be an historical work, covering the last days of the Safavid era from the beginning of the rule of Shāh Sulṭān Ḥusayn (r. 1105-35/1694-1722), until the death of Fatḥ ʿAlī Shāh Qājār (d. 1249/1834). In this critical study, Jalīl Nudharī argues that Rustam’s work is fictionalized history rather than history, and that Rustam al-ḥukamā is an alias of the well-known nineteenth-century writer Riḍā Qulī Khān Hidāyat (d. 1871).
After its foundation by Mani in the third century CE, Manicheism spread quickly from Iran through the ancient world, from North Africa to Europe and from Central Asia to China. Mani wrote seven works, six in Syriac and one in Middle Persian. The spread of Manicheism led to the emergence of Manichean writings in a number of other languages, and also of texts in criticism or description of this religion by non-Manichean authors in some of these same languages, among them Greek, Latin, Coptic, Arabic, Soghdian, and Chinese. From among the archeological findings involving Manichean texts, one of the most exciting ones was the discovery, in the early nineteen hundreds, of many Manichean fragments in Turfan, in Xinjiang province, China. These are in Middle Persian, Parthian, Soghdian and Manichean New Persian, besides material in Uygur, Bactrian and Kuchean. The present work is a Persian manual for the interpretation, reconstruction and edition of these Turfan texts.
Ḥātim al-Ṭāʾī, a pre-Islamic poet from the late sixth century CE, is especially known for his chivalry and magnanimity. A member of the tribe of Ṭayy in Yemen, he is mainly associated with the court of the Lakhmids in Ḥīra in Mesopotamia under king Nuʿmān b. Mundhir (reg. ca. 580-602). His poetry centers around the qualities that earned him his fame, even if part of the poems ascribed to him may be later inventions. Legend has it that his grandfather, who was his guardian, abandoned him when he saw that his grandson’s generosity was incurable. Four mourning girls, hewn in stone, lined his grave, together with the cooking pots from which he had served his guests. A popular character in medieval Arabic literature, no separate work was ever dedicated to him, unlike the Persian tradition. The present text on his life and deeds by Wāʿiẓ Kāshifī (d. 910/1504-5) is the oldest to exist in Persian.
Regarded by many as the last great mystical poet of medieval Persia, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898/1492) spent the greater part of his life in Herat. As a student he excelled in every subject he engaged in and appeared destined for an academic career. But then, in his early thirties, he went through a spiritual crisis that ended in his joining the Herat branch of the mystical Naqshbandiyya order, led by the charismatic Saʿd al-Dīn Kāshgharī (d. 860/1456). A protégé of three successive Timurid rulers in Herat, Jāmī’s wide network of friendships and relations extended from spiritual and literary circles through the political to the academic. With 39.000 lines of verse and over 30 prose works to his name, Jāmī’s literary production is impressive. In his biographical handbook on Sufi masters, the Nafaḥāt al-uns, Jāmī did not mention himself. This is why his student ʿAbd al-Ghafūr Lārī (d. 912/1506) wrote this biographical supplement to it.
Born in Najaf, Muḥammad Ḥusayn Saʿādat (1865–1935) first studied in his hometown and later in Shiraz. In 1898 he went to Tehran, where he started teaching at Teachers College and also at a modern primary school. During that time there was a desire to put education on a new footing, taking inspiration from western ideas. This is how Saʿādat, whose talents in education had not gone unnoticed, was appointed to found a new school in Būshihr, Iran’s main port and trading hub in the Gulf area. This school, which later came to be known as the Madrasa-yi Saʿādat, soon became a famous in the region and many of its alumni had brilliant careers. Saʿādat’s history of Būshihr is the product of a methodical mind that can view things in local, regional, national and international perspective. The only history of the city that we have, it is a work of incontestable importance.
In Islamic science, a zīj is an astronomical handbook made up of tables and text. Between the 2nd/8th and 13th/19th centuries, over 200 such works were written, many of them lost. Famous zīj are al-Zīj al-Ṣābiʾ by al-Battānī (ca 300/900), al-Qānūn al-Masʿūdī by al-Bīrūnī (421/1030), and Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s (d. 672/1274) Zīj-i Īlkhānī. The Zīj-i Yamīnī published in facsimile here was compiled in Ghazna in 511/1156 by a certain Muḥammad al-Ḥaqāʾiqī and dedicated to the Ghaznavid ruler Bahrāmshāh b. Masʿūd b. Maḥmūd (reg. 511-552/1117-1157). It is the third oldest zīj in Persian, after the Zīj-i mufrad of Muḥammad b. Ayyūb Ṭabarī (485/1092) and the Persian translation of Kūshyār b. Labbān Gīlānī’s (fl. ca. 390/1000) Arabic al-Zīj al-jāmiʿ by Muḥammad b. ʿUmar Munajjim-i Tabrīzī in 483/1090. Al-Ḥaqāʾiqī based himself on the works of others, notably al-Battānī’s al-Zīj al-Ṣābiʿ, whose data he then recalculated for the city of Ghazna where necessary. Good example of early scientific Persian.
Bakhsh-i Tabrīz wa Ādharbāyjān wa nawāḥi-yi ān
In Persian literature, tadhkira (‘note’, ‘memorandum’) works are for the most part collections of biographies of poets, combined with selections from their writings. The earliest such work is Dawlatshāh Samarqandī’s Tadhkirat al-shuʿarāʾ (completed in 892/1487), which set a standard for posterity. The tadhkira genre was especially popular in the 10th/16th century and following. The work by Mīr Taqī al-Dīn Kāshānī (alive in 1016/1607) published here is an important example of this. It consists of an introduction, four divisions, and an epilogue ( khātima), six volumes in all. From among these volumes, the epilogue listing some 394 poets from specific cities and regions in the Persianate world, many of whom were contemporaries of the author, is of special interest. Having met with many of them on his literary travels, their biographies contain a lot of information on the social and cultural climate of the time, besides new poets and poems. This volume: 6.7, Tabriz and Azerbaijan.
Born into an influential family from Kujuj near Tabriz, Khwājah Ghiyāth al-Dīn Shaykh Muḥammad Kujujānī was a relative of the well-known mystic Muḥammad b. Ṣiddīq Kujujī (d. 677/1278). Better known as Khwāja Shaykh, Kujujānī held the office of Shaykh al-Islām of Tabriz under the Jalāyirid rulers Shaykh Uways (d. 776/1374) and his son Ḥusayn. Like his forebear, Khwāja Shaykh had Sufi leanings and possessed a flourishing khānqāh (Sufi convent) in Tabriz. In 783/1382, Shaykh Ḥusayn was killed by his brother Aḥmad (d. 813/1410). Under Aḥmad, Khwāja Shaykh was still a man of importance, at ease among governors and heads of state, which is clear from his involvement in Aḥmad’s negotiations with some of his enemies. However, fearing Khwāja Shaykh’s influence as a spiritual leader, Aḥmad had him murdered in 787/1385 or 788/1386. Popular in Azerbaijan and Iraq in his lifetime, Khwāja Shaykh’s poetry is published here for the first time. Contains material in Fahlawī (Azeri).
In the western world, oriental manuscript collections are now mostly kept at universities, institutes and in national or regional libraries. Yet many of these collections were jumpstarted with the acquisition or donation of some private collection. An example is the oriental collection at Leiden University Library, which started with a legacy of around 60 oriental manuscripts by J.J. Scaliger in 1609. In fact, private collectors have always enriched library collections until this very day. The shelf marks of the oriental manuscripts in almost every major collection in the western world bear testimony to this. Dr Caro Minasian (d. 1973) was an Iranian physician and a passionate collector of oriental manuscripts. In 1968 he sold the greater part of his collection to UCLA (1507 items). In 1972 he bequeathed the remainder (959 titles) to the Ferdowsi library of Wadham College, University of Oxford. This Persian catalogue contains the first detailed description of the entire Minasian collection.
Dar tafsīr-i Kashf al-asrār-i Maybudī
Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī (fl. early 6th/12th century) was a Persian scholar and mystic who is best known for his voluminous commentary on the Qurʾān, the Kashf al-asrār wa-ʿuddat al-abrār. The commentary breaks down into 465 ‘sessions’ ( majlis, here: ‘lectures') around a number of verses and their explanation. Each session divides into three ‘rounds’ ( nawba): 1. the Arabic text and its Persian translation, 2. a standard commentary, and 3. a mystical appreciation of the deeper levels of the text. While the first two rounds are equally in Arabic and Persian, round three is usually mostly in Persian, indicating that Maybudī wanted to ensure that his words were comprehensible to interested non-academics, notably to mystics. Annabel Keeler’s Sufi Hermeneutics: The Qur’an Commentary of Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī, offered in Persian translation here, analyses Maybudī’s work from three angles: mystical hermeneutics, Maybudī’s borrowings from the mystic ʿAbdallāh Anṣārī (d. 481/1088), and his mystical interpretation of the Qurʾān on prophets.
Tārīkh-i mubārak-i Ghāzānī, Nuskha badalhā, taʿlīqāt u ḥawāshī. Volume 3
Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadānī’s (d. 718/1319) Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh has been described by many as the first world history ever. Composed in Persian for the Mongol Il-khans Ghāzān (r. 1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Uljāytu, r. 1304-16), its aim was to set out the history and condition of the Mongol people, conquerors of the world (part one), followed by a description of the other peoples and nations of the world and their histories (part two). Given its unprecedented scope, Rashīd, vizier to both rulers, mobilized a whole team of specialists, informants, and collaborators to assist him in his task. Making use of written and oral sources, the part on the Mongols is a key source on the emergence and organisation of the Mongol empire, while the second part constitutes the first attempt ever at writing a history of the world. The four volumes published here contain the history of the Mongols up until Ghāzān. Section: Mongols; 4 vols; volume. 3.
Tārīkh-i mubārak-i Ghāzānī. Volume 1
Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadānī’s (d. 718/1319) Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh has been described by many as the first world history ever. Composed in Persian for the Mongol Il-khans Ghāzān (r. 1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Uljāytu, r. 1304-16), its aim was to set out the history and condition of the Mongol people, conquerors of the world (part one), followed by a description of the other peoples and nations of the world and their histories (part two). Given its unprecedented scope, Rashīd, vizier to both rulers, mobilized a whole team of specialists, informants, and collaborators to assist him in his task. Making use of written and oral sources, the part on the Mongols is a key source on the emergence and organisation of the Mongol empire, while the second part constitutes the first attempt ever at writing a history of the world. The four volumes published here contain the history of the Mongols up until Ghāzān. Section: Mongols; 4 vols; volume. 1.
Tārīkh-i mubārak-i Ghāzānī. Volume 2
Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadānī’s (d. 718/1319) Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh has been described by many as the first world history ever. Composed in Persian for the Mongol Il-khans Ghāzān (r. 1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Uljāytu, r. 1304-16), its aim was to set out the history and condition of the Mongol people, conquerors of the world (part one), followed by a description of the other peoples and nations of the world and their histories (part two). Given its unprecedented scope, Rashīd, vizier to both rulers, mobilized a whole team of specialists, informants, and collaborators to assist him in his task. Making use of written and oral sources, the part on the Mongols is a key source on the emergence and organisation of the Mongol empire, while the second part constitutes the first attempt ever at writing a history of the world. The four volumes published here contain the history of the Mongols up until Ghāzān. Section: Mongols; 4 vols; volume. 2.
Tārīkh-i mubārak-i Ghāzānī, Wāzhahā-yi Mughūl-Turkī, namāyahā. Volume 4
Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadānī’s (d. 718/1319) Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh has been described by many as the first world history ever. Composed in Persian for the Mongol Il-khans Ghāzān (r. 1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Uljāytu, r. 1304-16), its aim was to set out the history and condition of the Mongol people, conquerors of the world (part one), followed by a description of the other peoples and nations of the world and their histories (part two). Given its unprecedented scope, Rashīd, vizier to both rulers, mobilized a whole team of specialists, informants, and collaborators to assist him in his task. Making use of written and oral sources, the part on the Mongols is a key source on the emergence and organisation of the Mongol empire, while the second part constitutes the first attempt ever at writing a history of the world. The four volumes published here contain the history of the Mongols up until Ghāzān. Section: Mongols; 4 vols; volume. 4.
Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Karīm Shahrastānī was born in 479/1086-7 in Shahristān in today’s Turkmenistan. After his basic education he went to Nishapur, then a major centre of learning. Afterwards, he taught for some years at the Niẓāmiyya academy in Baghdad. Returning to Khurāsān around 514/1120, he became a staff member at the chancellery of the Saljuq ruler, Sanjar (d. 552/1157), entertaining close relations with him. At some point Shahrastānī returned to his hometown, although it is not known why or when, dying there in 548/1153. His influential history of religions and sects, which also includes an account of Greek and Islamic philosophy, is one of his best known works. Until recently only two Persian translations of it were known: one by Afḍal al-Dīn Turka-yi Iṣfahānī dated 843/1449-50, and an improved edition of it by Muṣṭafā b. Khāliqdād, dated 1021/1612. The anonymous translation published here is much older and may even date from Shahrastānī’s own lifetime.
Kuhantarīn nuskha-yi shinākhta shuda-yi kāmil kitābat 801 hijrī
Ḥāfiẓ Shīrāzī (d. 791/1389) is the most popular poet of the Persianate world and the greatest lyricist of all. There is virtually no family in Iran that does not possess a copy of his divan. Many people quote from his work by heart. His poetry is often used in proverbs, and fortune-telling with his divan is common practice in all layers of society, earning him his nickname of ‘Lisān al-ghayb’, i.e. ‘the voice of the unknown’. Ḥāfiẓ’s poems combine practical wisdom with meditations on destiny while emphasizing the importance of living in the moment, today called ‘mindfulness’. Despite claims to the contrary, his poetry is not mystical but definitely about the here-and-now. His favourite themes are love, wine and its effects, and the witty exposure of pretenders. This facsimile of the second oldest and completest copy of his divan from 801/1399 is the only one to posses the complete introduction by its compiler, Muḥammad Gulandām.
Atharī jāmiʿ bih zabān-i Fārsī dar khābguzārī va taʿbīr-i rūyā, jild-i duvum ṣād - yāʾ
Since times immemorial man has been fascinated by his dreams. This is true of western civilization as it is true of any other civilization, including Islam. In the Qurʾān and the traditions, dreams and visions are frequently mentioned as instruments of divine guidance and instruction. This sanctification of the pre-existing oral tradition around dreams and their interpretation created room for this tradition to further develop, both in a religious and in a secular context. Dream interpretation remained unsystematized and mostly oral until Ḥunayn b. Isḥāq’s (d. 260/873) Arabic translation of Artemidorus’ (2nd cent. CE) Oneirocritica and Dīnawarī’s al-Qādirī fi ʼl-taʿbīr (commissioned in 397/1006) that it inspired. From then onwards, a vast literature developed. The work published here is an important early text from the Persianate world, based on more than fifteen declared and other sources, most of which are lost. It is a compilatory work, with an introduction followed by an alphabetical inventory of themes. 2 vols; volume 2.
Abdallāh Imāmī Hirawī was born Herat where he grew up and received his education. Besides being a poet he possessed a wide knowledge in the sciences of his time and was respected for his learning. Like so many intellectuals and literary figures of his day, Imāmī led an itinerant life, moving from court to court, from patron to patron. Leaving Herat before 627/1229-30, we find him praise the Qarākhitāy rulers of Kirman, religious dignitaries and members of the Atabak court of Yazd, and also Bahāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad (d. 678/1279), the governor of Isfahan, ʿIrāq-i ʿAjam and Yazd. In between literary patrons, Imāmī was also a judge in his hometown of Herat, dying in Isfahan in 686/1287. Praised by the poet laureate of the Atabak rulers of Fārs, Majd al-Dīn Hamgar (d. 686/1287), as being even better than Saʿdī (d. 691/1292), Imāmī’s work shows the influence of the Khurāsānī and ʿIrāqī traditions in Persian poetry.
Bīzhān nāmah, Kuk Kūhzād nāmah, Babr-i bayān, Patyārah, Tahmīna nāma-yi kūtāh, Tahmīnah nāma-yi buland, Razm nāma-yi Shakāvandkūh