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  • Author or Editor: Aḥmad Mahdavī Dāmghānī x
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ʿAjāʾib aḥkām Amīr al-Muʾminīn, Dhikr al-khalāʾif wa-ʿunwān al-maʿārif, Faḍl al-ʿilm, Dhakhāʾir al-ḥikma, Mukhtaṣar-i Jāvidān khirad
Today most oriental manuscript collections are kept in institutional and other (semi-) public libraries. Yet many of these collections were jumpstarted with the acquisition or donation of some private collection. Even now, private collections may still yield unexpected finds. A case in point is MS Tehran, National Library, Arabic 16574. This manuscript belonged earlier and until 1423/2002 to Sayyid Muḥsin Amīn ʿĀmilī, author of the famous biographical dictionary Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, and then to his son Sayyid Ḥasan Amīn, after whose death it devolved to the National Library of Iran. Compiled in 420/1029, this manuscript contains six medium-sized classical texts in Arabic from before ca. 390/1000. From among these, special mention must be made of an abbreviated version ( mukhtaṣar) of Ibn Miskawayh’s (d. 421/1030) gnomological work in Arabic, the Jāvidān khirad. Copied while Ibn Miskawayh was still alive, this abbreviation represents the oldest sample of the original text and certainly merits consideration in any future edition.
About fifty years ago, during renovation works in the complex of Imam Reza in Mashhad, a hoard of manuscripts was discovered in a secret niche. These manuscripts had probably been stashed away in a time of unrest to prevent them from getting looted or destroyed. Among them, there was one quite remarkable codex, copied in 481/1088 and published here, containing the divan of ʿAbdallāh b. Aḥmad al-Khāzin, a poet who belonged to entourage of the Buyid vizier Ṣāḥib b. al-ʿAbbād (d. 385/995). Al-Khāzin was his librarian for a time, until he was banished from the court. Since most of the poems are dedicated to Fakhr al-Dawla (d. 387/997) and Ibn al-ʿAbbād, they must have been written after Fakhr al-Dawla was brought to power by Ibn al-ʿAbbād in 373/983. Even with sections missing, this manuscript contains no less than 1.922 verses by al-Khāzin, much more than the 241 verses quoted in al-Thaʿālibī’s (d. 429/1038) Yatīmat al-dahr.
Nuskha bar gardān bih qaṭʿ-i aṣl-i nuskha-yi khaṭṭi-yi kitābkhāna-yi shakhṣi-yi Dr. Waḥīd Dhulfiqārī kitābat 550 H
The Arab poet and anthologist Abū Tammām (d. 231/845) was born in Jāsim in Syria, between Damascus and Darʿā. After a first period as a weavers’ assistant in Damascus and as a water-seller in Cairo, studying poetry on the side, he had his breakthough as a poet after his return to Syria in the time of al-Muʿtaṣim billāh (r. 218-27/833-42). Considered as the greatest panegyrist of his time, he sang the praises of the caliph and many other public figures of his age. Besides Egypt, Abū Tammām also travelled to other regions, his most celebrated sojourn being in Hamadan where he compiled his famous poetic anthology the Kitāb al-ḥamāsa. The present work is a similar compilation by him, though smaller and much less known. Edited previously on the basis of one manuscript from Istanbul, the present facsimile edition is of a second manuscript, this time from Yazd. Some folios missing but good readings, interesting marginalia.