35 results in English
Portraits of N. V. Gogol: 1809–1909
This collection of portraits of Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809–52) was published under the auspices of the Society of Lovers of Russian Literature for the centenary of the birth of Gogolʹ, a Ukrainian-born Russian playwright, novelist, and writer of short stories. The book is divided into two parts: an annotated list of the known portraits of the writer on pages 3–15, followed by reproductions of each portrait. The portraits trace Gogol’s life in chronological order, from 1827 before he was well known, until his death in Moscow in ...
Menaion for June-August with Synaxarion
This parchment manuscript of the Menaion for June–August with synaxarion (a collection of brief biographies of the saints) can be dated to the second half of the 13th century. It is important as the earliest known manuscript to include the service of Saint Ioakim Osogovski (Joachim of Osogovo), hermit and founder of the monastery known as Sarandapor. His memory, celebrated on August 16, was popular in Bulgaria and elsewhere in the Balkans during the Middle Ages and in the period of the Bulgarian National Revival of the 18th and ...
Armenian Liturgical Calendar
Parzatumar (Armenian liturgical calendar) was the second book printed in Armenian, after the Urbathagirq (The book of Fridays). Both books were published by Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner), who in 1512 settled among the Armenian community in Venice and established the first Armenian press. In this copy, from the National Library of Armenia, the two works are bound together. Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at this time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora ...
The Book Known as “The Sulṭānī History”
Tārīkh-i Sulṭānī (The Sulṭānī history) is a historical study of the Afghan people and the rulers of Afghanistan from the beginnings of Islam to the mid-19th century. The work was published as a lithographic print in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in 1881. This copy has been rebound, with “Ṣaḥāfī Sulṭān Muḥammad, Kabul" gold-stamped on the back cover. The title page and pages 3−4 are damaged and repaired with no loss of text. The last page (page 291) has been repaired and missing text added in ink in a later hand ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
History of Nadir Shah Afshar
Waqiat-i Nadiri (literally “Events of Nadir”) is a historical manuscript that chronicles the political and military career of Nādir Shāh, who was born in 1688 and rose to power in Iran during the 1720s; he became shah in 1736. He is known as a military warrior famous for his campaigns in Iran, Afghanistan, northern India, and Central Asia. He was assassinated by his officers in June 1747. The name of the author of this work, Mohammad Mahdi Munshi ibn Mohammad Nasir (also seen as Mahdī Khān Astarābādī), appears on page ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Crown of Histories
Shown here is volume one of the two-volume Taj al-Tawarikh (The crown of histories), which is the autobiography of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān, ruler of Afghanistan between 1880 and 1901. After long years in exile in Central Asia, Rahman came to power in Afghanistan with the support of the British, by whom he was later patronized financially, politically, and militarily. He began to suppress various social groups who opposed and threatened his rule, such as the Hazarah and Ghilzai tribes of central and eastern Afghanistan. He also exiled rival individuals and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Imperial House of Romanov
This publication was produced in 1913 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. It contains an introduction, a genealogical sketch on the Romanov boyars, and a short history of the Romanovs in 17 chapters. The volume also includes biographies, portraits, and photographs of the members of the dynasty. In the introduction, “Three Centuries of the House of Romanov,” Elpidifor Barsov (1836−1917) provides a brief historical overview of the context of Romanov rule. He describes first “the time of troubles” preceding the election of Mikhail Fedorovich, the first ...
Album Commemorating the Tercentenary Anniversary of the Imperial House of Romanov
This book is one of many works published in Russia in connection with the celebration, in 1913, of the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov. The author, Ivan Bazhenov, was a church historian, theologian, and local historian in Kostroma. In his introduction, Bazhenov states that the goal of the publication is “to give the readers an opportunity to understand and evaluate the great significance of this anniversary and at the same time to awaken their gratitude for the founder of the Romanov dynasty.” He begins by describing Russia before ...
Secret of Success
Samuel Smiles was a Scottish author and physician. He dropped out of school at 14 years of age but returned to finish the study of medicine at the University of Edinburgh. His most famous work, Self-Help, which Ya’qub Sarrūf here translates into Arabic, made him a best-selling author and celebrity. Sarrūf was one of the earliest graduates of the American University in Beirut. He was a significant figure in what is called the Arab renaissance of the second half of the 19th century and was awarded an honorary doctorate ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Pearls, or Selections of Fond Memory and Immortal Imprint
Al-Durar wa-hiyya Muntakhabat al-Tayyib al-Zikr al-Khalid al-Athr (Pearls, or selections of fond memory and immortal imprint) is a memorial volume that collects the political and literary writing of the influential Arab nationalist Adib Ishaq (1856−85). Born in Damascus, Ishaq was a precocious youngster who received his formative education in Arabic and French at the French Lazarist school there and under the Jesuits in Beirut. His family’s strained circumstances forced him to leave school for work as a customs clerk. Excelling at languages, he supplemented his income by writing ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The History of Modern France
Tarikh Faransa al-Hadith (The history of modern France) is a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte rather than, as suggested by the title, a general history of France. The author states that “France is the closest country to us in the Orient commercially and linguistically. We have chosen this topic as serviceable history, that is, the fundamental art upon which public policies, action, and planning are based.” The book is more than 1,000 pages long. Introductory chapters briefly cover geography and history to the 1770s, as well as the French Revolution ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
“History of the Caliphs” by al-Sūyūtī and “Primary Indicators of Well-Regulated States” by al-Hasan al-ʻAbbāsī
This volume contains two works, Tarikh al-Khulafa’ (History of the caliphs) by al-Sūyūtī (1445−1505) and Athar al-Uwal fi Tartib al-Duwal (Primary indicators of well-regulated states) by al-Hasan ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-‘Abbāsī (died circa 1310). Al-Sūyūtī is renowned for his writings in the Islamic sciences, although not necessarily for this historical work. History of the Caliphs remains in print as a standard summation of the Sunni view of the rule of succession after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. The work reveals a gift for selection and synthesis rather than ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
"Imperial" Menologion
This manuscript, created in the Byzantine Empire in the second quarter of the 11th century, contains the biographies of saints whom the church commemorates in the month of January. It was originally part of a set containing volumes for each month of the year. A companion volume, with texts for March, now survives in Moscow (State Historical Museum, MS gr. 183). Each chapter in both manuscripts opens with a miniature depicting the death of a respective saint, or less often, another significant event from his or her life. Each text ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
The Biographical Account of Timur
Kulliyat-e Farsi Taymurnamah (literally, The biographical account of Timur) is a biography of Timur or Tamerlane (1336−1405), the Turkic-Mongolian founder of the Timurid dynasty and lineage. It chronicles in detail his personal, political, and military life, including campaigns and conquests, and events in the regions of present-day Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iran. Many biographies of Timur were produced during his lifetime and after. This lithographed version was published in Tashkent by Matba-e Ghulam Hasan in 1912. The last page of the introduction (pages 2−7) states that this book ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Biography of Zou Rong
Zou Rong (1885−1905), whose original name was Zou Shaotao, was also called Guiwen and had the style name Weidan. He was a native of Baxian, Sichuan. He changed his name to Zou Rong while studying in Japan. In 1903 he published a little book entitled Ge ming jun (The revolutionary army), calling for the Chinese people to carry out revolution, overthrow the Manchu regime, and establish the Chinese republic. Zhang Taiyan (1868−1936), a Chinese philologist, philosopher, and also a revolutionary, wrote the preface. It was published in the ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Chronicle of the World
Weltchronik (Chronicle of the world) is a German translation of an original Latin text attributed to Joannes de Utino (also seen as Giovanni da Udine, died 1366). This copy was produced in the second half of the 15th century and features extensive decorative colored drawings by an unknown painter. It most likely was created in Bratislava sometime after 1458, during the period of Matthias Corvinus´s accession to the Hungarian throne. It was preserved in the library of the Bratislava Capuchins. The chronicle is a didactic work that would have ...
Contributed by Slovak National Library
Protocol of the Convent of Bratislava (Heraldic Codex)
Protocollum Venerabilis Conventus Posoniensis (Protocol of the convent of Bratislava) is a heraldic codex containing a list of the patrons and donors of a religious institution in Bratislava with 67 full-page painted miniatures of their respective coats of arms. The last listing was created in 1763. The armorial book was begun in 1710 in Bratislava at the request of Ľudovít Kirkay, the superior of the local Franciscan convent, who most probably was inspired by a model of the Historia Domus protocol of the Bratislava convent dated 1709. The coats of ...
Contributed by Slovak National Library
The History of Genghizcan the Great, First Emperor of the Antient Moguls and Tartars
This early Western history of Genghis Khan, the 13th-century Mongol Emperor who established the world’s largest contiguous empire, is by François Pétis (1622-95), an interpreter of Arabic and Turkish at the French court. In a long and distinguished career, Pétis translated a history of France into Turkish, compiled a French-Turkish dictionary, and created a catalog of the Turkish and Persian manuscripts owned by the king of France. François Pétis de la Croix (1653-1713), the son of François Pétis, took over the position of interpreter from his father in 1695 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Sketches from the Life of Mahmud Pasa
This manuscript, completed by an anonymous scribe in 1716, is a copy of a late-15th century biography of Mahmud Pasha, who served as grand vizier to Sultan Mehmed II. Mahmud Pasha (surnamed Angelović) came from Byzantine Christian parents, and was known for his military leadership and his patronage of literature and the arts. He fell out of favor with the sultan and was executed in 1474. Mahmud Pasha was popular, and stories from his life were widely read. The author of the original 15th-century work is unknown. The manuscript is ...
An Interesting History of Robert Burns; The Ayrshire Bard
Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a ...
The Life of the Prophet
Maghāzī al-Nabī (The life of the Prophet) depicts the life of the Prophet Muhammad in poetical form. The original work was composed by a famous Arabic and Persian scholar of Kashmir, Ya‘qub Ṣarfī (1521–95). The unique poetic and biographical work, transcribed in two columns on each page of manuscript, includes some supplications and eulogies for the Prophet of Islam. Each column is bordered in lines inlaid with gold. The writing of the manuscript is clear and vivid.
The Interesting History of Prince Lee Boo, Brought to England from the Pelew Islands
The Interesting History of Prince Lee Boo, Brought to England from the Pelew Islands, is an abridged version of a longer work by George Keate (1729-97), An Account of the Pelew Islands, Situated in the Western Part of the Pacific Ocean. Composed from the Journals and Communications of Captain Henry Wilson, and some of his Officers, who, in August 1783, were there Shipwrecked, in the Antelope, a Packet belonging to the Hon. East India Company, published in 1788. The book tells the story of Captain Henry Wilson’s shipwreck on ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Biography of the Dragon-like Heavenly Sovereign and Emperor of High Virtue
The original edition of this work was described in the annotated catalog Dao zang mu lu xiang zhu (Catalog of the Daoist canon with detailed annotations) as consisting of six juan. The work is a biography of Laozi, who was traditionally regarded as the author of Dao de jing and the founder of Daoism. The earliest reference to Laozi is found in Shi ji (The records of the grand historian), by Chinese historian Sima Qian (circa 145–86 BC). Laozi was often said to be a contemporary of Confucius (551 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Discourse in Commendation of the Valiant as Virtuous Minded Gentleman, Mister Frauncis Drake: With a Rejoicing of his Happy Adventures
This small book by the Elizabethan writer Nicholas Breton (circa 1545-1622) is a work of praise addressed to Francis Drake for his voyage around the world of 1577-80. The fact that it refers to Drake as “master” rather than “sir” suggests that it was published some time between September 26, 1580, when Drake returned to Plymouth, and April 14, 1581, when Queen Elizabeth I visited Drake’s ship and conferred knighthood upon him. Breton mentions the booty brought home by Drake, but is silent as to how it was acquired ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Adventures in Swaziland: the Story of a South African Boer
The author of this work, Owen Rowe O’Neil, was a South African Boer (farmer) of Irish descent who grew up near the border between Swaziland and the Transvaal. As a child and an adult he made frequent trips to Swaziland. O’Neil’s book describes warfare, customs, political organization, and medicine in late-19th and early-20th century Swaziland, as well as recounts O’Neil’s numerous personal encounters with King Buno, his mother, Queen Labotsibeni, Crown Prince Sebuza, and other members of the royal family. Swaziland came under the control ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Synaxarion
This 18th-century manuscript, dated 1733 in the colophon, is called an Al-Sinkisār (Synaxarion), meaning a collection of brief biographies of the saints, mostly used in the Orthodox Church. The account of the life of a saint is read as a lesson when that saint’s day is celebrated in church. Each day of the year is marked in this synaxarion with red ink, and then follows a brief narrative for the particular saint or saints celebrated that day. The text is Garshuni (Arabic written in Syriac script). Garshuni Arabic is ...
Lives of the Saints
This Garshuni (Arabic written in Syriac letters) manuscript of Qisas al-qiddīsīn (Lives of the saints) dates from 1692–93 and was written by a scribe named Murad bin 'Abd Al-Masih. It is a collection of biographical accounts of the saints’ lives and homilies. The authors of these various biographies are, for the most part, anonymous. The text is mostly in two columns, but there are some pages with only one. A number of marginal notes in Garshuni and Arabic script accompany the text. Garshuni came into use when Arabic became ...
Life of Barsawma
This undated manuscript of Ktāba d-ḥayyāw(y) d-qaddišā mār(y) Barṣawmā (Life of Barsawma) contains a narrative of the miraculous life of Barsawma (died about 492). The manuscript is in Syriac, but this text also is known in Ge'ez, the classical language of Ethiopia. Barsawma is said to have performed about 100 miracles, detailed here, and he was involved in the Christological controversies of the fifth century. A famous monastery near Melitene in present-day Turkey is named after him. The folios of the manuscript are unnumbered, but ...
Book of Poetry and Poets
Abdullah ibn Muslim ibn Qutaibah (828–85 AD, 213–76) was an Arab literary historian and critic and an Islamic jurist and scholar. He was born in Kufa, in present-day Iraq, and spent much of his life in Baghdad, where he died. His Al-shiir wal shuaraa (Book of poetry and poets) is considered a major classic of Arabic literature and a pioneering work of literary criticism. It is a biographical encyclopedia of more than 200 leading Arab poets, spanning the pre-Islamic period to the early Abbasid era (the sixth century ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The One of a Kind
Abdulmalik ibn Muhammad al-Thaalibi (961–1038 AD, 350–429 AH) was a leading linguist, literary figure, and poet. He was born in the trading and cultural center of Nishapur in Persia (present-day Iran). Yateemet al-dahr (The one of a kind) is the most famous of his more than 80 works. The book is a compilation of biographies of the poets of the time, divided into four main sections, each of which covers a region: the poets of al-Sham (Levant) and its environs; the Buwayhid poets (Western Persia and Iraq); the ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The History of Muslim Philosophers in the East and the West
Muhammad Lutfi Jumaa (1886–1953) was an Egyptian-born lawyer, political activist, linguist, translator, and novelist. The History of Muslim Philosophers in the East and the West is a compilation of biographies of some of the most famous Muslim scholars. It analyzes the life history, upbringing, doctrinal leanings, and views of many leading Muslim thinkers, philosophers, and scholars. Figures covered in the work include Al-Farabi, Al-Kindi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Bajah, Ibn Tufail, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Khaldoun, Ibn Al-Haytham, Ibn Arabi, and others.
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Breath of Perfumes
Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari (1591–1632 AD, 992–1041 AH) was an Arab historian who wrote one of the oldest histories of Muslim Spain. He was born in Tlemcen, in present-day Algeria, and at times lived and worked in Morocco and in Egypt. His most important work, Nafh at-teeb (The breath of perfumes), consists of two parts. The first is a compilation from many authors on Andalusia and its history, including descriptions of the main Andalusian cities and the lifestyles of their peoples. The second part is a biography of the ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Lives of the Physicians
Muaffaq-addin Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad Ibn Al-Qasim Ibn Khalifa Al-Khazraji, better known as Ibn Abī Usaybiah (died circa 1269 AD), was an Arab physician and historian, who was born in Damascus, Syria. The son of an oculist, he studied medicine in Syria as well as in Egypt. Uyūn ul-Anbā fī Ṭabaqāt ul-Aṭibbā (Lives of the physicians) is an encyclopedia containing biographies of known Greek, Roman, Indian and Muslim physicians from ancient times to around 1245 AD. The work is divided into 15 chapters, the first of which is a general treatment ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Mirror and Example for the Worshippers of Christ: the Life of the Blessed Father Benedict, Most Holy Patriarch of Monks
Speculum & exemplar Christicolarum: vita beatissimi patris Benedicti monachorum patriarchae sanctissimi (Mirror and example for the worshippers of Christ: the life of the blessed Father Benedict, most holy patriarch of monks) is an illustrated life of Saint Benedict of Nursia (circa 480–547), with a poetic text by Dom Angelus Fagius Sangrinus (1500–93), abbot of Monte Cassino. The abbey was established by Benedict in about 529. This version of the life of Benedict, the patriarch of Western monasticism, is based on Book II of the Dialogues traditionally ascribed to Saint ...
Four Books of Dialogues
This book is a copy of the first printed edition of the Dialogues traditionally ascribed to Saint Gregory the Great (540–604, pope 590–604). The first three books of the Dialogues recount the deeds of Italian saints, with the second book devoted entirely to Saint Benedict (circa 480–547), author of the famous Rule of Benedict for monks and founder of the abbey and monastery of Monte Cassino near Rome. Gregory's literary portrait of Benedict has provided the iconography for the ornamentation of Benedictine monasteries and manuscripts through ...