- Persian literature
- Poetry (9)
- Illuminations (8)
- Calligraphy, Persian (6)
- Persian poetry (6)
- Epic poetry (5)
- Islamic manuscripts (3)
- Kings and rulers (3)
- Alexander, the Great, 356-323 B.C. (2)
- Islamic calligraphy (2)
- Mythology (2)
- Essays (1)
- Islamic philosophy (1)
- Khosrow II, King of Persia, died 628 (1)
- Love stories (1)
- Manners and customs (1)
- Memory of the World (1)
- Miniatures (Illuminations) (1)
- Ta'liq script (1)
Type of Item
- Arabic (1)
Molla Sadra’s Miscellany
Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī (1571–1640), commonly known as Molla Sadra, was a Persian Islamic philosopher, theologian, and mystic who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century. The foremost exemplar of the Illuminationist, or Eshraqi, school of philosopher-mystics, Molla Sadra is commonly regarded by Iranians as the greatest philosopher that Iran has produced and is arguably the single most important and influential philosopher in the Muslim world of the last four centuries. His school of philosophy is called Transcendent Theosophy. Molla Sadra's philosophy and ontology ...
Literary Essay by Jāmī
This lithographic print is a literary essay by Nūr al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān Jāmī (1414–92), a great Persian poet, scholar, and mystic, who lived most of his life in Herat (present-day Afghanistan). The work is exceptional for being written in prose at a time when most fine Persian writing was in poetic form. Extensive commentary and critical notes are printed in the margins. There are also some handwritten notes in the margins, but most of these were lost when the work was rebound. Lithographic printing was invented in Europe in ...
Selections from the Shāhnāmeh of the Learned Abū al-Qāsim Firdawsi, May he be Blessed and May his Sins be Pardoned
This manuscript from the early 17th century contains selections from the Shāhnāmeh (Book of kings), the epic-historical work of Persian literature composed at the end of the tenth century by the poet Abū al-Qāsim Firdawsī (940–1020). This beloved epic of pre-Islamic Persia (present-day Iran) was widely read in Persia, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. The manuscript contains three half-page paintings showing different battles. The text is preceded by an introduction and table of contents (folios 1b−6b) and is written in black ink in a nastaʻliq script. The pages are ...
The Feast of Iskandar and Nushabah from Niẓāmī's "Iskandarnamah"
The painting on the recto and the text on the verso of this fragment describe an episode in Niẓāmī's Iskandarnamah (The book of Alexander the Great), the last text of the author's Khamsah (Quintet). In his work, the great Persian author Niẓāmī Ganjavī (1140 or 1141–1202 or 1203) describes the adventures and battles of Alexander the Great as he travels to the end of the world. On his way to the Land of Darkness, he visits the queen of the Caucasian city of Barda, Nushabah, in order ...
The Rose Garden
The Persian poet and scholar Muṣliḥ ud-Dīn Sadī Shīrāzī (circa 1213-1292) is known primarily as the author of Gulistan (The rose garden), one of the great masterpieces of Persian literature, which he completed in 1259. The work has a didactic and ethical character, and is still widely read, in the original Persian and in translations in many languages. This manuscript copy is written in the ta’liq script in two different hands, and contains numerous explanations and remarks in the margins and in the text. The manuscript is dated 1585 ...
Colophon of Niẓāmī's "Sharafnamah" and Title Page of Niẓāmī's "Iqbalnamah"
This folio contains the last lines and colophon of the Sharafnamah (The book of honor), the first section of the fifth book of Niẓāmī Ganjavī's Khamsah (Quintet) entitled Iskandarnamah (The book of Alexander the Great). On the folio's verso appears the beginning of the second section of the Iskandarnamah called Iqbalnamah (The book of progress), arranged in an illuminated title page, which contains a heading written in white ink: Kitab Iqbalnamah-yi Shaykh Nizami, 'alayhi al-rahmah wa-al-maghfarah (The book of progress of Niẓāmī, mercy and forgiveness upon him). The ...
Colophon of Niẓāmī's "Makhzan al-Asrar" and Title Page of Niẓāmī's "Khusraw va Shirin"
This folio contains the illuminated title page of the second book of Niẓāmī's Khamsah (Quintet), entitled Khusraw va Shirin, and the colophon of the preceding work, Makhzan al-Asrar (The treasury of secrets). Written during the last few decades of the 12th century, the Khamsah consists of five books written in rhyming distichs. Along with Firdawsī's Shahnamah (Book of kings), the Khamsah stands out as one of the great monuments of medieval Persian poetry. It is about the love relationship of the last great Sasanian ruler, Khusraw Parvīz (590 ...
The Fainting of Laylah and Majnun from Niẓāmī's "Khamsah"
This folio depicts a well-known passage from the tragic story of Laylah and Majnun described in the third book of Niẓāmī Ganjavī's Khamsah (Quintet). Forcibly separated by the animosity of their respective tribes toward each other, forced marriages, and years of exile in the wilderness, the two ill-fated lovers meet again for the last time before each is to die, thanks to the intervention of Majnun's elderly messenger. Upon seeing each other in a palm-grove outside of Laylah's camp, they faint from pain and extreme passion. The ...
This fragment includes the beginning of Sa'di's Gulistan (The rose garden) on its recto, as well as the work's final page on its verso. The first page includes the title of the work written in white ink on a blue background decorated with orange leaf spirals. The rest of the illuminated top panel contains interlacing flowers and gold panels on a blue ground. A didactic work in both prose and verse, Gulistan was composed in 1258 by the Persian poet and prose writer Shaykh Sa'di Shirazi ...
Laylah and Majnun Meet in School from Niẓāmī's "Khamsah"
This calligraphic fragment describes the first encounter between the star-crossed lovers Laylah and Majnun when they are children in school, as described by Niẓāmī Ganjavī (1140 or 1141–1202 or 1203) in the third book of his Khamsah (Quintet). In the story, Qays (also known as Majnun) is sent to school by his father to learn to read and write. One day, however, young Qays notices a lovely girl with hair that is laylah (literally as black as night) and falls deeply in love with her. The layout of this ...
The Book of Kings
This manuscript containing 215 illustrations is one of the largest pictorial cycles of the Shāhnāma, the Persian Book of Kings. Several painters, working at different times, were involved in its illumination; the miniatures thus are not uniform in style. Four distinct groups can be identified, with the two oldest groups dating from the 16th century. The miniatures of the first group show large-scale compositions with many figures, executed in minute detail using brilliant colors. The pictures of the second group are of lesser quality with regard to composition and figure ...