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 in four columns of 25 lines each within a blue-cream-gold-cream-gold border. Rubrication is used, and there are catchwords on the recto pages. A few notes and corrections have been made in the margins. The colophon states that the manuscript was completed on Jamādī al-Avval, 14, 1027 (May 9, 1618); the place of writing is not given. The binding, newer and of Central Asian origin, is olive-green leather with embossed medallions, two in dark red, with a light-red leather spine.

Last updated: September 30, 2016