The Rising of the Propitious Twin Stars, and the Amalgamation of the Oceans


This manuscript is volume one of Matla us-Sadain wa Majma ul-Baahrain (The rising of the propitious twin stars and the amalgamation of the oceans) by 'Abd al-Razzāq Kamāl al-Dīn ibn Isḥāq al-Samarqandī (1413−82). The book offers a semi-official account of the political history of the late Mongol khanates and Timurid polities in the Caucasus, Iran, Khorasan, and Mawarannahr. Volume one documents the period from 1316, when Abu Said Bahadur Khan, the last great Mongol khan, came to power in Persia, to the death in 1405 of Timur, founder of the Timurid line. This period is central to the history of the region as a time of important social and political transitions. The work recounts how the Mongol khanates disintegrated, various local Mongol and non-Mongol lineages competed for supremacy, and the Timurid lineage established itself as the dominant political and social group. This volume describes Timur, his rise to power, and his immediate descendants. Timur was succeeded by his son Shahrukh, under whom Razzaq prospered as a legal courtier, trustee, and ambassador. Razzaq’s ambassadorial missions took him to various places in Eurasia, for example to Calicut in the southwest of India in 1442. The major figures and events described in volume one of Razzaq’s work are also described in other contemporary texts. Volume two recounts the reigns of Shahrukh and his descendants, and covers the accession to the throne of Sultan Ḥusain Bāyqarā Chorasan and other events to which the author was eyewitness. The descriptive preface praises God, Muhammad, and the four guided caliphs in Islam. It explains that Razzaq long had wanted to write a history but was prevented from doing so by political instability and other problems. However, one year at Nowruz (New Year) his old friend Shikh Maza al-Din Husain encouraged him to finish writing his text. The events are described chronologically, using the Islamic calendar. The title of each event, verses from Qur’an, and poems all are rubricated. Events usually start with one of the following phrases: “mention of,” “the event of,” and “sending of.” Pages are numbered but numbers do not show on some early pages because of water damage; folio 11 is missing.

Last updated: September 30, 2016