Supplement to the General History of the Huns, the Turks, and the Mughals


Muhammad Yusuf ibn Khawajah Baqa was a historian and munshi (court secretary) active in the mid-17th–early 18th centuries in the court of Muqim Khan, the khan of Balkh (reigned circa 1702–7), in the north of present-day Afghanistan. Munshi Muhammad Yusuf is known for his Taz̲kirah-ʼi muqīmʹkhānī (History of Muqim Khan), an account chronicling the political, cultural, and social history of Transoxania during the reigns of the Shaybanids (circa 1500–99) and their successors, the Astrakhanids (circa 1599–1747), both Turco-Mongol dynasties. Known to the Greeks and Romans as Transoxania (Land Beyond the Oxus) and to the Arabs as Ma waraʼ al-nahr (Land Beyond the River), this area roughly corresponds to present-day Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, southwest Kazakhstan, and southern Kyrgyzstan. Supplément à l'histoire générale des Huns, des Turks et des Mogols (Supplement to the general history of the Huns, the Turks and the Mughals) is comprised of two commentaries based on Munshi Muhammad Yusuf’s Taz̲kirah. The first, in French, is a commentary on the Taz̲kirah consisting of an introduction and three parts. The second commentary, Tuḥfat azhār al-tadhkirat al-muqīmiyah li ṭullāb ʻilm al-lughati al-fārisiyah (Bouquet offering from the history of Muqim Khan for the students of the discipline of the Persian language), is in Persian (albeit with an Arabic title) and summarizes the historical sources used in the first commentary. The author of both commentaries is the Polish-Russian orientalist Joseph Senkowski (1800–1858). Better known as Osip Ivanovich Senkovskii, Senkowski was a professor at the Imperial University of Saint Petersburg known for his parodies of fellow orientalists and the fantastic tales he wrote and published under the pen name Baron Brambeus. The introduction to the first commentary discusses the Taz̲kirah and Senkowski’s method, while the three parts are dedicated respectively to the Shaybanids, the Astrakhanids, and the Bukharan ruler ‘Ubaydullah Khan (reigned 1702‒11). The second commentary is a summary of biographies of various rulers, compiled by Senkowski. It is unclear if the “students” he refers to in his title were his own, which, if true, might make the commentary a textbook. The Supplément was published by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg in 1824.

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Russian Imperial Academy of Science, Saint Petersburg

Title in Original Language

Supplément à l'histoire générale des Huns, des Turks et des Mogols, contenant un abrégé de l’histoire de la domination des Uzbèks dans la Grande Bukharie, depuis leur établissement dans ce pays jusqu’à l’an 1709, et une continuation de l’histoire de Kahrèzm, depuis la mort d’Aboul-Ghazi-Khan jusqu’à la même époque

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156 pages ; 26 centimeters

Last updated: September 30, 2016