The Bāz-nāma-yi Nāṣirī, a Persian Treatise on Falconry


The Bāz-nāma-yi Nāṣirī, a Persian Treatise on Falconry is a 19th century manual on the art and sport of hunting with raptors. The book is by Taymur Mirza (died 1874 or 1875; mirza means “prince” in Persian when it follows a personal name), a member of the Qajar dynasty (1785‒1925) and grandson of Fath ʻAli Shah, Shah of Iran. The translator’s introduction describes how Taymur Mirza was exiled from Persia but eventually was restored into the good graces of Nasir al-Din Shah (1831‒96). Falconry is a traditional sport of Asia and Europe, enjoyed by royalty from ancient times. Birds of prey specially trained for the hunt have been termed “the king’s darlings.” Taymur Mirza divides his descriptions of such birds into the two traditional taxonomies: “dark-eyed birds” and “yellow-eyed birds.” Examples in the first category are eagles and buzzards, and in the second, various hawks, owls, and the osprey (“which refused all food except fish”). In meticulously detailed text enhanced by the translator’s notes and photographs, Taymur Mirza covers the husbandry of raptors, their capture, training, diet, and treatment of diseases, illustrated with examples from his own experience. The book was translated by Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Craven Phillott (1860‒1930), a British army officer who was a linguist, teacher, and prolific writer of manuals for students of Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. Phillott translated numerous literary works, including other treatises on the traditional royal pursuits of hunting and horsemanship. This edition of Phillott’s translation of Bāz-nāma-yi Nāṣirī was published in London in 1908 in a limited edition of 500 copies.

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Bernard Quaritch, London


Title in Original Language

The Bāz-nāma-yi Nāṣirī, a Persian treatise on falconry

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195 pages : illustrations ; 26 centimeters


  1. Safadi, Alison. “From Sepoy to Subadar,” in The annual of Urdu studies, 25 (2010), p. 43.

Last updated: April 29, 2016