26 results in English
History of Afghanistan: Official Text-Book for the Examination of Military Officers in Interpretership Pushtu
Tārīkh-i-Afghānistān (History of Afghanistan) is a translation into Pashto of G.B. Malleson’s History of Afghanistan, from the Earliest Period to the Outbreak of the War of 1878 (1879). Published in Peshawar in 1930, the book was used as a textbook for British military officers serving in the Pashto-speaking areas of northwestern India (present-day Pakistan) and Afghanistan. Its purpose was to provide a language learning text that would at the same time introduce its readers to the history of the Pashto lands. The translation was done by Ahmad Jan ...
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The Song of Igor’s Campaign: Text in Translation with Explanations of the Rules of Accents and Rhyme in the Old Russian Language
Presented here is a translation into Ukrainian of Slovo o polku Igoreve (The song of Igor’s campaign), the heroic poem from the end of the 12th century that is one of the great monuments of Old Russian literature. The translation was issued in 1884 by the printing house of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lvov (present-day L’viv), at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia (the southeastern part of which was heavily Ukrainian). It uses the orthography that was developed for Ukrainian in Galicia, beginning in ...
Primer with Various Instructions
Beron’s Primer with Various Instructions is the first modern Bulgarian primer. Used by children throughout the 19th century, it contained, in addition to the rules of grammar, general information about nature and basic arithmetic. The book is better known as the “Fish Primer” for the picture of the whale at the end. Beron is considered the father of modern Bulgarian.
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Correct Words and Variations in the Persian Language
This 16th-century manuscript is a Persian dictionary, written at the time of the Mongol expansion into Persia (present-day Iran). The format of the dictionary follows that of older Arabic dictionaries, in which words were arranged according to the last consonant. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript ...
On the Art of al-Aroodh
This manuscript book from 1554 is in two sections. The first section is a grammatical work by an unknown author that compares the conjugation of verbs in Arabic and in Farsi, indicating changes in the forms each time a different tense is used, and that also contains a list of the singular and plural forms of many Arabic nouns. The second section of the book is a brief article, in Ottoman Turkish, by an unknown author, on the metrics of Arabic poetry. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of ...
Bulgarian Grammar
Notable as the first Bulgarian grammar, this book is also culturally significant because of the role that its author, Neofit Rilski (1793–1881), played in the promotion of secular education in Bulgaria and in the establishment of a modern Bulgarian literary language. Neofit, a priest associated with the Rila Monastery, was a leading figure in the 19th-century Bulgarian National Revival and its concomitant education reform. He was the first headmaster of the Gabrovo School, the first secular school in Bulgaria. In the midst of a national debate in the 1830s ...
Grammar of the Slavic Language
Ivan N. Momchilov was a noted teacher and textbook writer during the 19th-century era of the Bulgarian National Revival. As a teacher, he recognized the need for a basic primer for his pupils on Church Slavic, and set about writing such a work. His 1847 Grammar of the Slavic Language was Momchilov’s first textbook and the first Church Slavic grammar to be published in Bulgarian and by a Bulgarian. It was compiled using several other grammars as its foundation, namely those by the Russian Ivan Stepanovich Peninskii, by the ...
Writing Manual
Sava Dobroplodni (1820–94) was a noted educator, dramatist, and literary figure during the era of the National Revival in Bulgaria. In his role as an educator, he wrote many textbooks, including this pismennik (writing manual). Published in 1853, Dobroplodni’s guide was one of the earliest Bulgarian manuals of writing, or orthography, as well as the first to provide definitions of such literary terms as metaphor, synonym, and allegory. The book showed the Slavic, Greek, German, and French alphabets, offered rules for writing, and gave examples of good writing ...
Civil Alphabet with Moral Teachings
Civil Alphabet with Moral Teachings, published in 1710, is the first official Russian civil alphabet. Also known as the “ABC book of Peter the Great,” it was aimed at simplifying the Russian alphabet and was produced after many years of experiments conducted by Dutch and Russian experts under the guidance and with the direct participation of Tsar Peter the Great (reigned, 1682–1725). This copy of the alphabet is of particular interest, as it contains corrections to the composition and form of the letters, handwritten by the tsar. The back ...
Love’s Snare
This calligraphic fragment includes a number of poetical verses written diagonally, horizontally, and vertically in separate panels of beige and gold paper. Two gold horizontal panels at the top and bottom include the following bayts (verses): “Your body that is under (your) shirt, / ‘It is alone, it has no equal,’ what a body it is!” Drawing on the symbolic potential of the Arabic expression for proclaiming the unity of God, “He is alone and has no partner,” the poem describes the divine beauty of the beloved. In the main text ...
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Quatrain for the Loved One
This calligraphic fragment includes a rubaʻi (iambic pentameter quatrain) describing competition for the loved one. At the top, the verses are initiated by an invocation to God, “Huwa” (He), and the abjad (numerical equivalent) 111. The poem then reads: “That person who holds a glass (of wine) in his hand / Has everlasting pleasure and joy. / We, wine, devout and pious ones, / Which one will the beloved prefer?” The verses are executed in black nastaʻliq script on a beige paper and are outlined in cloud bands on a background painted in ...
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Sample of a Hopeful Letter
This calligraphic fragment is intended as an example of how a letter to a friend is to be written. The text, written in a fluid shikastah- nastaʻliq in black ink, is outlined in cloud bands and placed on a background painted in gold. Several borders in orange, blue, and gold frame the text panel, which is pasted to a larger sheet of pink paper backed with cardboard for support. The letter begins with two verses of poetry about hope after disappointment. They read: “Look at the bird of the heart ...
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Quatrain on Reaching Divine Unity
This calligraphic fragment includes a rubaʻi (iambic pentameter quatrain) on the subject of spiritual transformation. At the top right, an invocation to God, Huwa al-ʻaziz (He is the Glorified), precedes the quatrain’s verses, which read: “When the close of my pain became the reason of my cure / My lowness changed into loftiness, and disbelief became faith / Spirit and heart and body were the obstacle to the path (toward God) / But now body became heart, heart became spirit, and spirit became the ‘Spirit of Spirits’.” The mystic describes his path ...
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Verses by Shaykh Baha'i
This calligraphic fragment includes verses composed by Shaykh Bahaʼi, a Persian mystical poet of the 11th century. The poem describes the many ways in which to express one’s love of God: “Oh, the arrow of Your grief (is) the target of Your lovers’ heart(s) / People are mesmerized by You, but You are absent from both time and place / Sometimes I retire to my monastery, others I inhabit a mosque / That means that I search for You from house to house / Everyone speaks about his love for You in ...
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Illuminated Frontispiece
This illuminated frontispiece was intended for a divan (compendium) of poems, which included kulliyat (collections) of muqatʻat (fragmentary verses) and qasaʼid (lyric poems), among many poetic forms. The name of each kitab (book) of verse is inscribed in white ink in every individual rectangular panel on the vertical left border of the frontispiece. These title panels are painted directly on the cardboard, which serves as a backing for the rest of the salvaged frontispiece. For this reason, they possibly are not part of the original piece. The frontispiece consists of ...
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“Mufradat” Exercises
This calligraphic fragment creates an illuminated carpet page, which combines mufradat (letter exercises) on three horizontal lines and Persian poetical excerpts written in diagonally between colored triangular corners (called “thumb pieces”). It is the first of two fragments from the same fragmentary album held in the collections of the Library of Congress. Albums of mufradat exercises include al-huruf al-mufradah, or, in the Ottoman tradition, huruf-i muqattaʻa (the single letters) of the Arabic alphabet in sequence, followed by letters in their composite form, called in the Turkish tradition murekkebe (literally “pairs ...
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“Mufradat” Exercises
This calligraphic fragment creates an illuminated carpet page, which combines mufradat (letter exercises) on three horizontal lines and Persian poetical excerpts written in diagonally between colored triangular corners (called “thumb pieces”). It is the first of two fragments from the same fragmentary album held in the collections of the Library of Congress. Albums of mufradat exercises include al-huruf al-mufradah, or, in the Ottoman tradition, huruf-i muqattaʻa (the single letters) of the Arabic alphabet in sequence, followed by letters in their composite form, called in the Turkish tradition murekkebe (literally “pairs ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Verses by Amir Khusraw Dihlavi
This calligraphic fragment includes a number of verses written by the poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (circa 1253−1325), whose name is noted in the upper-right corner of the central text panel as “li-Amir Khusraw.” The verses describe the permanence of love as a flower bud in perpetual blossom, and read: “This so beautiful, pleasing one in the rose garden / (May God place) a thorn in my eyes if one of them (the flowers) is similar to you / I enter and leave the garden a hundred times / (and) because of my ...
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A Friend's Letter
This calligraphic fragment contains an incomplete letter from a man to his friend written in a fine shikastah-nastaʻliq script typical of 18th-century compositions from Persia (Iran). Framed by cloud bands and placed on a gold background with blue vine motifs, the text is comprised of four lines. Beginning with an invocation to God, Huwa, (He) in the top-right corner, the letter continues: “Because it’s been a very long time / That I haven’t (been able) to write a worthy letter, / Because a friend among friends wants to write to ...
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Beginning of Saʻdi’s "Gulistan"
A didactic work in both prose and verse, the famous Gulistan (The rose garden) was composed in 1258 by the Persian poet and prose writer Shaykh Saʻdi Shirazi (circa 1213–92), a contemporary of the famous poet Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207–73). It contains a number of moralizing stories that bear similarities to the fables of the French writer Jean de La Fontaine (1621–95). In Persian lands, Saʻdi’s maxims were highly valued and manuscripts of his work were widely copied and illustrated. Saʻdi notes that he composed Gulistan ...
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Levha (Panel)
This levha (calligraphic panel) reads: “Ya ʻAli, ruhi fadakah” (Oh ʻAli, my spirit is sacrified for you). The letters are arranged artistically to fill the calligraphic panel, making the reading of the phrase quite difficult. Diacritics (vocalization signs) also fill in the composition’s empty spaces. Although meaning is secondary to form, this vocative phrase calling for loyalty to ʻAli underscores the Shiʻi message of the panel. In the left vertical border, the artist, Muhammad Ibrahim, has included his seal and has dated his composition 1134 AH (1721‒22). The ...
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Alphabet Book for Primary Schools in the Bosnian Vilayet
The first printing house in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1519 by Božidar Goraždanin, in the city of Goražde, in eastern Bosnia. Two years later, in 1521, the establishment closed and was moved to Romania. Subsequently, a small number of books written in Bosnia and Herzegovina were sent outside the country to be printed, in Venice, Vienna, Rome, and elsewhere, but books were not produced in the country. In the second half of the 19th century, there was a revival of interest in printing and publishing in Bosnia and ...
Bosnian Grammar for High Schools. Parts 1 and 2, Study of Voice and Form
The first printing house in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1519 by Božidar Goraždanin, in the city of Goražde, in eastern Bosnia. Two years later, in 1521, the establishment closed and was moved to Romania. Subsequently, a small number of books written in Bosnia and Herzegovina were sent outside the country to be printed, in Venice, Vienna, Rome, and elsewhere, but books were not produced in the country. In the second half of the 19th century, there was a revival of interest in printing and publishing in Bosnia and ...
The History of the Urdu Language
This work, published in Delhi in 1920, is a history of the Urdu language from its origins to the development of an Urdu literature. Urdu and Hindi share an Indo-Aryan base, but Urdu is associated with the Nastaliq script style of Persian calligraphy and reads right-to-left, whereas Hindi resembles Sanskrit and reads left-to-right. The earliest linguistic influences in the development of Urdu probably began with the Muslim conquest of Sindh in 711. The language started evolving from Farsi and Arabic contacts during the invasions of the Indian subcontinent by Persian ...
Dictionary of Urdu Terms Used in Newspapers
Ziauddin Ahmad Barni (1890–1969) was born and educated in Delhi, where his father and one of his brothers were instrumental in the development of Urdu newspapers and several members of the family were renowned calligraphers. Proficient in Farsi and English, he worked in the Oriental Translator’s Office in Bombay (present-day Mumbai), until his retirement in 1948. He also wrote for the Bombay Chronicle in both English and Urdu. In 1915 he published this dictionary of terminology in common usage in the Urdu newspapers of the day. Entries are ...
Panjabi Grammar: A Brief Grammar of Panjabi As Spoken in the Wazirabad District
Thomas Grahame Bailey (1872–1942) was a Church of Scotland missionary in India who made extensive studies of northern Indian languages. After studying Hindi and Urdu at the London University School of Oriental Studies, he went on to publish books on Panjabi (now usually called Punjabi), Himalayan dialects, Urdu, Kanauri, Kashmiri, Shina, and other languages. Panjabi Grammar: A Brief Grammar of Panjabi As Spoken in the Wazirabad District was written at the request of an official of the government of Punjab, in what was then a part of British India ...