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Illustrations in the 1305-14
Jami‛ al-Tawarikh
by Rashid al-Din.

Universal History

or Compendium of Chronicles

Ğāmi‛ al-tavārīḫ. Rašīd al-Dīn Fazl-ullāh Hamadānī

Tahmuras Enthroned

A larger image of 'Tahmuras Enthroned', miniature from the Jami' al-Tawarikh of Rashid al-Din.

A larger image of 'Jamshid Enthroned', miniature from the Jami' al-Tawarikh of Rashid al-Din.

Jamshid Enthroned

Shelfmark: Or.Ms.20
Holding Institution: University of Edinburgh
Title: Jami' al-Tawarikh (World History)
Alternate Title: Compendium of Chronicles
Subset Index: f.2v
Creator: Rashid al-Din Ṭabib
Creator Nationality: Iranian
Creator Role: Author

Detail of page from the Compendium of Chronicles by Rashid al-Din showing text in centre with images above and below. Image one depicts Tahmuras, the third king of the world according to Persian Mythology, surrounded by attendants. One, who is shown writing, appears to be a scribe, while another is holding an arrow, bow and quiver. The second miniature shows Jamshid, who according to Persian mythology encouraged the invention of weapons and the development of crafts. He is shown sitting on a silver cushion, with a figure holding a bow standing to his right. Another figure, who is holding two weapons, can be seen to the left of the image, about to pass them to the first individual.
Arguably the greatest treasure in the library, the Jami' al-Tawarikh, or Compendium of Chronicles, is a world history which encompasses a range of cultures, from China in the East, to Ireland in the West, from the time of Adam. It is written in the Naskh script and contains 70 illustrated folios. Written by the scholar and courtier Rashid al-Din (d.1318), there is some debate as to the exact date of this manuscript, but it was almost certainly completed within the author's lifetime, making it one of the earliest copies in existence. It is one of the three main sources for the life of Genghis Khan and is considered to be one of the most important medieval documents in the world.
Sources: Hukk, M (1925), A descriptive catalogue of the Arabic and Persian manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library, Hertford. Talbot Rice, D. (1976), The Illustrations to the World History of Rashid al-Din, Edinburgh.
Source: Edinburgh University Library

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