The Rayhan-i nasta‘liq (989/1581): A Little-Known Source on Calligraphers


One of the noteworthy trends in Persian studies in recent years has been a surge of interest in anthological texts, most commonly under the label of tazkirahs. These sources were long neglected in scholarship on Persian literary history, or they were used to the minimum extent required to collect biographical data about famous authors. As the field moves toward a better understanding of tazkirahs—both making use of them more resourcefully, and appreciating them as representing an important literary genre of their own—there are different levels of foundational work that need to be pursued. For example, a number of large and influential tazkirahs were not available in published editions until the last ten to fifteen years. Those major texts that have recently become easier to access, such as the ‘Arafat al-‘ashiqin (1024/1615) of Taqi al-Din Awhadi, in turn demand in-depth study by researchers. But we have also reached a point at which it is worth exploring lesser-known Persian anthologies that were written during the early modern heyday of the genre. Hundreds of such works are catalogued in Ahmad Gulchin-i Ma‘ani’s monumental history of the tazkirah. Several decades after the appearance of that study, it remains the case that many of the texts described by Gulchin-i Ma‘ani have received effectively no attention. It is, in fact, sometimes difficult to determine whether a given tazkirah has survived into the present day. This paper concerns one such obscure work, which has been known under the name Rayhan-i nasta‘liq (also a chronogram for its year of composition, 989/1581)…

13 Sep. 2019   ·   09:00 – 11:30
Berlin, Germany

This is part of a panel session, with colleagues from around the world, titled “Safavid Studies: Present and Future.”

Theodore S. Beers
Theodore S. Beers
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I’m a Persian and Arabic philologist, specializing in the literary history of the late medieval and early modern periods.