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An illustration 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

Besieged defenders of Mashhad al-Dai advancing to battle


A larger image of Besieged defenders of Mashhad al-Dai advancing to battle, in ‘Jami' al-Tawarikh’ by Rashid al-Din, 1305-14

Figure 39 in: M. GORELIK, "Oriental Armour of the Near and Middle East from the Eighth to the Fifteenth Centuries as Shown in Works of Art", in: Islamic Arms and Armour, ed. ROBERT ELGOOD, London 1979
Jāmi‛ al-Tawārikh by Rashīd al-Dīn, Tabriz, c.1314 (Edinburgh University Library, Royal Asiatic Society, Morley. fol. 58b). [Morley reconstructed the original folio order.]



Ms Or 20 f.124v Besieged defenders of Mashhad al-Dai advancing to battle, miniature from the Jamiʿ al-Tawarikh of Rashid al-Din
Il-Khanid Tabriz
Opaque watercolour, ink, gold and silver on paper

Shelfmark: Or.Ms.20
Holding Institution: University of Edinburgh
Title: Jami' al-Tawarikh (World History)
Alternate Title: Compendium of Chronicles
Subset Index: f.125v detail
Creator: Rashid al-Din Ṭabib
Creator Nationality: Iranian
Creator Role: Author
Date: c.1306CE or c.1314/15CE

Detail of miniature from the Compendium of Chronicles by Rashid al-Din. Shows the besieged city of Mashhad al-Dai in 998CE, with the decorated tents of the city's army visible to the right of the miniature. Three horseman are shown riding out of the city, about to engage the aggressors. Their future victory is subtly illustrated by the leader, who is looking towards his comrades.
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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