The Shah-Namah of Firdausi. The Book of The Persian Kings.

Wilkinson, J.V.S. (Described by).

Book ID: 24596


4to. xx, 92 pp., [1], 24 plates including a frontispiece from a Fifteenth Century Persian Manuscript in the Possession of the Royal Asiatic Society (6 in colour), introduction on the paintings by Laurence Binyon, cloth backed boards in soiled and torn d/w, copy inside clean & in very good condition, The India Society, London, 1931.


A handful of scholarly editions has been prepared of the Shahnameh. An early edition was prepared in 1829 in India by T. Macan. It was based on a comparison of 17 manuscript copies. Between 1838–78, an edition appeared in Paris by French scholar J. Mohl, who based it on a comparison of 30 manuscripts. Both editions lacked the critical apparatus and were based on secondary manuscripts that had appeared after the 15th century; much later than the original work. Between 1877 and 1884, the German scholar J. A. Vullers prepared a synthesized text of the Macan and Mohl editions, but only three of the excepted nine volumes of his edition were published during 1877–1884. The Vullers edition was later completed in Tehran by the Iranian scholars S. Nafisi, Iqbal and M. Minowi for the millennial jubilee of Ferdowsi, held between 1934 and 1936.
The first modern critical edition of the Shahnameh was prepared by a Russian team led by E. E. Bertel, using the oldest known manuscript copies, dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, with heavy reliance on the 1276 manuscript from the British Museum and the Leningrad manuscript, dated 1333, of which the latter has now been considered a secondary manuscript. In addition to this, two other manuscripts used in this edition have been so demoted. It was published in Moscow by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in nine volumes between 1960–71.
Bibliographic reference: Creswell 1044.

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