Bio Bibliography Of Ismaili Literature Review

This page features articles and academic papers by Ismail K. Poonawala, the renowned Islamic scholar. Born in 1937 in Godhra, India, Ismail K. Poonwala is a Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught since 1974. He also taught at McGill and Harvard universities. A specialist in Ismaili history and doctrines, he is the author of Biobibliography of Ismaili Literature (1977), a comprehensive survey of Ismaili authors and their writings including manuscript holdings in public and private collections. Recently he edited Turks in the Indian Subcontinent, West and Central Asia: Turkish Presence in the Islamic World (2016).

Epistles of the Brethren of Purity and its vision of pluralistic world
Ismail Poonawala delivered a lecture in March 2017 at the International Ismaili Studies Conference in Ottawa, Canada. The theme of the conference was "Mapping of a Pluralistic Space in Ismaili Studies." This is the transcript of the lecture.

Epistles of the Brethren of Purity and its vision of pluralistic world (PDF).

Translability of the Quran: Theological and literary considerations

It seems that Muslim Orthodoxy's objection to translation mainly stems from doctrinal consideration. Literally problems, on the other hand, remain formidable. The Qur'an has its lexical subtleties, its perplexities of grammar, its cadences and rhymes, its metaphor and poetry. All these qualities not only tax the ingenuity of the translator but make it almost impossible to avoid interpretation. No translation can do justice to the original, and the unique quality of its i'jaz is lost in translation.

Translability of the Quran: Theological and literary considerations (Scanned PDF).

Succession crisis among Dawoodi Bohras
,p>Our scrutiny of the sources demonstrates that the question of succession to the daʿiship, similar to the succession to the imamate, is fraught with human emotion, personal tensions, and other mundane factors. The issue was not free from internal family intrigues and personal ambition of an individual. There are clear guidelines for the qualifications of the daʿī and a manual on how to conduct the affairs of the daʿwa with equity and justice – a “mirror for princes” type of text.

Succession crisis among Dawoodi Bohras.

Ismaili Tawil of the Qura'n

Ismailis make a fundamental distinction between aspect of religion, the zahir (exterior) and the batin (interior). The former aspect consist of exterior aspects, such as knowing the apparent meaning of the Quran and performing the obligatory acts as laid down in the sharia, the religious law. The latter aspect is comprised of knowing the hidden, inner, true meaning of the Qrua'n and the sharia. They further maintain that it is the natiq (lawgiver-prophet) who receives revelation (tanzil) and promulgates the sharia, while it is his associate and deputy, the wasi (plenipotentiary), who expounds the batin through the science of ta'wil. The zahir, therefore, varies from prophet to prophet in accordance with each epoch, whereas the batin remains unchanged and is universally valid. Despite this twofold division of religion into exoteric and esoteric aspects, Ismailis stress that both are not only complementary to each other, but that they are also intertwined with each other like body and soul. One without the other, therefore, cannot exist.

Ismaili Tawil of the Quran. (Scanned PDF).

Humanism in Ismaili thought: The case of the Rasail Ikhwan al-Safa

Cultural historians are divided as to whether the term "humanism," a product of the Graeco-Roman humanitas ideal, can be applied to the world of medieval Islam. In his chapter entitled "al-Naza al-insaniyya fi'l-fikr al-'arabi" (The Humanist Trend in Arab Thought), 'Abd al-Ral:rman Badawi, reflecting on humanism in Arab thought, states that Greek culture was not unique in creating a humanist ideal. Every high culture, he asserts, produces this phenomenon in its own way. A number of other scholars, such as Louis Gardet, and Mohammed Arkoun have discussed and elaborated on humanism as a feature of Arab-Islamic civilization. In The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West, George Makdisi has covered all aspects of Islamic learning and rendered the Arabic term adab as humanism.

This article appeared in Universality in Islamic Thought: Rationalism, Science and Religious Belief, Edited by Michael Morony, London: I.B.Tauris, 2014.

Humanism in Ismaili thought: The case of the Rasail Ikhwan al-Safa. (Scanned PDF).

Ismail b. Abd al-Rasul
Nothing is known about Ismail b. Abd al-Rasul's early life, education, and family except that he and his son Hebat-Allāh were the students of Loqmānji b. Ḥabīb-Allāh (d. 1173/1760), the renowned Ismaʿili pundit of his time. Soon both the father and son became distinguished scholars in their own rights. Ismail b. Abd al-Rasul. (PDF).

Hasan b. Nuh: An Indian Ismaili scholar
Hasan b. Nuh was born and brought up in Khambhāt (Cambay), a port city in Gujarat, in western India, and received his early education there. Seeking more knowledge, after he had exhausted all the sources available in India, he gave up his family life and friends, left his native town, and sailed to Yemen. Hasan b. Nuh: An Indian Ismaili scholar. (PDF).

Ismāʿīlī Manuscripts from Yemen
How did the Ismāʿīlī works,1 written by their duʿāt (pl. of dāʿī, i.e. missionaries) in different countries, at distinct times, under diverse circumstances, come to be preserved in Yemen having completely disappeared from their country of origin?2 The answer to this intriguing question can be found in Ismāʿīlī history. The Ismāʿīlīs are historically associated with Yemen, as expounded by the Ismāʿīlī Yemenī dāʿī Idrīs ʿImād al-Dīn, a historian of the daʿwa3 and a prolific author, who died in 872/1468 in Shibām (Kawkabān).4 The following account is culled from his two major historical works. Ismāʿīlī Manuscripts from Yemen (PDF).

The Evolution of al-Qāḍī al-Nuʿmān’s Theory of Ismaili Jurisprudence
Shiʿi Ismaili law, codified by al-Qāḍī al-Nuʿmān (hereafter referred to as Nuʿmān) in his enduring work Daʿāʾim al-Islām (The Pillars of Islam) with the approval of the fourth Fatimid Imam-caliph al-Muʿizz li-Dīn Allāh, is almost a millennium old.1 Ever since its promulgation, most probably in 349/960 as the official code of the Fatimid empire, the Daʿāʾim has reigned supreme, particularly with the Mustaʿlī- Ṭayyibī Ismailis of Yemen and the Indian subcontinent after the fall of the Fatimids in Egypt in 561/1171. The Evolution of al-Qāḍī al-Nuʿmān’s Theory of Ismaili Jurisprudence as Reflected in the Chronology of his Works on Jurisprudence (PDF).

Note on Kiatab al-Zina by Abu Hatim al_Razi
This essay is prompted by Cornelius Berthold's article "The Leipzig Manuscript of Kiatab al-Zina by the Ismaili author Abu Hatim al-Razi. It is intended to develop, refine, and elaborate on that article and in particular to bring further evidence to bear on Berthold's argument on the structure of the book. Note on Kiatab al-Zina by Abu Hatim al_Razi (PDF).

Wealth and Poverty in the Qurʾān, Ḥadīth and the Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ
The central message of the Qurʾān besides the concept of One God (tawḥīd), during the Meccan phase, is socio-economic justice. Both concepts are intertwined and one cannot be separated from the other. The doctrine of charity, in terms of alleviating suffering and helping the needy, constitutes an integral part of Islamic teachings. In the earliest passages of the Qurʾān one finds expressions of severe hostility towards wealth, recommending the rich to make worthy use of their possessions, and the threat of harsh chastisement by God. The remedy applied to the evils caused by the inequality of wealth is the taxation (zakāt, i.e., obligatory alms) of the rich. It sets forth the precept of the good circulation of wealth among the poor and needy, not from the rich to the rich. The Qurʾān makes constant admonitions and demands for zakāt/Ṣadaqa. Wealth and Poverty in the Qurʾān, Ḥadīth and the Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ (PDF).



i. In the West

Catalogues of manuscripts and bibliographies of printed works on Iran compiled by scholars in Europe (including Russia) and North America are the focus here. Description by others of Iranian materials in Western collections or published in Western languages will also be considered.

1. Catalogues.

European interest in Iranian bibliography was awakened in the 16th and early 17th centuries, when manuscripts were brought to the West in ever-increasing numbers and became much sought after by humanists engaged in Oriental studies. Many manuscripts written in Persian found their way into the libraries of princes, universities, and individual scholars. The beginnings of Western collections during this period can be reconstructed from handwritten inventories, auction catalogues, and other contempo­rary sources. One example is the catalogue by the French mathematician Pierre Gassendi of rare books brought from the East by the Dutch Orientalist Jacobus Golius, which was published in 1630. Most of the manuscripts in this list can still be identified among the earliest acquisitions of the University of Leiden library (Wit­kam, p. 54). Early inventories of manuscripts from the Middle East can also be found in general library catalogues like those published by the University of Leiden library (1674, 1716; cf. Drewes et al., pp. 33-35) and the Bibliothèque du Roi in Paris (1739; cf. Blochet). In 1787 Joannes Uri published the first volume of a special catalogue of the Oriental manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Bibliothecae Bodleianae Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium . . . Catalogus . . ., pt. 1: Codices Manuscripti Arabici). (For the formation of the oldest collections in the Biblioteca Vaticana, see Levi della Vida).

In the 19th century, though it remained more common for Persian manuscripts to be catalogued with those in other Eastern languages (usually Arabic, Turkish, Pashto, and Hindustani) in comprehensive works, a few separate catalogues of Persian manuscripts also began to appear. This development was partly the result of colonial expansion, during which Persian manuscripts began to arrive in the West in greater numbers; naturally libraries in the British isles benefited most from this situation (see, for instance, Charles Rieu’s account of the growth of the Persian collection in the British Museum). Furthermore, careful description came to be recognized as a necessary prerequisite for properly documented studies of Eastern civilizations. Catalogues thus developed from mere inventories into sophisticated bibliographical tools, many of which contained discussions of basic questions in the history of Persian literature. The publication of bibliographical and biographical sources also made identification of writers and works easier; especially important were editions published by Gustav Flügel of Ḥājī Ḵalīfa’s Kašf al-ẓonūn and Ebn al-Nadīm’s Ketāb al-fehrest. Persian taḏkeras (biographical compendia) were brought to the notice of Western scholars by Nathaniel Bland, Hermann Ethé, and others. Outstanding 19th-­century examples of the descriptive treatment of Persian manuscripts are the catalogues of the Austrian Hof­bibliothek by Flügel (Die arabischen, persischen und türkischen Handschriften der kaiserlich-königlichen Hof­bibliothek zu Wien, 3 vols., Vienna, 1865-67), the British Museum by Rieu (Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols. and suppl., London, 1879­-95, repr. London, 1966, 1968), the Prussian Königliche

Bibliothek by Wilhelm Pertsch (Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin IV: Verzeichniss der persischen Handschriften, Berlin, 1888), the Bodleian Library by Eduard Sachau and Ethé (Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindustânî and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library I, Oxford, 1889), and the India Office library in London by Ethé (Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office I, London, 1903). Descriptions of collections in a number of other European cities were also published: Othmar Frank, Ueber die morgenländischen Handschriften der königlichen Hof- and Central-­Bibliothek in München (Munich, 1814); J. Aumer, Die persischen Handschriften der königlichen Hof- und Staatsbibliothek in München (Munich, 1866); Heinrich O. Fleischer, Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium Bibliothecae Regiae Dresdensis (Leipzig, 1831); Fleischer, Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum qui in Bibliotheca Senatoria Civitatis Lipsiensis Asservantur (Grimma, 1838); Heinrich Ewald, Verzeich­niss der orientalischen Handschriften der Universitäts-­Bibliothek zu Tübingen (Tübingen, 1839); Pertsch, Die orientalischen Handschriften der herzoglichen Bibliothek zu Gotha. Erster Teil. Die persischen Handschriften (Vienna, 1859); Albrecht Krafft, Die arabischen, persi­schen and türkischen Handschriften der K. K. Orientali­schen Akademie zu Wien (Vienna, 1842); Carl Johan Tornberg, Codices Arabici, Persici et Turcici Biblio­thecae Regiae Universitatis Upsaliensis (Uppsala, 1849); Tornberg, Codices Orientales Bibliothecae Regiae Uni­versitatis Lundensis (1 vol., Lund, 1850; supplement, Lund, 1853); Reinhard P. A. Dozy, Pieter de Jong, Michael J. de Goeje, and Martinus Th. Houtsma, Catalogus Codicum Orientalium Bibliothecae Academiae Lugduno Batavae (6 vols., Leiden, 1851-77; see volume V for collections in other Dutch cities); August F. Mehren, Codices Orientales Bibliothecae Regiae Havniensis III: Codices Persici, Turcici, Hindustanici Variique Alii . . . (Copenhagen, 1857); P. de Jong, Cata­logus Codicum Orientalium Bibliothecae Academiae Regiae Scientiarum (Leiden, 1862); Bernhard Dorn, Die Sammlung von morgenländischen Handschriften, welche die kaiserliche öffentliche Bibliothek zu St. Petersburg im Jahre 1864 von Hrn. v. Chanykov erworben hat (St. Petersburg, 1865); and Victor Rosen, Les manuscrits persans de l’Institut des Langues Orientales (du Ministère des Affaires Étrangères) décrits par le Baron Victor Rosen (St. Petersburg, 1886); and Edward G. Browne, A Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, 1896).

These activities continued into the present century, though only a few of the most important contributions can be mentioned here: The Persian manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Nationale were described by Edgar Blo­chet (Bibliothèque Nationale. Catalogue des manuscrits persans, 4 vols., Paris, 1905-34), the personal collection of E. G. Browne by Browne and Reynold A. Nicholson (A Descriptive Catalogue of the Oriental MSS. Belonging to the Late E. G. Browne, Cambridge, 1932), the Biblioteca Vaticana by Ettore Rossi (Elenco dei manoscritti persiani della Biblioteca Vaticana, Vatican City, 1948), and The Chester Beatty Library by James V. S. Wilkinson, Arthur J. Arberry and others (A Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts and Miniatures, 3 vols., Dublin, 1959-62). The catalogues of the Bodleian Library were brought up to date by A. F. L. Beeston (Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindustânî and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library III: Additional Persian Manuscripts, Oxford, 1954), that of the Cambridge libraries by Browne (A Supplementary Hand-list of the Muhammadan Manuscripts in the Libraries of the University and Colleges of Cambridge, Cambridge, 1922) and Arberry (A Second Supplementary Hand-list of the Muhammadan Manuscripts in the University and Colleges of Cambridge, Cambridge, 1952), and that of the British Museum by G. M. Meredith-­Owens (Handlist of Persian Manuscripts, 1895-1966, London, 1968). After World War II work on the Persian collections in the libraries of Leningrad was resumed by N. D. Miklukho-Maklaĭ and his colleagues (Opisanie persidskikh i tadzhikskikh rukopiseĭ Instituta Vostokove­deniya (Narodov Azii), 8 vols. to date, Moscow and Leningrad, 1955-), O. F. Akimushkin and others (Per­sidskie i tadzhikskie rukopisi Instituta Narodov Azii. Kratkiĭ alfavitnyĭ katalog, 2 vols., Moscow, 1964), and A. T. Tagirdzhanov, Opisanie tadzhikskikh i persidskikh rukopiseĭ Vostochnogo otdela Biblioteki LGU (I, Lenin­grad, 1962), and idem, Spisok tadzhikskikh, persidskikh i tyurkskikh rukopiseĭ Vostochnogo otdela Biblioteki LGU (Leningrad and Moscow, 1967). In Germany volumes devoted to Persian manuscripts have been published in the union catalogue Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, two of them have been compiled respectively by Wilhelm Eilers and Wilhelm Heinz (vol. XIV, pt. 1, Wiesbaden, 1968) and Soheila Divshali and Paul Luft (vol. XIV, pt. 2, Wiesbaden, 1980). In the United States catalogues of Persian manuscripts were published by A. V. Williams Jackson and Abraham Yuhannan (A Catalogue of the Collection of Persian Manuscripts . . . Presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, by Alexander Smith Cochran, New York, 1914), Nicholas N. Mar­tinovitch (A Catalogue of Turkish and Persian Manuscripts Belonging to Robert Garrett and Deposited in the Princeton University Library, Princeton, 1926), Mohamed E. Moghadam and Yahya Armajani (Descriptive Catalog of the Garrett Collection of Persian, Turkish and Indic Manuscripts . . .,Princeton and London, 1939), and Muhammed A. Simsar (Oriental Manuscripts of the John Frederick Lewis Collection in the Free Library of Philadelphia,Philadelphia, 1937).

Subject catalogues of Persian manuscripts have been comparatively rare, but an unfinished project undertaken by Henry M. Elliot to inventory the Persian historiography of India (Bibliographical Index to the Historians of Muhammadan India, vol. 1, Calcutta, 1850) and William H. Morley’s catalogue of historical works in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society (A Descriptive Catalogue of the Historical Manuscripts in the Arabic and Persian Languages . . . , London, 1854) should be mentioned. Adolf Fonahn listed Persian sources for the history of medical science (Zur Quellenkunde der persischen Medizin, Leipzig, 1910), and more recently Lutz Richter-Bernburg has published PersianMedical Manuscripts at the University of California, Los Angeles (Malibu, 1978). A catalogue of the texts of Persian passion plays donated by Enrico Cerulli to the Vatican Library was compiled by Rossi and Alessandro Bombaci (Elenco di drammi religiosi persiani (Fondo mss. Vaticani Cerulli), Vatican City, 1961).

Illustrated manuscripts have received special treatment in catalogues. A pioneering work in this genre was the catalogue of the University of Istanbul library by Feluni Edhem and Ivan Stchoukine (Les manuscrits orientaux illustrés de la Bibliothèque de l’Université de Stamboul, Paris, 1933). Wilkinson and his colleagues described the miniatures in the Chester Beatty Library (see above). Basil W. Robinson devoted much attention to problems in the history of style and iconography in his descriptions of illustrated manuscripts in three major British libraries: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Paintings in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1958), Persian Paintings in the India Office Library (London, 1976), and Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library (London, 1980). The union catalogue of illustrated manuscripts in Germany was prepared by Barbara Flemming, P. Luft, and Hanna Sohrweide under the guidance of Stchoukine (Verzeichnis XVI, Wiesbaden, 1971). The catalogue of illustrated manu­scripts in the British Library and the British Museum by Norah M. Titley (Miniatures from Persian Manuscripts, London, 1977) also contains an extensive subject index to the miniatures described. The most recent major contribution to this branch of Persian bibliography is the description of illustrated manuscripts in the Aus­trian Nationalbibliothek by Dorothea Duda (Islami­sche illuminierte Handschriften der österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Wien, Vienna, 1983).

Western scholars have also taken part in exploration of collections in Eastern countries. Aloys Sprenger’s description of poetry manuscripts in Lucknow (Catalogue of the Library of the King of Oudh, Calcutta, 1854) set an example for the cataloguing of Persian materials in libraries on the Indian subcontinent. The collections of the Asiatic Society of Bengal were treated by Vladimir Ivanow in several volumes (Concise De­scriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Collection of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1924; First Supplement, Calcutta, 1927; Second Supplement, Calcutta, 1928; Concise Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Curzon Collection, Asia­tic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1926). Ivanow also made a pioneering survey of the literary heritage of the Ismaʿili community in India (A Guide to Ismaili Litera­ture, London, 1933; rev. ed., Tehran, 1963). Toward the end of the 19th century, Paul Horn made an initial survey of the rich holdings of Persian manuscripts in the libraries of Istanbul (“Persische Handschriften in Con­stantinopel,” ZDMG 54, 1900, pp. 275-332, 475-509). After World War I, when Turkish libraries became more accessible to European scholars, Hellmut Ritter, who lived many years in Istanbul, was able to investi­gate their collections thoroughly. He generously shared his great bibliographical knowledge with other scholars, notably Nicholson, for his edition of Maṯnawī-e maʿnawī, and Charles A. Storey. Ritter also made known a great number of manuscripts in a series of articles entitled “Philologica,” which appeared in Der Islam (1928-42) and Oriens (1948-61). Most of these articles were devoted to the works of mystical writers (Anṣārī, the Sohravardīs, writers on the theory of love) and poets (Sanāʾī, Jalāl-al-Dīn Rūmī and his circle, ʿAṭṭār). Specialized studies on historical works in Persian located in Istanbul were carried out by Felix Tauer (“Les manuscrits persans historiques des biblio­thèques de Stamboul,” Archív orientální 3, 1931, pp. 87-­118, 303-26, 462-91; 4, 1932, pp. 92-107, 193-207). Max Krause catalogued mathematical texts (Stambuler Handschriften islamischer Mathematiker, Berlin, 1936) and Fritz Meier Sufi literature (“Stambuler Handschriften dreier persischer Mystiker,” Der Islam 24, 1937, pp. 1-39). With the support of UNESCO, Ritter initiated a comprehensive survey of manuscripts containing Persian poetry in the libraries of Istanbul. After publi­cation of the first results by Herbert W. Duda (“Die Persischen Dichterhandschriften der Sammlung Esʿad Efendi zu Istanbul,” Der Islam 39, 1964, pp. 38-70) and Ahmed Ateş (Istanbul kütüphanelerinde Farsça manzum eserler I, Istanbul, 1968), this project was discontinued. Serge de Laugier de Beaurecueil compiled a volume on Oriental manuscripts kept in several libraries in Kabul and Herat (Manuscrits d’Afghanistan, Cairo, 1964).

During the 19th century lithographed editions were issued in countries where Persian literature was cultivated. They are often as important to philological research as are manuscripts from the same period. Many of these editions are listed in Edward Edwards, A Catalogue of the Persian Printed Books in the British Museum (London, 1922); in Arberry, Catalogue of the India Office Library II, pt. 6: Persian Books (London, 1937); and in O. P. Shcheglova, Katalog litografirovannykh knig na persidskom yazyke v sobranii Lenin­gradskogo otdeleniya Instituta Vostokovedeniya AN SSSR (Moscow, 1975).

Periodicals published in Iran during the years of the Constitutional Revolution were the subject of Browne’s The Press and Poetry of Modern Persia (Cambridge, 1914). A more comprehensive survey of such material is now available in Union Catalogue of Persian Serials and Newspapers in British Libraries, edited by Ursula Sims-Williams (London, 1985). During the last decade Wolf­gang H. Behn has published several bibliographies of political literature originating in opposition groups outside Iran since 1962, as well as inside Iran during the Islamic Revolution: The Iranian Opposition in Exile (Wiesbaden, 1979), Islamic Revolution or Revolutionary Islam in Iran (Berlin, 1980), Power and Reaction in Iran (Berlin, 1981, a supplement to the preceding volumes), The End of a Revolution. A Bibliographical Postscript to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (Berlin, 1984), and, together with Willem Floor, Twenty Years of Iranian Power Struggle (on political periodicals published in 1962-81). These bibliographies include selective indi­cations of where materials can be located. The German Dokumentationsdienst Moderner Orient has collected data on periodicals in Zeitschriftenverzeichnis moderner Orient (Hamburg, 1979). Periodical literature on mod­ern developments in Iran and Afghanistan is also included within the scope of the historical bibliography The Middle East in Conflict (Santa Barbara, 1985).

Although the sheer quantity of Persian printed books defies any attempt at an exhaustive inventory, catalogues of books found in single libraries or groups of libraries are still being compiled. The Harvard University Library reproduced its file cards in Catalogue of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish Books (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, devoted a section of Catalogue général des livres imprimés (Paris, 1978, ser. 2, IV) to works in Arabic and Persian. Bibliographie des Iran (Vienna, 1985) by R. Pananka is based on the collections in the Austrian Nationalbibliothek and the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Vienna.

In comparison to the extensive Persian holdings, the number of manuscripts in other Iranian languages in Western libraries is rather small. There are only a few specialized catalogues. Mention should be made of Christian Bartholomae, Die Zendhandschriften der königlichen Hof- und Staatsbibliothek in München (Munich, 1915); Arthur Christensen, Codices Avestici et Pahlavici Bibliothecae Universitatis Hafniensis (12 vols. of facsim­iles, Copenhagen, 1931-44); Olaf Hansen, Die mittel­persischen Papyri der Papyrussammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Berlin, 1938); Mary Boyce, A Catalogue of the Iranian Manuscripts in Manichaean Script in the German Turfan Collection (Berlin, 1960); and Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum (London and Moscow, in progress since 1955). For other inventories of pre-Islamic texts J. D. Pearson (1975) and similar bibliographical compilations should be consulted.

Kurdish manuscripts in the important Leningrad collections were described by M. B. Rudenko (Opisanie kurdskikh rukopiseĭ Leningradskikh sobraniĭ, Moscow, 1961) and those in Germany by Kamal Fuad (Verzeichnis XXX, Wiesbaden, 1970). J. F. Blumhardt and D. N. MacKenzie, Catalogue of Pashto Manuscripts in the Libraries of the British Isles (London, 1965), and V. L. Kushev, Opisanie rukopiseĭ na yazyke Pashto Instituta Vostokovedeniya (Moscow, 1976) are devoted to Pashto manuscripts.

A general introduction to the collections of manuscripts referred to above can be found in Pearson (1971). No complete list of published catalogues of Persian manuscripts has yet been compiled, but extensive lists have been drawn up by Īraj Afšār, Ketāb-šenāsī-e fehresthā-ye nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭī-e fārsī, and by Yuri Bregel in his translation of C. A. Storey, Persian Literature. A Bio-Bibliographical Survey (I, pp. 55-96); see also the selective list in L. P. Elwell-Sutton, Bibliographical Guide to Iran (pp. 20-39).

2. Bibliographies.

Bibliography of secondary works. Early bibliographers like J. T. Zenker and M. Schwab could still attempt comprehensive thematic inventories of Western studies on Iran. These works, if supplemented by the abundant bibliographical references given in Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, which was edited by Wilhelm Geiger and Ernst Kuhn (Stuttgart, 1891-1904), provide a fairly complete survey of such studies up to the end of the 19th century. Such undertakings are not feasible for the 20th century, however. A. T. Wilson, in A Bibliogra­phy of Persia (Oxford, 1930) aimed only at providing a selective alphabetical list of original works in European tongues and standard translations of Persian books. This work was followed by various lists of Western books on Iran, made for specific practical purposes and thus of limited scope, for example, Hafez F. Farman, Iran. A Selected and Annotated Bibliography (Washing­ton, D.C., 1951), the bibliography at the end of Elwell-­Sutton, A Guide to Iranian Area Study (Ann Arbor, 1952), and the sections on Iran contributed by J. A. Boyle and P. W. Avery to Middle East and Islam. A Bibliographical Introduction, edited by D. Hopwood and D. Grimwood-Jones (Zug, 1972). The Bibliograph­ical Guide to Iran, edited for the British Middle East Library Committee by Elwell-Sutton, was prepared by a group of specialists, each responsible for a different field of Iranian studies. Nevertheless, the emphasis in this work was on introducing the available literature: “It does not seek to be an exhaustive bibliography . . . but rather to list the most useful and significant books and articles in each of the fields with which it deals, and as far as possible to indicate the scope and usefulness of each” (p. xiv).

Comprehensiveness is still the goal of most national bibliographies. Publications in French were inventoried by M. Saba (Bibliographie de l’Iran, Paris, 1936; repr. Tehran, 1951, 1966), and A. Abolhamd and N. Pakdaman (Bibliographie française de civilisation iranienne, 3 vols., Tehran, 1971-74). Soviet studies were listed by A. K. Sverchevskaya (Bibliografiya Irana. Literatura na russkom yazyke (1917-1965), Moscow, 1967). The Italian tradition of Iranian studies, which began as early as the fifteenth century, has been surveyed in A. M. Piemontese, Bibliografia italiana dell’Iran (1462-1982), (Naples, 1982).

During the 1920s Storey embarked upon a synthesis of all published data on literature in Persian. The progress that had previously been made in cataloguing Western collections had convinced him that the time for such a project had arrived. In the course of his work, however, it became clear that Europeans still knew little about important manuscript collections in the East. Despite unavoidable lacunae, his Persian Literature must be regarded as one of the great achievements in Persian bibliography, remarkable for both its accuracy and its detail. The parts of the work that Storey was able to finish before his death in 1967 deal with Koranic studies, history, biography, and the exact sciences. For many years V. Minorsky reviewed current studies on Iranian history and geography in papers addressed to the International Congress of Orientalists, which were published in Acta Orientalia (“Les études historiques et géographiques sur la Perse depuis 1900,” AO 10, 1932, pp. 278-93; “Les études historiques et géographiques sur la Perse,” AO 16, 1937, pp. 49-58; “Les études historiques sur la Perse depuis 1935,” AO 21, 1951, pp. 108-23; “Etudes géographiques et historiques sur la Perse,” AO 22, 1957, pp. 105-17). A rich bibliography of primary sources and secondary works on the literatures of Iran is contained in History of Iranian Literature by Jan Rypka and others (Dordrecht, 1968, pp. 753-861). The older literature on Iranian art is covered by bibliographies in the volumes 15 and 16 of A Survey of Persian Art, both compiled by Kurt Erdmann. For the Islamic period, A Bibliography of the Architecture, Arts and Crafts of Islam, begun by K. A. C. Creswell and continued by Pearson (Cairo, 1961; supplements 1971, 1984), is the most comprehensive source. Publications on pre-Islamic archeology are recorded and annotated in Louis Vanden Berghe, Bibliographie analytique de l’archéologie de l’Iran ancien (Leiden, 1979); idem and E. Haerinck, Supplément I: 1978-1980 (1981); Supplément II: 1981-1985 (1987).

Several regional bibliographies have been devoted to the land and peoples of contemporary Iran and Afghanistan. Geographical and anthropological studies on modern Iran have been gathered in Eckart Ehlers, Iran, Bibliographischer Forschungsbericht. Mit Kommentaren und Annotationen (Munich, 1980), and A. Dürkoop and others, Bibliographie der geologischen Literatur des Iran bis 1978 (Bochum, 1982). Western studies on Afghanistan are covered in Bibliographie de l’Afghanistan (Paris, 1947); in Bibliographie der Afghanistan-Literatur 1945-­1967 (Hamburg, 1968-69), works in Oriental languages are also included. Other works to be consulted are J. M. Hanifi, Annotated Bibliography of Afghanistan (New Haven, 1982), and W. Keith and W. McLachlan, A Bibliography of Afghanistan. A Working Bibliography of Materials on Afghanistan with Special Reference to Economic and Social Change in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, 1983). A very comprehensive repertory of Kurdish studies is Silvio van Rooy and Kees Tamboer, International Society of Kurdistan’s Kurdish Bibliography (Amsterdam, 1968); Russian Kurdish studies have been covered in Zh. S. Musaelyan and K. Kur­doev, Bibliografiya po kurdovedeniyu (Moscow, 1963).

Serial bibliographies. Since 1978 Abstracta Iranica, published as an annual supplement to the French journal Studia Iranica under the direction of C.-H. de Fouchécour, has become the primary medium of current bibliography, “covering Iran, Afghanistan, and all the areas relevant to Iranian culture at any point of time.” The annotation of the entries varies from brief summaries to succinct reviews. An analytical index of the volumes 1978-82 has also been published. Pearson’s The Quarterly Index Islamicus. Current Books, Articles and Papers on Islamic Studies can also be consulted; in 1977, it replaced Index Islamicus, which covered only articles and papers. Among learned periodicals Orientalische Literaturzeitung (Berlin), Bibliotheca Orientalis (Leiden), and Middle East Journal (Washington, D.C.) are devoted to reviews and listings of newly published books. A welcome addition is the annual Islamic Book Review Index, which began publication in 1982 in Berlin; it is compiled by W. Behn.

Although existing channels for dissemination of information on published materials seem adequate, the same cannot be said about manuscript sources. Foremost on the list of desiderata is a continuation of Storey’s magnum opus. In the partial Russian translation by Bregel, which covers only 432 pages of the original work, the text has been expanded to 1,314 pages, showing how many additions were required to bring this essential research tool up to date in 1972. The Royal Asiatic Society has published three further parts of the materials left unfinished by Storey (Leiden, 1971­-84), but large sections of Persian literature remain completely uncovered. Borshchevsky and Bregel have made valuable suggestions for a continuation of the Survey, based on a detailed analysis of Storey’s work and the present requirements of Persian scholarship. Implementation of their proposals would require an international effort, which in present circumstances would be difficult to organize. A new approach is embodied in Onomasticon of Persian literature, the initiative for which was undertaken by M. N. Osmanov in 1983. At present this project is being conducted primarily in the Soviet Union, though scholars in Italy are also participating. The questionnaire used includes bibliographical data.



Ī. Afšār, Ketāb-šenāsī-e fehresthā-ye nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭī-e fārsī/Bibliographie des catalogues des manuscrits persans, Tehran, 1337 Š./1958.

A. L. F. Beeston, “The Oriental Manuscript Collections of the Bodleian Library,” Bodleian Library Record 5/2, 1954, pp. 73-79.

Bio-bibliographies de 134 savants, Acta Iranica 20, Tehran, 1979.

E. Blochet, “Avertissement,” Catalogue des manuscrits turcs I, Paris, 1932, pp. v-viii.

Yu. E. Borshchevsky and Yu. E. Bregel, “The Preparation of a Bio­-Bibliographical Survey of Persian Literature,” IJMES 3, 1972, pp. 169-86.

F. Diba, Persian Bibliog­raphy. Catalogue of the Library of Books and Periodicals in Western Languages on Persia (Iran) in the Diba Collection, London, 1981.

G. W. J. Drewes et al., Levinus Warner and His Legacy, Leiden, 1970.

L. P. Elwell-Sutton, ed., Bibliographical Guide to Iran. The Middle East Library Committee Guide, Brighton and Totowa, N.J., 1983.

Idem, “Onomas­ticon of Persian Literature,” British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Bulletin 10/1, 1983, pp. 95-99.

J. Gabeau-Thonet, “Notes sur les ouvrages bibliographiques publiés pendant ces deux derniers siècles et relatifs aux Arabes, Persans et Turcs,” Actes du XXe Congrès des Orientalistes (Bruxelles 1938), Louvain, 1940.

P. Gassendi, Catalogus rarorum librorum, quos ex Oriente nuper advexit et in publica bibliotheca inclytae Leydensis Academiae deposuiṭ . . . Iacobus Golius, Paris, 1630.

G. Levi della Vida, Ricerche sulla formazione del più antico fondo dei manoscritti orientali della Bibliotheca Vaticana, Vatican City, 1939.

Y. M. Nawabi, A Bibliography of Iran. A Catalogue of Books and Articles on Iranian Subjects, Mainly in European Languages, 6 vols., Tehran, 1969-84.

M. N. Osmanov, “Per un reper­torio enciclopedico (onomasticon) della letteratura persiana,” Contributi alla storia dell’orientalismo, ed. G. R. Franci, Bologna, 1985, pp. 27-33.

J. D. Pear­son, ed., A Bibliography of Pre-Islamic Persia, Lon­don, 1975.

Idem, Oriental and Asian Bibliography, London, 1966. Idem, Oriental Manuscripts in Europe and North America. A Survey, Zug, 1971.

M. Pistoso, “Problemi e prospettive dell’Onomasticon della letteratura persiana,” Studi orientali e linguistici 3, 1986, pp. 79-97.

C. Rieu, “Extent, Origin, and Growth of the Persian Collection,” Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum III, London, 1883, pp. x-xxviii.

M. Schwab, Bibliographie de la Perse, Paris, 1875. K. Schwarz, Der Vordere Orient in den Hochschulschriften Deutschlands, Österreichs und der Schweiz, Freiburg, 1980.

P. Sluglett, Theses on Islam, the Middle East and North Africa 1880-1978, Accepted by Universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland, London, 1983.

C. A. Storey, Persian Litera­ture. A Bio-Bibliographical Survey, pt. 1, i-iii, London and Leiden, 1927-84.

Idem and Yu. E. Bregel, Persidskaya literatura, bio-bibliograficheskiĭ obzor, 3 vols., Moscow, 1972.

J. J. Witkam, Jacobus Golius (1596-1667) en zijn handschriften, Leiden, 1980.

J. T. Zenker, Bibliotheca Orientalis. Manuel de bibliographie orientale, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1846-61.

(J. T. P. de Bruijn)

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Vol. IV, Fasc. 2, pp. 214-219

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