A Literary History of Persia, Volume 1 (Google eBook)

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1902 - Illumination of books and manuscripts
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It is a pioneering attempt in the field and had been much acclaimed. Perhaps this is the first of its kind in English. No doubt, the author took lot of pain to bring out this book. Of course, more details were required to be given. It contains lots of names of literary books whereas trends in development of literature should also have been mentioned in detail: each historical period is marked by some dominant trends. The narration suffers from bias, racial as well as regional. The presented information is mostly second hand derived from books written by European authors who are seldom objective. Europeans suffer from a conviction that chief source of knowledge is Greek language which is not true. Then there is strong feeling of racial superiority, product of colonial era that white race is far superior to all other races in the world a total misnomer. Their interpretation of every aspect is from that angle. There are haredly any details of literature produced during Achaemenian times (550-330 B.C.), a glorious period when Persia was at the zenith of power its emperors held sway from the borders of India upto Mediterranean and even Greece was under attack. Lastly, the author has scanty knowledge about India, the power house of knowledge. Perhaps, India being a part of British Colonial Empire was badly suppressed and no credit was to be given to it on any account. Indian civilization is the oldest and the whole of Asia had been under its influence. Sur and Asur, mentioned in the book are not anti to each other. Both are Ayans. The only difference is in attitude to life, whereas Surs lay more emphasis on spiritualism, Asurs do the same on materialism. 

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Page 443 - This is peace To conquer love of self and lust of life, To tear deep-rooted passion from the breast, To still the inward strife ; For love to clasp Eternal Beauty close ; For glory to be Lord of self, for pleasure To live beyond the gods ; for countless wealth To lay up lasting treasure Of perfect service rendered, duties done In charity, soft speech, and stainless days : These riches shall not fade away in life, Nor any death dispraise.
Page 265 - I verily We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you nations and tribes, that ye might recognise that the noblest of you in God's sight is he amongst you who most fears God : verily God is All-knowing and Informed.
Page 425 - O God, Thou knowest that in mine eyes the Eight Paradises weigh no more than the wing of a gnat compared with that honour which Thou hast shown me in giving me Thy love, or that familiarity which Thou hast given to me by the commemoration of Thy Name, or that freedom from all else which Thou hast vouchsafed to me when I meditate on the Greatness of Thy Glory.
Page 162 - God,' . . . but they did not kill him, and they did not crucify him, but a similitude was made for them. And verily, those who differ about him are in doubt concerning him; they have no knowledge concerning him, but only follow an opinion. They did not kill him, for sure...
Page 251 - With the rise of Persian influence," he adds (p. 432), "the roughness of Arab life was softened ; and there opened an era of culture, toleration, and scientific research. The practice of oral tradition was also giving place to recorded statement and historical narrative, a change hastened by the scholarly tendencies introduced from the East. To the same source may be attributed the everincreasing laxity at Court of manners and morality ; and also those transcendental views that now...
Page 241 - ... see amidst the embers the glow of fire, and it wants but little to burst into a blaze, And if the wise ones of the people quench it not, its fuel will be corpses and skulls. Verily fire is kindled by two sticks, and verily words are the beginning of warfare. And I cry in amazement, ' Would that I knew whether the House of...
Page 16 - The sands of Oxus, toilsome though they be, Beneath my feet were soft as silk to me. Glad at the friend's return, the Oxus deep Up to our girths in laughing waves shall leap. Long live Bukhara ! Be thou of good cheer ! Joyous towards thee hasteth our Amir...
Page 50 - BA of three years' standing. He died in 1794, at the age of forty-eight taste, but absolutely refused to recognise the immense importance, ana even the reality, of discoveries which might have condoned far more serious shortcomings. As Darmesteter happily puts it, " the Zend-Avesta suffered for the fault of its introducer, Zoroaster for Anquetil.
Page 370 - For, as he was returning from Persia with a large sum of money which had been bestowed on him by the Buwayhid prince 'Adudu'd-Dawla, he was attacked near Kur'a by Arabs of the tribe of Asad. Being worsted in the combat, he was preparing to take to flight when his slave cried to him : " Let it never be said that you fled from the combat, you who are the author of this verse : ' I am known to the horse-troop, the night and the desert's expanse, Not more to the paper and pen than the sword and the...
Page 55 - I have no system to maintain, and have not suffered imagination to delude my judgment, since I have habituated myself to form opinions of men and things from evidence, which is the only solid basis of civil, as experiment is of natural, knowledge ; and since I have maturely considered the questions which I mean to discuss ; you will not, I am persuaded, suspect my testimony, or think I go too far, when I assure you, that I will assert nothing positively, which I am not able satisfactorily to demonstrate.

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