The heavenly rose-garden: a history of Shirvan & Daghestan
The Heavenly Rose-Garden is a fascinating portrait of the Caucasus at the dawn of the modern era. Written in Persian and completed in 1845, it offered the first look at the region by a native son, 'Abbas Qoli Aqa Bakikhanov. It remains the only dedicated history of Shirvan and Daghestan to this day and also contains a great deal of interesting information about the Caucasus in general during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Bakikhanov demonstrates that despite differences in language, religion, and ethnicity, all the peoples of the Caucasus traveled a similar historical road and, to some extent, shared an identity distinct from the Ottoman Turks and Persians of adjacent, larger states. Translated for the first time into English by two eminent historians, The Heavenly Rose-Garden is a mine of information for scholars studying the region and an engrossing read for anyone else. 'Abbas Qoli Aqa Bakikhanov was an Azerbaijani journalist, linguist, poet and philosopher. A scion of the Khan of Baku, he was born there in 1794. From 1820 to 1845 he served as a secretary and translator in the Russian army, which had taken over most of the Caucasus in previous decades. Throughout this time he traveled widely, carried out ethnographic studies and kept his ties with the literary establishment of the Caucasus, centered in Tiflis in present-day Georgia. He died in 1847. Willem Floor has published numerous works of history as well as translations. Among them: Public Health in Qajar Iran; Agriculture in Qajar Iran; The History of Theater in Iran; The Persian Gulf: A Political and Economic History of Five Port Cities; The Persian Gulf: The Rise of the Gulf Arabs; Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin's TravelsThrough Northern Persia 1770-1774, and his most recent book, A Social History of Sexual Relations in Iran. Hasan Javadi is the author or translator of many books, including Satire in Persian Literature; Persian Literary Influence on English Literature; Forough Farrokzad's Another Birth and Other Poems; and in Persian, European Travelers in Iran. Retired from Cambridge and Berkeley, Dr. Javadi has recently published a translation of the work of Obeyd-e Zakani, Ethics of Aristocrats and other Satirical Stories, and edited Letters from Tabriz by E. G. Browne.
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