Persian Historiography: History of Persian Literature A, Volume 10

Front Cover
Charles Melville
I.B.Tauris, Jan 27, 2012 - Literary Collections - 784 pages
Persian literature is the jewel in the crown of Persian culture. It has profoundly influenced the literatures of Ottoman Turkey, Muslim India and Turkic Central Asia. It has been a source of inspiration for Goethe, Emerson, Matthew Arnold and Jorge Luis Borges among others, and praised by William Jones, Tagore, E.M. Forster and many more. Yet Persian literature has never received the attention it merits. Whereas Persian art and architecture, and more recently Iranian cinema, have been written about extensively and at different levels for a varied audience, Persian literature - the greatest achievement of the Iranian people, and one of the major literatures of the world - has largely remained the exclusive domain of specialists. And although in the past few years the poems of Rumi have attracted the kind of popular attention enjoyed by Omar Khayyam’s quatrains in the 19th century, Persian literature has never received the attention it truly deserves. A History of Persian Literature responds to this need and offers a new, comprehensive and detailed history of its subject. This 18-volume, authoritative survey reflects the stature and significance of Persian literature as the single most important accomplishment of the Iranian nation. Prominent scholars in the field bring a fresh critical approach to bear on this important topic and each volume includes representative samples of this literature. In this volume the Editors offer an indispensable overview of the long and rich tradition of historical writing as a literary form in Persian. Highlighting the central themes and ideas which inform Persian historiography - such as the ethical and exemplary value of history, and its role in legitimising political power - this book traces the development of Persian historical writing from its origins in the 10th century and its evolution under the Mongols and Safavids, through the twilight of the traditional chronicle in the late 18th century. It goes on to trace the emergence of a national historiography during the 19th century and into the Pahlavi Era. This volume also offers an account of parallel developments in histories written in Persian in Ottoman Turkey, Central Asia and Afghanistan, reflecting the vitality of Persian culture throughout the region and the persistence of literary models and repeated themes over the centuries. The first work of its kind to consider the whole course of traditional and modern historical writing in Iran, Persian Historiography provides a much-needed introduction to the subject and serves as an essential guide to this important strand of Persian literary production.
 

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Contents

CONTRIBUTORS
Charles Melville
INTRODUCTION Charles Melville
2
THE HISTORIAN AT WORK Charles Melville
Civilian Casualties
THE RISE AND DEVELOPMENT OF PERSIAN
Morals and Memorials
Local Histories and a National Narrative
Popular Histories and Memoirs
Conclusions
HISTORIOGRAPHY IN THE PAHLAVIERA Fakhreddin Azimi 1 Introduction
Hasan Pirniyâ
Abbâs EqbâlÂshtiyâni
Ahmad Kasravi
Fereydun Âdamiyat 6 Men of Letters and Iranologists

SAFAVID HISTORIOGRAPHY Sholeh Quinn
The Târikhe Mohammadi of MohammadTaqi Sârui
Sârui the Afsharid Legacy and Questions of Royal Legitimacy
Historiographical Trends during the Early Qajar Period 17971848
NâseralDin Shah and the Twilight of the Court Chronicle Tradition
Conclusions
LEGEND LEGITIMACY AND MAKING A NATIONAL NARRATIVE IN THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF QAJAR IRAN 1785
Reshaping Court Chronicles and Universal Histories
Towards Greater National Awareness
The Publication of StateSponsored Histories
The Decline of Chronicles and New Approaches to History
In Search of Ancient Iran
Translations and the Rediscovery of the Past
Discourse of Decline and Renewal
History as Awakening
Shaping a Nationalist Discourse
Forgotten Narratives
Institutional Political and Cultural Context
The Constraints of Conventional History
OTTOMAN HISTORICAL WRITING IN PERSIAN 1400
Ideological Experimentation in Early Ottoman Historical Writing
Universal Islamic History and the Cosmological Underpinnings of Ottoman Ghâzi Ideology
A Defense of Mehmed IIs Imperial Power
Malek Ommi T Melik Ümmis Shâhnâme or the Bâyazidnâme 1486
Successors
Persian Epistolary Histories
Conclusions
HISTORIOGRAPHY IN CENTRAL ASIA SINCE
HISTORIOGRAPHY IN AFGHANISTAN R D
The Publication Process
INDOPERSIAN HISTORIOGRAPHY Stephen F Dale
Bâbor and Homâyun
Conclusions
Copyright

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