Cambridge History of Islam (2) - Persian Literature

Based on the book published in 1970:


1. Rudaki (d. 940) - "rightly considered the father of Persian poetry"

2. Abu 'Ali Bal'ami - prose; Tarikh-i Bal'ami (10th c.)

3. Firdawsi (d. 1020) - Shah-nama; "the pre-eminent poet of Persia"; "supreme example for all subsequent heroic poetry"

4. 'Umar Khayyam - ruba'i

(5. Ibn Muqaffa' (d. 759-60) - translated Khwataynama into Arabic ]

6. Farrukhi (d. 1037)

7. Sana'i (d. 1141)

8. Nizami (d. 1217) - "setting the model for a plethora of similar compositions"

9. 'Attar (d. 1230) - Tadhkirat al-awliya (prose)

10. 'Iraqi (d. 1289)

11. Sa'di (d. 1292) - one of "three giants of Persian lyric poetry"; versatile poet and writer of extraordinary verve and finish"l "his lyric poetry surpasses all that was written before him in felicity of phrase, ease of diction, melodious rhythm and a sustained level of lively imagination"; Bustan is "masterpiece of great charm and delight"; Gulistan is "the crowning achievement of Persian prose"

12. Rumi (d. 1273) - one of "three giants of Persian lyric poetry"; "at his best, Rumi ['s ghazals] surpasses perhaps all Persian poets in the width and breadth of his imagination, the forcible rhythm of his words, depth of emotions and tenderness of feelings. But his work is not even." "Reputation rests mainly on Mathnawi;" "greatest monument of mystical thought"

13. Majmar (d. 1810)

14. Unsuri (d. between 1040-1050)

15. Qa'ani (d. 1853)

16. Hafiz (d. 1390) - one of "three giants of Persian lyric poetry"; "lyric poetry reaches the heights of the sublime"; "national poet of Persia", "a poet's poet"

17. Gurgani (d. 1050)

18. Amir Khsraw of Delhi (d. 1325)

19. Jami (d. 1490)

20. Vahshi (d. 1583)

(covering prose below)

21. Hazar afasana - lost

[22. Arabian nights - Arabic]

23. Sinbad-nama (1160-61)

24. Bakhtyar-nama

25. Samak-i 'ayyar

26. Darab-nama

27. (several versiojns of) Iskandar-nama

28. Amir Arsalan (19th c.)

29. Nasr Allah - Kalila va-Dimna (c. 1144)

30. Maybudi - Kashf al-asrar (prose, commentary of Qu'ran)

31. Tarikh-i Bayhaqi (11th c.)

32. Rashid al-Din - Jami' al-tawarikh (14th c.)

33. Durra-i Nadiri (18th c.)

34. Qabus-nama (11th c.)

35. Nizam al-Mulk - Siyasat-nama; "a very readable manual of the rules of good government"

36. al-Ghazali (d. 1111) - Kimiya-yi sa'adat

(Later period)

37. Sa'ib (d. 1670) - "subtle poet"

38. Iqbal of Lahore (d. 1938)


This is another case where Nizami is not highlighted (and the same applies to Jami). Among the "big 4", the relative emphasis is different:

Ferdowsi - epic

Rumi - sufi mathnawi

Sadi - Gulistan (prose)

Hafiz - ghazal

While my Arabic literature selection is very different from the Cambridge History of Islam (1970), my Persian literature selection is identical with it. The other thing to consider is whether Nizam al-Mulk deserves a place in the philosophy section

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