[IMPORTANT ISLAMIC ACCOUNT OF IRAN, INDIA AND THE CAUCASUS IN THE 15TH CENTURY] ترجمۀ روضة الصفا / Tercüme-i ravzatü's-safâ [i.e., The garden of purity]. Translated into Ottoman Turkish by [Dervis Laubali] Balatîzâde Mehmed Kemalî. Prep. by Mehmed Nailî

  • $1,250.00
    Unit price per 
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.


Takvimhâne-i Âmire, Istanbul, AH 1258 = [1842].

Contemporary quarter red calf. Gilt lettering title to spine. Front and rear boards are not homogeneous (front boards is leather with decoration embossed on the centre, rear board is full cloth). 4to. (30 x 21 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). Text with marginalia. [4], 396 p. Occasional foxing on some pages. A very good copy, overall.

First Ottoman Turkish edition of this important book describing the Caucasus, Transoxiana, Central Asia, Iran, and India, giving an invaluable insight into the socio-economy, policy, history, and geography of the 15th-century Islamic world, written by Mirkhond, one of the most important Persian chroniclers of Iran during the Timurid dynasty (1370-1507), under the patronage of Sultan Husayn Bayqara.

“[It] contains the Moslem version of our Bible stories, beginning with the creation of Genii before Adam and ending with the death of Aaron." (Arbuthnot).

This early work begins with the age of the pre-Islamic Persian kings and surveys the major Muslim rulers of Iran up to the events of 1523. This important resource of the Islamic world focuses on the socio-economic, political and cultural history of Transoxiana and the Greater Khorasan from the creation of mankind to the Timurid rule, that is the period until the administration of Timurid Husayn Bayqara and his successors: From the "creation" of the world to the era of Sasanian Yazdegerd II; The era of Prophet Muhammad and his caliph Rashidîn; History of the Twelve Imams, Umayyad, and Abbasid caliphs; Dynasties contemporary with the Abbasids; Genghis Khan and his descendants; Amir Timur and his descendants until the death of Sultan Abu Said; Sultan Husayn Bayqara and his descendants. It consists of an introduction, text, and a geographical appendix to the social and political events in Central Asia, the Near and Middle East. The work also contains a part of geographical applications, which was started by Mirkhond in 1495 and finished by Khondamir with a short account of some later events down to 1523.

Owing to its popularity, the Rawzat as-Safâ has undergone several editions and translations. Around 1596, Pedro Teixeira prepared a Spanish translation of the work. The book was partially translated into English in 1715, the Tahirid and Saffarid portions (of chapters 2.3-4) into Latin in 1782, and the Sassanid portion (of chapter 1.2) into French in 1793. A section was translated as “Mirchondi Historia Seldschukidarum” (1838) by Johann August Vullers. From 1892 to 1893, a translation of the first book (up to the Rashidun caliphs) into English was prepared by the Orientalist Edward Rehatsek (1819-1891), of Bombay, and edited by Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot (1833-1901) for the Royal Asiatic Society, in two parts. The “Vie de Mahomet d'après la tradition” by E. Lamairesse and Gaston Dujarric was translated from the English (1897).

This Ottoman Turkish edition printed first in the early 19th century in Istanbul, is translated in prose by staying true to the original text by Dervis Lâûbalî Balatîzâde Mehmed Kemâlî (?-1498), and appeared shortly after the Latin translation. Kemâlî was an Ottoman historian and one of the clerks and assistants of Ottoman grand vizier of Serbian origin, Sokullu Mehmed Pasha (1505-1579). He is also a commentator of Mathnawi by Rûmî.

Mirkhond also spelled Mîrkhwând, byname of Muhammad b. Khâvandshâh b. Mahmûd (born, 1433, Balkh [now in Afghanistan], died June 22, 1498, Herât), was a Persian chronicler. He was a member of an old family of sayyids (those who claim descent from the Prophet Muhammad) established in Bukhara. Spending most of his life in Herât in the court of the last Timurid sultan, Husayn Bayqara, (1469-1506), Mirkhond enjoyed the protection of Bayqara’s renowned minister. Alî Shîr Navâ'î, a celebrated patron of literature and himself a writer of great distinction. At the request of his patron, he began about 1474 his general history.

Mirkhond is often criticized for his highly embellished style and his uncritical approach to the sources, but his history preserves sections from earlier works that have since been lost. Volumes 5 and 6 are particularly reliable, for they utilize the abundant historiographic materials of the Mongol and Timurid periods and furnish independent information on the events that are contemporary or nearly contemporary with the author's lifetime. (Source: Encyclopædia Britannica). 

Özege 20653; As of May 2024, OCLC shows ten copies of the work (562845963, 122962455, 34622301): The British Library, St. Pancras; Bogaziçi University Library, Universitat Mainz, Zentralbibliothek, University of Oxford; five North American institutes hold: University of California Los Angeles, Princeton University Library, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, LoC, UC Berkeley Libraries.