Persian Historiography

Persian Historiography

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Description

Winner of the 1999 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies. Described by the BKFS reviewer as "A ground-breaking work on a subject that has been almost totally neglected." "Why write history in Persian?" Persian historical writing has received little attention as compared with Arabic, especially as seen in the early (pre-Mongol) period. Within the larger context of the development of Islamic historiography from the tenth through the twelfth centuries, the case of Persian historical writing demands special attention. Discussions tend to concentrate on its sources in pre-Islamic Persian and in Arabic works, while the reasons for its emergence, its connections with Iranian and Arabic models, its political and cultural functions, and its reception, have been virtually ignored. This study answers these questions and addresses issues relating to the motivation for writing the works in question; its purpose; the role of the author, patrons and audiences; the choice of language and the reasons for that choice; the place of historical writing in the broader debate over the suitability of Persian for scholarly writing.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 23mm | 874g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0748607439
  • 9780748607433

Review quote

This is a highly praiseworthy undertaking that presents the first monograph ever exclusively dedicated to a comparative study of a wide range of Persian historical writing. Meisami is out to set the record straight, and the result is the most original and scholarly contribution to our knowledge of the formative years of this rich and vibrant field of Persian literature. [Meisami is] particularly well equipped to approach Persian historical sources from a fresh angle; one that is less concerned with the reliable information' they might contain, more with why and how they were written! she has opened up many lines of inquiry, and her book comes at the right moment to influence a slowly growing body of scholarship that is seeking to understand what Persian historians regarded as meaningful and why they saw some 'events' as memorable rather than others. Until now there has never been a substantial, detailed attempt to give a comprehensive appraisal of this literature as a whole. .. In this ground-breaking work, Julie Meisami attempts to set the record straight and put 'Persian historical writing back on the map of Islamic historiography. Meisami has performed an invaluable service in drawing attention to this topic and in compiling and organising so much material related to it. This is a highly praiseworthy undertaking that presents the first monograph ever exclusively dedicated to a comparative study of a wide range of Persian historical writing. Meisami is out to set the record straight, and the result is the most original and scholarly contribution to our knowledge of the formative years of this rich and vibrant field of Persian literature. [Meisami is] particularly well equipped to approach Persian historical sources from a fresh angle; one that is less concerned with the reliable information' they might contain, more with why and how they were written! she has opened up many lines of inquiry, and her book comes at the right moment to influence a slowly growing body of scholarship that is seeking to understand what Persian historians regarded as meaningful and why they saw some 'events' as memorable rather than others. Until now there has never been a substantial, detailed attempt to give a comprehensive appraisal of this literature as a whole. .. In this ground-breaking work, Julie Meisami attempts to set the record straight and put 'Persian historical writing back on the map of Islamic historiography. Meisami has performed an invaluable service in drawing attention to this topic and in compiling and organising so much material related to it.show more

About Julie Scott Meisami

Julie Scott Meisami is Lecturer in Persian atThe Oriental Institute, Oxford.show more