Persia Literature

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PERSIA LITERATURE - Persian historians are greatly at variance about the origin of their national poetry. Most of them go back to the 5th Christian century and ascribe to one of the Sasanian kings, BahranigUr or Babram V. (420-439), the invention of metre and rhyme ; others mention as author of the first Persian poem a certain Abulhafs of Soghd, near Samarkand. In point of fact, there is no doubt that the later Sasanian rulers fostered the literary spirit of their nation (see PAHLAvi). Pahlavi books, however, fall outside of the present subject, which is the literature of the idiom which shaped itself out of the older Persian speech by slight modifications and a steadily increasing mixture of Arabic words and phrases in the 9th and 10th centuries of our era, and which in all essential respects has remained the same for the last thousand years. The national spirit of Iran, although smothered and stifled by the Arab conquest, could not be entirely annihilated. The system of centralization was at no time very strong in the extensive dominions of the Omayyad and 'Abbasid dynasties ; and the more their power and influence decayed the more they lost their hold on Persia, especially since the native element began to aspire to governorships and to take the political management into its own hand. The death of Harlin al-Rashid in the beginning of the 9th century, which marks the commencement of the decline of the caliphate, was at the same time the starting-point of movements for national independence and a national literature in the Iranian dominion, and the common cradle of the two was in the province of Khorasan, between the Oxus and Jaxartes. In Merv, a Khorasanian town, a certain 'Abbas composed in 809 A.D. (193 A.H.), accord- = ing to the oldest biographical writer of Persia, Mohammed `Aufi, the first real poem in modern Persian, in honour of the 'Abbasid prince Ma'mfm, Harim al-Eashid's son, who ] had himself a strong predilection for Persia, his mother's native country, and was, moreover, thoroughly imbued with the freethinking spirit of his age. Soon after this, in 820 (205 Tahir, who aided Ma'mUn to wrest the caliphate from his brother Amin, succeeded in establishing the first semi-independent Persian dynasty in Khorasan, which was overthrown in 872 (259 A.H.) by the family of the ,5 a ff a - rids, founded by Yal.cilb b. Laith, originally a brazier in Sistan or Zabulistan.

The development of Persian poetry under these first native dynasties was slow. Arabic language and literature had gained too firm a footing to be supplanted at once by a new literary idiom still in its infancy ; nevertheless the few poets who arose under the Tahirids and Saffarids show already the germs of the characteristic tendency of all later Persian literature, which aims at amalgamating the enforced spirit of Islamism with their own Aryan feelinc,s, and reconciling the strict deism of the Mohammedan religion with their inborn loftier and more or less pantheistic ideas ; and we can easily trace in the few fragmentary verses of men like Hanzalah, Hakim Firdz, ,farad Abfi Salik those principal forms of poetry now used in common by all Mohammedan nations - the forms of the liafida (the encomiastic, elegiac, or satirical poem), the gkazal or ode (a love-ditty, wine-song, or religious hymn), the ndai, or quatrain (our epigram, for which the Persians invented a new metre in addition to those adopted from the Arabs), and the mathnowi, or double-rhymed poem (the legitimate form for epic and didactic poetry). The' first who wrote such a mathnawi was Abu Shukdr of Balkh, the oldest literary representative of the third dynasty of Khoritsan, the Samanids, who had been able in the course of time to dethrone the Saffarids, and to secure the government of Persia, nominally still under the supremacy of the caliphs in Baghdad, but in fact with full sovereignty. The undisputed reign of this family dates from the accession of AmirNa.F. II. (913-942; 301-331 A.n.), who, more than any of his predecessors, patronized arts Is and sciences in his dominions. The most accomplished minstrels of his time were _Mohammed Farahidi ; Abd '1 `Abbas of Bokhara, a writer of very tender verses ; Abd '1-Mriaffar Nasr of Nishapnr; Abd `Abdallah Mohammed of Junaid, equally renowned for his Arabic and Persian poetry; Ma`nawf, full of original thoughts and spiritual subtleties ; Khusrawanf, from whom even Firdansi condescended to borrow quotations ; Shahid of Balkh, the first who made a diwan or alphabetical collection of his lyrics ; and Master Rddagi, the first classic genius of Persia, who impressed upon every form of lyric and didactic poetry its peculiar stamp and individual character (see 11.6DAai). His graceful and captivating style was imitated by Hakim Khabbaz, a great baker, poet, and quack ; Abfi Shu'aib SALL of Herat, who left a spirited little song in honour of a young Christian maiden ; Raunakf of Bokharit; AbAl-Fath of Bust, who was also a good Arabic poet ; the amir Abit 1-Hasan 'Alf Alagatchf, who handled the pen as skilfully as the sword ; `Umarah of Merv, a famous astronomer ; and Kisa`i, a native of the same town, a man of stern and ascetic manners, who sang in melodious rhythm the praise of 'Alf and the twelve imams. All these poets flourished under the patronage of the Samanid princes, who also fostered the growing desire of their nation for historical and antiquarian researches, for exegetical and medical studies. Mansur I., the grandson of Indagi's patron, ordered (963 ; 352 A.n.) his wazfr Baramf to translate the famous universal history of Tabarf (224-310 A.H.) from Arabic into Persian ; and this Ta'rikk-i-rabari, the oldest prose work in modern Persian, is not merely remarkable from a philological point of view, it is also the classic model of an easy and simple style. The same prince employed the most learned among the ulerna of Transoxiana for a translation of Tabarf's second great work, the Talsir, or commentary on the Koran, and accepted the dedication of the first Persian book on medicine, a pharmacopoeia by the physician Abd Man;air Muwaffak b. 'Alf of Herat (edited by Seligmann, Vienna, 1859), which forms a kind of connecting link between Greek and Indian medicine. It was soon after further developed by the great Avicenna (died 1037; 428 A.11.), himself a Persian by birth, and author of pretty wine-songs, moral maxims, psychological tracts, and a manual of philosophic science, the Danis1 nanaa-i-`dld'i, in his native tongue.

A still greater impulse was given, both to the patriotic feelings and the national poetry of the Persians, by Manyir's son and successor, Prince NUL II., who ascended the throne in 976 (365 A.n.). Full of enthusiasm for the glorious past of the old Iranian kingdom, he charged his court poet llakflA who openly professed in his ghazals the Zoroastrian ] creed, to turn the Parsf collection of the venerable legends and traditions of the heroic ages of Iran, the Khoda'indma, or "Book of Kings" (which had been translated from the Pahlavi under the Saffarid Ya°1013 b. Laith), into Persian verse. Shortly after commencing this work DakAi was murdered in the prime of life ; and the fall of the minstrel was soon followed by that of the Samanid dynasty itself, which was supplanted by the younger and more vigorous house of Sabuktagfn, the founder of the Ghaznawids, who had rapidly risen from the rank of a common Turkish soldier to that of an independent ruler of Ghazna (Ghazni, Ghuznee)ancl all the surrounding countries, including a considerable portion of India. But llakikf's great enterprise was not abandoned ; a stronger hand, a higher genius, was to continue and to complete it, and this genius was found in Firdausi (940-1020 ; 328-411 A.n.), with whom we enter the golden age of the national epopee in Persia (see Foimusi). In 1011, after thirty-five years of unremitting labour, he accomplished his gigantic task, and wrote the last distichs of the immortal ,57/4/ouima, that "glorious monument of Eastern genius and learning," as Sir W. Jones calls it, "which, if ever it should be generally understood in its original language, will contest the merit of invention with Homer itself." And, although it was not he, the unrivalled master of epic art, but his old friend and patron, the less-renowned `11.11n;urf, who officiated as "king of poets " in the court of MaIumid of Ghazna (9981030 ; 388-421 A.n.), who had continued his father Sabuktagin's conquests, and founded an empire extending from the Caucasus to Bengal and from 13okhara and Kashgar to the Indian Ocean, he was nevertheless the central sun round which all the minor stars revolved, those four hundred poets who formed the famous "Round Table" in the sultan's magnificent palace. Firdausi's fame eclipsed that of all his contemporaries (however well founded their claim upon literary renown), - men like `Unsairf, Farruklri, A sjadi, Ghadairi, Mindtchehri, and others, whose eloquent praises of Mahmild have come down to us in very scarce copies, and even that of his own teacher Asadf, who survived his great pupil, and established a reputation of his own by introducing into Persian literature the novel form of the mundiarah, or strife-poem, the equivalent of the Provencal tenson and the English estrif or joust. The Shdlendma,: from the very moment, of its appearance, exercised such an' irresistible fascination upon all minds that there was soon' a keen competition among the younger poets as to who should produce the most successful imitation of that classic model ; and this competition has gone on under different forms through all the following centuries, even to the most recent times. First of all, the old popular traditions, so far as they had not yet been exhausted by Firdausf, were ransacked for new epic themes, and a regular cycle of national epopees gathered round the Book of Kings, drawn almost exclusively from the archives of the princes of Sistan, the family of Firdauscs greatest hero, Rustam. The first and most ambitious of these competitors seems to have been Asadfs own son, 'Ali b. Ahead al-Asadi, the author of the oldest Persian glossary, who completed in 1066 (458 A.H.), in upwards of 9000 distiehs, the Garslidspnama, or marvellous story of the warlike feats and love-adventures of Garshasp, one of Rustam's ancestors. The heroic deeds of Rustam's grandfather were celebrated in the Sainnanta, which almost equals the Shdhnoma in length ; those of Rustam's two sons, in the Jaltdnifirndma and the Fordmurzwinta ; those of his daughter, an amazon, in the Brunhild style of the German Nibelunge, in the Bdnd Gushdspndma ; those of his grandson, in the Barsdndma ; those of his great-grandson, in the Shahriyanuima (ascribed to Muklitari and dedicated to Mas'Ud Shah, who is probably identical with Masnd b. Ibrahim, Sultan Mabmild's great-grandson, 1088-1114 ; 481-508 A.H.) ; and the wonderful exploits of a son of Isfandiyar, another hero of the Shahncinta, in the Bahmanndma.

When at last these old Iranian sources were almost entirely exhausted, the difficulty was met in various but equally ingenious ways. Where some slight historical records of the heroic age - no matter how doubtful their authenticity - were still obtainable, poetical imagination seized upon them at once, and filled the wide gaps by its own powerful invention ; where no traditions at all were forthcoming, fiction pure and simple asserted its indisputable right ; and thus the national epopee gave way to the epic story, and - substituting prose for verse - to the novel and the fairy tale. Models of the former class are the various Iskandarnamas, or "Books of Alexander the Great," the oldest and most original of which is that of Nilami (completed about 1202 ; 599 A.H.) ; the latter begins with the Kit db-i- AS' amak ycir, , a novel in three volumes (about 1189; 585 A.H.), and reaches its climax in the Bfistd9z-i-K1tayeil, or " Garden of Imagination," a prose romance of fifteen large volumes, by Mohammed Taki Khayal, written between 1742 and 1756 (1155 and 1169 Am.). Many aspirants to poetical fame, however, were not satisfied with either of these expedients : they boldly struck out a new path and explored hitherto unknown regions , and here again a twofold tendency manifested itself. Some writers, both in prose and verse, turned from the exhausted fields of the national glory of Persia to the comparatively original soil of Arabian traditions, and chose their subjects from the chivalrous times of their own Bedouin conquerors, or even from the Jewish legends of the Koran. Of this description are the Anbiydnama, or history of the pre-Mohammedan prophets, by Hasanf Shabistari 'Ayanf (before the 8th century of the Hijra) ; Ibn Husain's Khdwarndina (1427; 830 A.u.), or the deeds of 'Alf ; Badbil's which was completed by Najaf (1723; 1135 A.H.), or the life of Mohammed and the first four caliphs; Kaiim's Farahndma-i-Fcitima, the book of joy of Fatima, Mohammed's daughter (1737 ; 1150 A.H.), - all four in the epic metre of the Sluihncinta ; and the prose stories of gatint 2W%, the famous model of liberality and generosity in pre-Islamitic times ; of A mir Hamzah, the uncle of Mohammed ; and of the MuYizat-i-Jfasauri, or the miraculous deeds of Moses, by Mu'in-almiskin (died about 1501 ; 907 A.H.).

Quite a different turn was taken by the ambition of another class of imitators of Firdausf, especially during the last four centuries of the Hijra, who tried to create a new heroic epopee by celebrating in rhythm and rhyme stirring events of recent date. The gigantic figure of Tirniir inspired Hatiff (died 1521; 927 A.H.) with his Tindirncima ; the stormy epoch of the first $afaivi rulers, who succeeded at last in reuniting for some time the various provinces of the old Persian realm into one great monarchy, furnished lasimi (died after 1560 ; 967 A.u.) with the materials of his Shdhnama, a poetical history of Shah Isma'il and Shah Tahmasp. Another Shahndma, celebrating Shah 'Abbas the Great, was written by Karnali of Sabza,war ; and even the cruelties of Nadir Shah were duly chronicled in a pompous epic style in 'Ishrati's Slicandma-i-Xddiri (1749; 1162 A.H.). But all these poems are surpassed in length by the 33,000 distichs of the Shainslacibmdma by the poet-laureate of the late Feth 'Alf Shah of Persia, and the 40,000 distichs of the Ceorgendma, a poetical history of India from its discovery by the Portuguese to the conquest of Poonah by the English in 1817. In India especially this kind of epic versification has flourished since the beginning of Humayun's reign (1530-1556) ; the court-poets of the great Mogul emperors of Delhi, as well as of all the minor dynasties, vied with one another in glorifying the exploits of their respective sovereigns, as is sufficiently proved by the Zctfarndma-i-Slaahjaladni by Kudsf (died 1646 ; 1056 A.11.) ; the Shdhinshandma by Talib Kalim (died 1651 ; 1061 A.H.), another panegyrist of Shah Allan ; Atashi's Adilndma, in honour of Shah Mohammed 'Adil of Bijapnr, who ascended the throne in 1629 (1039 A.H.) ; the Tamdrikh-i-tiuli INbsheih, a metrical history of the Kutb shahs of Golkonda; and many more, down to the Fathndma-i-Tipd Sultan by Ghulam Hasan (1781 ; 1189 A.H.).

But the national epopee, with both its legitimate and its illegitimate offspring, was not the only bequest the great Firdausi left to his nation. This rich genius gave also the first impulse to the higher development of those other branches of poetical art which were to flourish in the following ages - particularly to romantic, didactic, and mystic poetry ; and even his own age produced powerful co-operators in these three most conspicuous departments of Persian literature. Romantic fiction, which achieved its I highest triumph in Nitainf of Ganja's (1141-1203; 535-599 fi Aar.) brilliant pictures of the struggles and passions in the human heart (see Nizimi, vol. xvii. pp. 521, 522), sent forth its first tender shoots in the numerous love-stories of the Shandma, the most fascinating of which is that of Zal and Indabeh, and developed almost into full bloom in Firdausi's second great mathnawf I usuf u Zalikhd, which the aged poet wrote after his flight from Ghazna, and dedicated to the reigning caliph of Baghdad, Alkadirbillah. It represents the oldest poetical treatment of the Biblical story of Joseph, which has proved so attractive to the epic poets of Persia, among others to 'Ain'alF. of Bokhara (died 1149), who was the first after Firdausi to write a Ydsuf u Zalikka (which can be read in two different metres), to Jami (died 1492), 3.iauji liasim Khan, Hull-kap:ties andr (died 1571), Naihn of Herat (died 1670), and Simaukat, the governor of Shiraz under Feth 'Ali Shah. Perhaps prior in date to Firdausi's Ytisuf was his patron rt..7nuri's romance Wthnik zc Adhrd, a popular Iranian legend of great antiquity, which had been first written in verse under the Tahirid dynasty. This favourite story was treated again by Fasihi Jurjanf (in the course of the same 5th century of the Hijra), and by many modern poets, - as Dainfri, who died under the Safawf Shah 'Mohammed (1577 -1586 ; 985-994 A.H.), Mimi, the historiographer of the Zand dynasty, and Husain of Shiraz under Fetb 'Ali Shah, the last two flourishing towards the beginning of the present century. Another love-story of similar antiquity, which had originally been written in Pahlavi, formed the basis of Fakhr-udclin As'ad Jurjani's u Rdmin, which was composed in Isfahan (Ispahan) about 1048 (440 A.H.), - a poem remarkable not only for its high artistic value but also for its close resemblance to one of the epic masterpieces of mediaeval German literature, Gottfried von Strasburg's Tristan und The last-named Persian poet was apparently one of the earliest eulogists of the Seljtiks, and it was under this Turkish dynasty, which soon became a formidable rival both of the Ghaznawids and of the Arabian caliphs of Baghdad, that lyrical romanticism - that is, panegyrical I and satirical poetry - rose to the highest pitch. What a Firdausi, in his exalted descriptions of royal power and s dignity, and the court-poets of Sultan Mahminl, in their unbounded praise of the great sovereign and protector of arts, had commenced, what other encomiasts under Mahmnd's successors - for instance, Abu 'l-Faraj Wulf of Lahore and Mas'ad b. Sa'd b. Salman (under Sultan Ibrahim, 1059-1088) - had successfully continued, reached its perfection in the famous group of panegyrists who gathered in the first half of the 6th century of the Hijra round the throne of Sultan Sanjar, and partly also round that of his great. antagonist, Atsiz, shah of Kliwarizin. This group included Adib Sabir, who was drowned by order of the prince in the Oxiis about 1145 (540 A.11.), and his pupil Jauhari, the goldsmith of Bokhara; Amir Mu'izzi, the king of poets at Sanjar's court, killed by a stray arrow in 1147 (542 A. H. ) ; Rashid Watwat (the Swallow), who died in 1172 (568 A. and left, besides his kasfdas, a valuable treatise on poetry (Ilada'4:-essil.ir) and a metrical translation of the sentences of 'Ali; `Abd-alwasi` Jabali, who sang at first, like his contemporary Hasan Ghaznawi (died 1169; 565 A.H.), the praise of the Ghaznawid shah Bahram, but afterwards bestowed his eulogies upon Sanjar, the conqueror of Ghazna ; and Aubad-uddin Anwari, the most celebrated kasida-writer of the whole Persian literature. Anwari (died between 1191 and 1196 ; 587 and 592 A.I1.), who in early life had pursued scientific studies in the madrasah of Pis and who ranked among the foremost astronomers of his time, owes his renown as much to the inexhaustible store of poetical similes and epitheta ornantia which he showered upon Sanjar and other royal and princely personages as to his cutting sarcasms, which he was careful enough to direct, not against special individuals, but against whole classes of society and the cruel wrongs worked by an inexorable fate, - thus disregarding the more manly example of Firdausi, whose bold attack upon Sultan Mabmnd for having cheated him out of the well-earned reward for his epopee is the oldest and, at the same time, most finished specimen of personal satire. This legitimate branch of high art, however, soon degenerated either into the lower forms of parody and travesty - for which, for instance, a whole group of Transoxanian writers, Stizanf of Samarkand (died 1174 ; 569 A.u.) and his contemporaries, Abu 'Alf Shatranji of the same town, Leuni` of Bokhara, and others gained a certain literary reputation - or into mere comic pieces and jocular poems like the "Pleasantries" (Ffazliyydt) and the humorous stories of the "Mouse and ('at" and the " Stone-cutter " (Sanjtarash) by `libaid Mani (died 1370 ; 772 A.H.). Anwari's greatest rival was Khakani (died 1199 ; 595 A.H.), the son of a carpenter in Shirwan, and panegyrist of the shahs of Shfrwan, usually called the Pindar of the East on account of the difficult and enigmatic style of his verses. Oriental critics, of course, greatly admire the obscure allusions, far-fetched puns, and other eccentricities with which the otherwise energetic and harmonious language, both of Ids laudatory odes and of his satires, is loaded ; to European taste only the shorter epigrams and the double-rhymed poem TulVatwl'ircilf,ain, in which Khakanf describes his journey to Mecca and back, give full satisfaction. Among his numerous contemporaries and followers may, be noticed Mujir-uddin Bailakanf (died 1198; 594 A.H.), Zahfr Faryabf (died 1202; 598 A.u.), and Athir Akhsfkati (died 1211; 608 A.u.), - all three panegyrists of the atabegs of Adharbaijan (Azerbijan), and especially of Sultan Kizil Arslan - Kamal-uddin Isfahanf, tortured to death by the Moguls in 1237 (635 A.u.), who sang, like his father Jamal-uddin, the praise of the governors of Isfahan, and gained, on account of his fertile imagination, the honorary epithet of the "creator of fine thoughts" (Khalif* -ulma'ani) ; and Saif-uddfn Isfarangi (died 1267; 666 A.H.), a favourite of the shahs of Khwarizrn.

Fruitful as the 6th and 7th centuries of the Hijra were in panegyrics, their literary fame did not rest upon these alone ; they attained an equally high standard in two other branches of poetry, the didactic and the mystic, which after a short period of separate existence entered into a close and henceforth indissoluble union. The origin of both can again he traced to Firdausi and his time. In the ethical reflexions, wise maxims, and moral exhortations scattered throughout the Shohndma the didactic element is plainly visible, and equally plain in it are the traces of that mystical tendency which was soon to pervade almost all the literary productions of Persian genius. Snfic pantheism, which tends to reconcile philosophy with revealed religion, and centres in the doctrine of the universality and absolute unity of God, who is diffused through every particle of the visible and invisible world, and to whom the human soul during her temporary exile in the prison-house of the body strives to get back through progressive stages till she is purified enough to be again absorbed in Him, is already hinted at in the numerous verses of the " Book of Kings" in which the poet cries out against the vanity of all earthly joys and pleasures, and expresses a passionate desire for a better home, for a reunion with the Godhead. But the most characteristic passage of the epopee is the mysterious disappearance of Shah Eaikhosrau, who suddenly, when at the height of earthly fame and splendour, renounces the world in utter disgust, and, carried away by his fervent longing for an abode of everlasting tranquillity, vanishes for ever from the midst of his companions. The first Persian who devoted poetry exclusively to the illustration of Stifle doctrines was Firdausf's contemporary, the renowned sheikh AbA Sa`fd b. Abu 1-Khair of Mahna in Khorasan (968-1049; 357-440 Am.), the founder of that specific form of the ruba`i which gives the most concise expression to religious and philosophic aphorisms, - a form which was further developed by the great freethinker 'OMAR B. KHAYY/61 (q.v.), and Afdal-uddfn Kashi. (died 1307 ; 707 A.11.). The year of Abu Sa`id's death is most likely the same which gave to the world the first great didactic mathnawi, the Rfishand'ineima, or "Book of Enlightenment," by NASIR B. KTIOSRA 17 (q.v.), a poem full of sound moral and ethical maxims with slightly mystical tendencies. About twenty-five years later the first theoretical handbook of Sfifism in Persian was composed by 'Ali b. `Uthmem al-jullabf al-hujwirf in the Rash which treats of the various schools of Snfis, their teachings and observances. A great saint of the same period, Sheikh `Abdallah Ansari of Herat (1006-10S9; 396-481 A.H.), assisted in spreading the pantheistic movement by his Alunrifrit or invocations to God, by several prose tracts, and by an important collection of biographies of eminent Sufis, based on an older Arabic compilation, and serving in its turn as groundwork for Jami's excellent Kcifa/yit-a/fins (completed in 1478; 883 A.u.). He thus paved the way for the publication of one of the earliest text-books of the whole sect, the 1.1«ilikatu11•11;:at, or "Garden of Truth" (1130; 525 A.11.), by Hakfm Sana'f of Ghazna, to whom all the later .$6fie poets refer as their unrivalled master in spiritual knowledge. In this extensive mathnawi in ten cantos, as well as in his smaller poetical productions, he skilfully blended the purely didactic element, which is enhanced by pleasant stories and anecdotes, with the chief tenets of higher theosophy, - an example which has been strictly adhered to by all the following Sufic poets, who only differ in so far as they give preponderance either to the ethical or to the mystical side of their writings. As the most uncompromising SUfis appear the greatest pantheistic writer of all ages, Jelaluddin Rnmi (1207-1273; 604-672 A.11.; see II timi), and his scarcely less renowned predecessor Farid-uddin 'Attar, who was slain by the Moguls at the age of 114 lunar years in 1230 (627 A.n.). This prolific writer, originally a druggist (attar) in Nfshapnr, after having renounced all worldly affairs and performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, devoted himself to a stern ascetic life, and to the composition of Snfic works, partly in prose, as in his valuable " Biography of eminent Mystic Divines," but mostly in the form of mathnawis (upwards of twenty in number), among which the Pandndma, or " Book of Counsels," and the Mantik-uttair, or the "Speeches of Birds," occupy the first rank. In the latter, an allegorical poem, interspersed with moral tales and pious contemplations, the final absorption of the Sufi in the deity is most ingeniously illustrated, and the seven valleys through which the birds travel on their way to the fabulous phoenix or simurg (literally thirty birds), and in which all except thirty succumb, are the seven stations of the mystic road that leads from earthly troubles into the much-coveted Fana or Nirvana.

In strong contrast to these advanced Sniffs stands the greatest moral teacher of Persia, Sheikh Sa`di of Shiraz (died about 110 lunar years old in 1292 ; 691 A.TI. ; see SA`ni), whose two best known works, the Btistcfn, or " Fruit-garden," and the Gulistdn, or "Rose-garden," owe their great popularity both in the East and the West to the purity of their spiritual thoughts, their sparkling wit, charming style, and the very moderate use of mystic theories. However, both have found comparatively few imitations, - the former in the Dashirncirna of Nizari of Kohistan (died 1320 ; 720 A.n.), in the Duh Bcib, or "Ten Letters," of Katibi (died 1434; 838 A.n.), and in the Cutzcir of Hairati (murdered 1554 ; 961 A.n.); the latter in Isfu'inuddin Juwainf's Kiyaristdn (1335 ; 735 A.n.) and Jane's Bakdristan, or "Spring-garden" (1487; 892 A.II.); whereas an innumerable host of purely Sufic compositions followed in the wake of SanaTs, 'Attar's, and Jelid-uddin ThUmf's mathnawis. They consist partly of mere expositions of doctrines with or without illustrations by tales and anecdotes, partly of complete Stifle allegories, often disfigured by the wildest eccentricities. It will suffice to name a few of the most conspicuous in each class. To the former belong the Lant`cit, or " Sparks," of 'Iralf (died between 1287 and 1309; 686 and 709 A.n.), the Zid-ulncuscifirin, or " Store of the Wayfarers," by Husainf ((lied 1318 ; 718 A.11.), the Gu/shan-i-Mz, or "Rose-bed of Mystery," by Mahnind Shabistari (died 1320 ; 720 A.H.), the Jcivt-i-Janz, or "Cup of Jamshfd," by Auhadi (died 1338; 738 A.n.), the Anis-u/ 'Arifin, or "Friend of the Mystics," by Kasim-iAnwar (died 1434 ; 837 A.n.), and others ; to the latter `Assar's ifihy n Mushtari, or " Sun and Jupiter " (1376 ; 778 A.n.), `Arifi's Gui 2c Chauycin, or " The Ball and the Bat" (1438; 842 A.n.), gum u Dil, or "Beauty and Heart," by Fattahi of Nishapur (die4 1448; 852 A.n.), Shunt` u Parmina, or "The Candle and the Moth," by Ahli of Shiraz (1489 ; 894 A.n.), Shah u Gadci, or " King and Dervish," by Hilali (put to death 1532; 939 A.n.), Baha-uddin `Amili's (died 1621 ; 1030 A.n.) Wan u or " Bread and Sweets," Ship a Shakar, or " Milk and Sugar," and many more.

During all these periods of literary activity, lyric poetry, pure and simple - i.e., the ghazal, in its legitimate form - had by no means been neglected ; almost all the renowned poets since the time of RUdagi had sung in endless strains the pleasures of love and wine, the beauties of nature, and the almighty power of the Creator ; but, however rich the ghazals of Sa`di in lofty thoughts and pious feelings, however sublime the hymns of Jelid-uddin Blinn, it was left to the incomparable genius of Pfafi•2 (died 1389 ; 791 A.u.; see MFiz) to give to the world the most perfect models of lyric composition ; and the lines he had laid down were more or less strictly followed by all the ghazal-writers of the 9t1h and 10th centuries of the Hijra, - by Salmon of Sawa (died about 1377 ; 779 A.n.), who excelled besides in kaslda and mathnawf; Kama] Klmjandi, Hafii's friend, and protege of Sultan Husain (776-784 A.11.); Mohammed Shirin Maghribi (died at Tabriz in 1406 ; 809 A.H.), an intimate friend of Kamal ; Ni'mat-ullah Wall (died 1431 ; 834 A,n.), the founder of a special religious order ; Kasim-iAnwar (see above) ; Amir Shalif (died 1453 ; 857 A.H.), of the princely family of the Sarbadars of Sabzawar ; Banna'i (died 1512; 918 A.H.), who also wrote a romantic poem, Bahrcim u Bikrziz ; Baba Fighani of Shiraz (died 1519 ; 925 A.n.), usually called the "Little Hafii"; Nargisi (died 1531; 938 A.n.); Lisarn (died 1534; 941 A.u.), who himself was imitated by Damirf of Isfahan, Muhtasham Kashi, and Wahshi Bafikf (all three died in the last decade of the 10th century of the Hijra) ; Ahli of Shiraz (died 1535 ; 942 A.n.), author of the Sikr-i-galcil, or "Lawful Witchcraft," which, like Katibi's (died 1434; 838 A.H.)ilfcrfind-ulbukrain, or the " Confluence of the Two Seas," can be read in two different metres ; Naafi (died 1610 ; 1019 Am.), who wrote the charming romance of a Hindu princess who burned herself in Akbar's reign with her deceased husband on the funeral pile, styled Stir u Gudciz, or "Burning and Melting," he. Among the immediate predecessors of Hafii in the 8th century of the Hijra, in which also Ibn Yamin, the great kit'ah-writer,l flourished, the highest fame was gained by the two poets of Delhi, Amir Hasan and Amir Khosrau. The latter, who died in 1325 (725 A.H.), two years before his friend Hasan, occupies the foremost place among all the Persian poets of India by the richness of his imagination, his graphic style, and the historical interest attached to his writings. Five extensive diwans testify to his versatility in all branches of lyric poetry, and nine large mathnawis to his mastership in the epic line. Four of the latter are poetical accounts of contemporary events during the reigns of the emperors of Delhi, `Ala-uddin Mohammad Shah Khilji (1296-1311), his predecessor Firdz Shah, and his successor Kutb-uddin Mubarek Shah, - the iiii:ft(i/6-ulfuta//, or "Key of Mysteries," the Iiiron-usscedain, or "The Conjunction of the Two Lucky Planets," the .A7ah Sipar, or "Nine Spheres," and the love-story of Khidrklain u Duqvcdrcirti. His other five mathnawis formed the first attempt ever made to imitate Ni2ami's famous Kkainsah, or five romantic epopees, and this attempt turned out so well that henceforth almost all epic poets wrote quintuples of a similar description. Khwajn Kirmani (died 1352 ; 753 A.n.) was the next aspirant to Miami's fame, with five mathnawis, among which thoncii u Hunidoin is the most popular, but he had to yield the palm to `Abd-urrahman Jami (1414-1492 ; 817-898 A.n.), the last classic poet of Persia, in whose genius were summed up, as it were, all the best qualities of his great predecessors, and who combined, in a manner, the moral tone of Sa`di with the lofty aspirations of Jelal-uddin Mimi, and the graceful ease of Hafi2's style with the deep pathos of NiMmi, to whose Khancsak he wrote the most successful counterpart (see his Yam! u Zaliklui mentioned above). Equally renowned are his numerous prose works, mostly on Sufic topics, and his three diwans. Many poets followed in Jami's footsteps, first of all his nephew Radii (see above), and either wrote whole khamsahs or imitated at least one or other of NIthni's epopees ; thus we have a Lailci u ilfajniin, for instance, by Maktabf (1490), Hilali (see above), and Rah-ulamin (died 1637). But their efforts could not stop the growing corruption of taste, and it was only at the court of the Mogul emperors, particularly of the great Akbar (1556-1605), who revived Sultan MahmUd's "round table," that Persian literature still enjoyed some kind of "Indian summer" in poets like Gliazali of Mashhad or Meshed (died 1572); `Urfi of Shiraz (died 1591), who wrote spirited 1psidas, and, like his contemporaries Wahshi and Kauthari, a mathnawi, Farkcid u Shirin ; and Faidi (died 1595), the author of the romantic poem, Kai a Daman, who also imparted new life into the ruba`i. In Persia proper only Zulall, whose clever romance of " Sultan Mahmiid and his favourite .Ayaz " (1592) is widely read in the East, SAM (died 1677), who is commonly called the creator of a new style in lyric poetry, and, among the most modern, Hatif of Isfahan, the singer of sweet and tasteful odes (died about 1785), deserve a passing notice.

But we cannot conclude our brief survey of the national literature of Persia without calling attention to the rise of quite a novel form of Iranian poetry, the drama, which has only sprung up in the beginning of the present century. Like the Greek drama and the Mysteries of the European Middle Ages, it is the offspring of a purely religious ceremony, which for centuries has been performed annually during the first ten days of the month Moharrem, - the recital of mournful lamentations in memory of the tragic fate of the house of the caliph 'Ali, the hero of the Shiltic Persians. Most of these passion-plays deal with the slaughter of `Alf's son Ijosain and his family in the battle of Kerbela. But lately this narrow range of dramatic subjects has been considerably widened; Biblical stories and even Christian legends have been brought upon the Persian stage ; and there is a fair prospect of a further development of this most interesting and important movement.

In the various departments of general Persian literature, not touched upon in the foregoing pages, the same wonderful activity has prevailed as in the realm of poetry and fiction, since the first books on history and medicine appeared under the Samanids (see above). The most important section is that of historical works, which, although deficient in sound criticism and often spoiled by a highly artificial style, supply us with most valuable materials for our own research, especially when they relate contemporary events in which the authors took part either as political agents or as mere eye-witnesses. Quite unique in this respect are the numerous histories of India, from the first invasion of Sultan Mahmndd of Ghazna to the English conquest, and even to the first decades of the present century, most of which have been described and partly translated in the eight volumes of Elliot's History of India (1867-78). Persian writers have given us, besides, an immense variety of universal histories of the world, with many curious and noteworthy data (see, among others, Mirkhond's and Khwandamir's works under MfRKH0ND, vol. xvi. p. 499) ; histories of Mohammed and the first caliphs, partly translated from Arabic originals, which have been lost ; detailed accounts of all the Persian dynasties, from the Ghaznawids to the still reigning Kajars, of Jenghiz Khan and the Moguls (in Juwainfs and Wassaf's elaborate Ta'rikles), and of Timur and his successors (see an account of the Zafarndma under PETIS DE LA Croix); histories of sects and creeds, especially tlie famous Dabistein, or "School of Manners" (translated by Troyer, Paris, 1843) ; and many local chronicles of Iran and Tfiran. Next in importance to history rank geography, cosmography, and travels (for instance, the ilizzhat-idkullib, by Hamdallah Mustauff, who died in 1319,and the translations of Istakhri's and Kazwinfs Arabic works), and the various tadhkiras or biographies of Stiffs and poets, with selections in prose and verse, from the oldest of `Aufi (about 1220) to the last and largest of all, the Makhzan,-ulyhard'ib, or "Treasure of Marvellous Matters" (completed 1803), which contains biographies and specimens of more than 3000 poets. We pass over the well-stocked sections of philosophy, ethics, and politics, of theology, law, and Sufism, of mathematics and astronomy, of medicine (the oldest thesaurus of which is the "Treasure of the shah of Kliwarizin," 1110), of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish grammar and lexicography, and only cast a parting glance at the rich collections of old Indian folk-lo•e I: and fables preserved in the Persian versions of Kali/a/c ufe Dimnah, (see RioAci), of the Sindbcithuinza, the Tiirin(ima, or "Tales of a Parrot," and others, and at the translations of standard works of Sanskrit literature, the epopees of the Rcimoyana and Mahabheirata, the Bhagarad-Gitei, the Yoga -Vasisktha, and numerous Puraas and Upanishads, for which we are mostly indebted to the emperor Akbar's indefatigable zeal.

A complete history of Persian literature is still a desideratum. Hammer's Sehone Redelainste Persiens, Vienna, 1818, is altogether unsatisfactory and obsolete. Concise sketches of Persian poetry are contained in Ouseley's Biographical Notices ; in Fingers article in Ersch and Gruber's Allgenteine Encyklopadie (1842) ; in Bland's papers in the Journal of the Roy. Asiatic Society, vol. vii. p. 345 sq. and vol. ix. p. 122 sq.; and in Barbier he Meynard's Poesie era Perse, Paris, 1877. Real mines of information are the catalogues of Sprenger, Calcutta, 1854 ; Morley, London, 1854 ; ENO, 3 vols., Vienna, 1865 ; and Rieu, 3 vols., London, 1879-83. For the first five centuries of the Ilijra compare Ethe's editions and metrical translations of "Rndagi's Vo•laufer and Zeitgenossen," in Morgenliindisehe Borsch ungen, Leipsic, 1875; of KisaTs songs, Firdansi's lyrics, and Abu Said b. Abu 'l-Rhair's ruba'is, inn Sitz. ungsbe,rich.le der bayr. Akadentie (1872, p. 275 sq.; 1873, p. 622 sq.; 1874, p. 133 sq.; 1875, p. 145 sq. ; and 1878, p. 38 sq.); of Avicenna's Persian poems, in Gottinger Naehrielden, 1875, p. 555 sq.; and of Asadi and his mrimi2arat, in " Persische Tenzonen," Verhandlangen des filen Orientalisten-Congresses, Berlin, 1882, part ii., first half, p. 48 sq.; Zotenberg's Chronique de. Tabori, Paris, 1867-74 ; Jurjani's IVis u Ranzin, edited in the Bill. Indica, 1864 (translated into German by Graf in Z. D. tll. G., xxiii. 375 sq.); and Kasimirski's Specimen, du diwci,n de Nenontekehri, Versailles, 1876. On Klilikani, see Khanykoff's " Memoire," in JOUT2Ial Asiatique, 6th series, vol. iv. p. 137 sq. and v. p. 296 sq., and Salemann's edition of his ruba'is, with Russian transl., Petersburg, 1875; on Fariduddin 'Attar, Sacy's edition of the Pandndma, Paris, 1819, and Garcin de.Tassy's Mantqc-uVa-ir, Paris, 1S57 ; on the Gulshan-i-raz, E. H. Whinfield's edition, London, 1880 ; and on Amir Khosran's mathnawis, the abstracts given in Elliot's History of India, vol. iii. p. 524 sq. German translations of 11)11 Yamin were published by Schlechta-Wssehrd, Brueltstticke, Vienna, 1852 ; of Jami's minor poems, by Rosenzweig, Vienna, 1840; by Riiekert, in Zeitsehrift fur die Kande des Aforgenlandes, vols. v. and vi., and Zeitsehrift der D. ilforgent. Gesellseh., vols. ii., iv., v., vi., xxiv., xxv., and xxix. ; and by Wickerhauser, Leipsic, 1855, and Vienna, 1858 ; German translation of nisuf u Za/iklui, by Rosenzweig, Vienna, 1824, English by Griffith, London, 1881 ; French translation of Laild za Majnii.n, by Chezy, Paris, 1805, German by Hartmann, Leipsic, 1807 ; "Iiouig mid Derwisch," by Eth6, in Morgenland. Stud., Leipsic, 1870, p. 197 sq. On the Persian drama, compare Gobineau's Religions et Philosophies he l'Asie centremie, Paris, 1866; Chodzko's Theatre persan, new ed., Paris, 1878 ; and Ethe, " Persische Passionspiele," in Morgen/eind. Stud., p. 174 sq. (H. E.)

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