The Historian and the Poet: Rāvandī, Nizami, and the Rhetoric of History

  • Julie Scott Meisami


Allin Luther combined an interest in Persian history and historiography with a deep appreciation of Persian literature. He wrote frequently on Muhammad Ἁlī Rāvandī and his Rāḥat al-ṣudūr wa-āyat al-surūr. He was also a great admirer of the poetry of Nizami Ganjavi. It seems appropriate to devote this chapter to a subject that also combines those interests and to a writer who shared them: to Rāvandī’s use of quotations from Nizami in the Rāḥat al-ṣudūr.


Secret Message Great Admirer False Friend Contemporary Writer Rhetorical Style 
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  1. 1.
    Julie Scott Meisami, “Rāvandī’s Rāḥat al-ṣudūr: History or Hybrid?,” Edebiyat 5 (1994): 181–215.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Julie Scott Meisami, “The Shah-name as Mirror for Princes: A Study in Reception,” in Pand-o Sokhan: Melanges Offerts A Charles-Henri de Fouchecour, eds. Christophe Balay, Claire Kappler, and Ziva Vesel (Tehran: Institut Francais de Recherche en Iran, 1995), 265–73.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Julie Scott Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, chapter 3 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Muhammad ibn Ἀlī Rāvandī, The Rāḥat us-ṣudūr wa Ayat as-Surur, ed. Muhammad Iqbal (Leiden and London: E. J. Brill, 1921), 39–44.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    K. Allin Luther, “Islamic Rhetoric and the Persian Historians, 1000–1300 A.D.” In Studies in Near Eastern Culture and History in Memory of Ernest T. Abdel-Massih (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies, 1990), 95.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Nizami Ganjavi (1954). Khusraw u Shirin, ed. Vahid Dastgirdī. 2d ed. Tehran: Ibn Sina, 15:6; hereafter KS; the references are to page and line number(s). The translations are my own, from a verse translation of the poem currently in progress; they have often required modification, however, due to Rāvandī’s frequent “rewriting” of Nizami’s verses, as discussed infra.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    Ibid., 96–97.Google Scholar

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© Kamran Talattof and Jerome W. Clinton 2000

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  • Julie Scott Meisami

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