ĀMOLI, ŠAMS-AL-DIN MOḤAMMAD B. MAḤMUD, Shiʿite scholar and author, died at Shiraz in 753/1352-53, when it was under the control of the Inju ruler Abu Esḥāq Jamāl-al-Din (q.v.). He had taught in the Solṭāniya Madrasa during the reign of the Ilkhan Öljeitü (703-16/1304-16). He was the author of a commentary on the kolliyāt of Ibn Sinā’s Qānun, and other such works. He is best known, however, for his encyclopedia, the Nafāʾes al-fonun fi ʿarāʾes al-ʿoyun, which he dedicated to Jamāl-al-Din Abu Esḥaq b. Maḥmud (Ṣafā, Adabiyāt III, p. 1275; Nafisi, Naẓm o naṯr I, p. 183). The Nafāʾes consists of two parts with numerous subdivisions. The first part is concerned with the varieties of knowledge in the Islamic period, the second with that of the ancients. It is a wide-ranging work of considerable value because it illustrates the nature and quality of the learning available to a Persian scholar during the late Ilkhanid period. As well as its discussion of the sciences, the Nafāʾes contains a brief universal history as far as the accession of Arpā Khan in 736/1335, the later portions of which are of some value to the historian. More important is the material to be found in the book on the details of later Ilkhanid administration, which provides a more useful complement to that in the Saʿādat-nāma of ʿAlā Tabrizi.
See also Āmoli, Nafāʾes al-fonun, ed. Abu’l-Ḥasan Šeʿrāni et al., 3 vols., Tehran, 1377-79 /1958-59; for other editions see Mošār, Fehrest II, col. 3292.
Nafisi, Naẓm o naṯr I, p. 183.
Charles Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1876-95, II, pp. 435-38.
Ṣafā, Adabiyāt III, p. 1275.
C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Leiden, 1927-, II, pp. 355-57.
(David O. Morgan)
Originally Published: July 20, 2002
Last Updated: August 3, 2011