ANDARZ (precept, instruction, advice).
The Middle and New Persian term andarz is most often applied to remarks made by a prominent person, such as a king or a high priest, to his son, his courtiers, “people of the world,” etc., and commonly indicates a spiritual testament. It sometimes overlaps in usage with the Middle Persian term frahang, the proper meaning of which is “education, upbringing,” but which also denotes, by extension, “civilized behavior” and “chastisement.” The term andarz also has an area of affinity with Middle Persian ēwēn (NPers. and Ar. āʾīn, see āʾīn-nāma) “protocol, accepted and binding custom,” especially as applied at the royal court. As a literary designation, the term andarz denotes the type of literature which contains advice and injunctions for proper behavior, whether in matters of state, everyday life, or religion. In a wider sense it may be applied to the whole range of wisdom literature, i.e., literature which presents instructive material in an attractive style making it accessible to those without specialized education. Certain compositions within this genre seem to have originated in court circles (e.g., Xusraw ī Kawādān ud rēdag-ē “Ḵosrow son of Kavād and the page,” on which see further below); more popular versions of such works may also have existed, perhaps in a form suitable for oral recitation. But little is known about the modes of transmission of this literature in the Sasanian period, and the few post-Sasanian references to it seem usually to imply written books (e.g., the designation Ketāb ǰāvīdān ḵerad; see Ebn Meskawayh, al-Ḥekmat al ḵāleda: Jāvīdān ḵerad, ed. ʿA. Badawī, Cairo, 1952, pp. 3-6).
In the strict application of the term, andarz compositions consist of short, didactic sentences of gnomic character, most often only loosely grouped together. They are not, as a rule, narrative in character, though sometimes there is a brief frame story which provides information about the author of the advice (either an established historical figure or a fictitious character, venerated by tradition), the person(s) to whom the precept is addressed, and the occasion (e.g., the ruler on his death-bed, or, as in some pieces preserved only in Arabic, ascending the throne). Thus in the opening section to the “Andarz of Ḵosrow son of Kavād” we have: “When his time was completed (ka purr-gāh būd),he spoke in admonition to the people of the world, before his living soul was separated from the body” (Pahlavi Texts, p. 53.3-5). One andarz of Ādurbād ī Mahraspandān sets a similar scene (ibid., p. 144), but another collection of andarz attributed to the same figure gives a more circumstantial account of its composition: “Ādurbād had no son of his body (frazand [ī] tanīg)born to him. Then he put his trust in the gods, and before long Ādurbād had a son, whom he named Zardušt, after the wholesome character of Zardušt son of Spitama. He said: Rise, my son, so that I may teach you education” (ibid., p. 58). Such frame story narratives reflect common literary devices and cannot be relied upon for detailed historical information.
Another narrative type in andarz writings is the short, moral anecdote which tells of past sages, whether named or unnamed (e.g., Dēnkard 6.D2, D3, D5; in S. Shaked, tr., Wisdom of the Sasanian Sages (Dēnkard VI), Boulder, Colorado, l979, pp. 177f.). This type is rare in the extant Pahlavi literature, though examples which survive in Arabic indicate that it was not uncommon. We may include among narrative elements in the andarz literature those sayings which contain parables. For example, the importance of preparing for the next world, although not realized by most people, is likened to the need to prepare fortifications against an enemy attack—a bothersome task, but one that people wish they had done better when the attack comes (Dēnkard 6.304; Shaked, op. cit., pp. 116f.).
Within the wider range of writings to which the term andarz may be applied more loosely, there are compositions which display a high degree of literary organization and a dominant, narrative frame story. The Dādestān ī mēnōg ī xrad has a frame story and a well-organized division into chapters, each of which deals with one question (pursišn)bearing on a religious topic. A work with a different sort of content is Xusraw ī Kawādān ud rēdag-ē, which has a frame story and a well-defined structure. By recounting a conversation held by the king with a young page at the court, the unknown author displays, in an entertaining manner, a wide range of worldly knowledge. The best testimony for the popularity of this work is its survival not only in Pahlavi, but also in an Arabic translation (Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, pp. 705-11). Another work of light-hearted learning and entertainment is the Pahlavi Čatrang-nāmag, which describes how the game of chess was brought from India to Iran and gives valuable information about the terminology of the game; this too is extant in both Pahlavi and Arabic (cf. ibid., pp. 622-24). Draxt asūrīg (“The Babylonian tree”), which belongs with this literature of entertainment, is a poetic composition in Parthian. A debate between the palm tree and the goat about the relative merits of each provides both a measure of artistic tension and the occasion for light-hearted display of wit and erudition. Close in spirit is the story of the riddle contest between the sorcerer Axt and the Zoroastrian Jōišt ī Fryān in Mādayān ī Jōišt ī Fryān (ed. in M. Haug, E. W. West, and. H. Jamaspji Asa, The Book of Arda Viraf, Bombay and London, l872, pp. 207-66).
Andarz works in the strict sense are relatively free from conscious artistic embellishments, though verses are sometimes embedded in the prose text, occasionally with irregular rhyme (the conscious use of rhyme seems to be a feature of a late period only); an example is the “Poem in praise of wisdom” (See S. Shaked, “Specimens of Middle Persian Verse,” W. B. Henning Memorial Volume, ed. M. Boyce and I. Gershevitch, London, 1970, pp. 400f.; A. Tafażżolī, “Andarz i Wehzād Farrox Pērōz.” Stud. Ir. 1, l972, pp. 207-l7; on stylistic and poetic devices in andarz sayings cf. E. Fichtner in Mitteilungen des Instituts für Orientforschung 11, 1965, pp. 55f.). Some of the didactic sayings have the form of a riddle, while others are phrased as a paradox, to be puzzled over until explained or understood by the audience (see Shaked, Wisdom, pp. xxiiif.). These are presumably devices originally used in the oral delivery of sermons and homilies. Many sayings contain word plays, popular etymologies, and the like (ibid.). In the more serious religious compositions, there is a tendency to endow traditional or popular themes with a spiritualized or allegorical sense, in a style which is sometimes reminiscent of the Jewish midrash and early Christian exegesis (ibid., p. xxix). Another favorite stylistic device is the use of numbers; many sayings list qualities, types of people, and other items, under numerical headings, sometimes contrasting the good and bad items according to a particular number of characteristics. One entire composition, attributed to the sage Ošnar, is arranged according to the numbers which most of the sayings contain.
Gnomic andarz works may be divided into two main categories according to their principal subject matter: religious and pragmatic. Most andarz compositions fall quite clearly into one of these two categories. (1) Religious andarz consists of three types of texts: (a) School manuals and instruction manuals. An example of the former is a short composition preserved only in Pāzand and written in simple language, Xveškārī ī rēdagān “The duty of children” (published by A. Freiman as Andarz ī kōdagān,DasturHoshangMemorial Volume, Bombay, 1918, pp. 482-89; cf. J. Darmesteter, “Les devoirs de l’écolier,” JA 13, 1889, pp. 355-63; E. K. Antiâ, Pâzend Texts, Bombay, 1909, pp. 7374; H. F. Junker, EinmittelpersischesSchulgespräch, Sb.HeidelbergerAk.Wiss., Phil.-Hist. Klasse, 1912, 15. Abhandlung [with description of mss.]; J. C. Tavadia, Die mittelpersische Sprache und Literatur der Zarathustrier, Leipzig, 1956, p. 106). A work for adults, Abar 5xēm ī āsrōnānud 10 andarzkehamāgandarz ī dēnabarpaywastag (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 129-31; Zātspram, chap. 27, pp. 94-98; and Viǰīrkard ī dēnīg, ed. P. Sanjana, Bombay, l848, pp. l3-16), concentrates, as its title indicates, on the qualities most desirable in priests. (b) Gnomic texts of popular religious character. Several short texts belong to this group, including some which are attributed to the sage Ādurbād son of Mahraspand (Wāzagēčand ī Ādurbād ī Mahraspandān, Pahlavi Texts, pp. 144-53; other precepts in Pahl.Rivayat, chap. 62), one attributed to Wuzurgmihr (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 85-101), and Čīdagandarzī pōryōtkēšān, which is also known by the title Pand-nāmag ī Zardušt (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 41-50, Pers. tr. M. Nawwābī, Našrīya-yeDāneškada-yeAdabīyāt-eTabrīz 12/4, 1339 Š./1960, pp. 513-36). These texts emphasize the basic tenets of Zoroastrianism, urge people to frequent the hērbadestān to acquire religious knowledge, and tell them to consult with good people and keep the ordinances of the religion. (c) Religious gnomes addressed to a higher level of audience, with a certain tendency to spiritualize religious conceptions. This is the character of the andarz contained in the sixth book of Ādurbād ī Ēmēdān’s Dēnkard.
(2) Pragmatic andarz may also be discussed under three headings: (a) Instruction manuals, such as the treatise which provides a guide for epistolary style, Abarēwēnag ī nāmagnibēsišnīh (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 132-40; transcription and translation by R. C. Zaehner, BSOAS 9, 1937-39, pp. 93-109), and the model speech which is known under the title Sūrsaxwan (“Banquet speech,” ed. J. C. Tavadia , Journal of the Cama Oriental Institute 29, 1933). It is also possible to mention in this group the manual of games, Wizārišnī čatrangudnihišnī nēw-ardaxšīrir (“The explanation of chess and the establishment of the game of backgammon,” Pahlavi Texts, pp. 115-20; this title, and many similar ones in Pahlavi, is not original but was given by the editor of Pahlavi Texts). (b) Popular gnomes of pragmatic or worldly character. A typical composition of this type is Andarz ī Ādurbād ī Mahraspandān (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 58-71, Pers. tr. M. Nawwābī, Našrīya-ye Dāneškada-yeAdabīyāt-eTabrīz 11/4, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 501-29; some of this same material, probably based on another Pahlavi redaction, is translated into Arabic and attributed to Ādurbād in Ebn Meskawayh, alḤekmat al-ḵāleda, pp. 26-28), which stresses the virtue of moderation, enjoins respect for parents, old people, and men in authority, warns against telling secrets to women, and counsels how to choose a wife and manage one’s wealth. The work abounds in similes, e.g., the wealth of the world is like a bird flying from one branch to another, a wise man is like fertile land, and an old enemy is like a black snake, while an old friend is like old wine. Other examples are the Andarz ī Ošnarī dānāg and the andarz of Wehzād [ī] Farroxpērōz (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 73-77). (c) Special manuals for the education of princes (usually called “mirrors for princes” or Fürstenspiegel). None of these has been preserved in Pahlavi, but the popularity of this group of writings is clearly visible through the many texts and fragments which have survived through Arabic transmission. Two of the most prominent compositions of this type are the Testament of Ardašīr (ed. I. Abbas under the title ʿAhdArdašīr, Beirut, 1967; ed. M. Grignaschi, JA 254, 1966, pp. 46f.) and the Letter of Tansar (preserved only in a New Persian version of Ebn Esfandīār done from the Arabic; ed. M. Mīnovī, Nāma-yeTansar, Tehran, 1311 Š./1932; tr. M. Boyce, Rome, 1968). Related to this category is the book KalīlawaDemna, translated into Arabic from a Pahlavi original by Ebn al-Moqafffaʿ (a Syriac version is also extant), the Pahlavi in its turn being a translation from a version of the Indian Pan c atantra. However, the scope of this type of literature is best demonstrated by the numerous throne speeches and deathbed testaments recorded in Arabic by authors transmitting Sasanian royal traditions. See, e.g., the material contained in the anonymous Nehāyatal- a rab (E. G. Browne in JRAS, 1900, pp. 195-259; M. Grignaschi, in Bulletin des études orientales 22, 1969, pp. 15-67; 26, 1973, pp. 83-184; cf. also in Dīnavarī). These speeches belong to the tradition of political andarz, and contain the accepted ideas about the management of the state and the relationship between justice, religion, and government. Some of them may be late compositions modeled on Sasanian texts, but most seem to have been translated into Arabic together with other Sasanian works. Andarz works are difficult to summarize, for their teachings, even when religious in character, are applied to miscellaneous specific matters. Wisdom (xrad) is highly extolled, both in prose and in rhyme; the preamble to the treatise Dādestānī mēnōg ī xrad is wholly dedicated to its personification. Wisdom implies knowledge, particularly self-knowledge, which means understanding one’s origins and affiliation within the dualistic system (viz., that one belongs to the world of the spiritual deities, to the company of the good, etc.) and one’s ultimate destination (viz., the other world, paradise). (The locus classicus for this concept of wisdom is in Pahlavi Texts, p. 41; cf. Ayādgār ī Wuzurgmihr, ibid., pp. 90f.). Also praised are education (frahang) and the frequenting of the place of learning and religious guidance, the hērbadestān. Consultation with the wise or the good (hampursagīh ī wehān) is an oft-repeated injunction.
The concept of right measure (paymān) is central in andarz texts, as well as in a group of texts in the third book of the Dēnkardwhich deals systematically with questions of moral behavior. The right measure is the middle way, standing between the extremes of character, which are to be condemned. The notion is presented as a purely Iranian one (Dēnkard, p. 429), and indeed it has old Iranian roots, e.g., in the classification of qualities of character not only as good or bad, or as extreme or moderate, but also as forward-inclined (frāz-āhangīg) and backward-inclined (abāz-āhangīg; see Shaked, Wisdom, pp. xlf.); but the treatment has benefited from an awareness of the Aristotelian analysis.
Like other Zoroastrian Pahlavi works, the andarztexts give an important role to fate in human destiny and minimize the place of man’s free action, though without ever denying it entirely. The discussion of the interrelationship of these elements is a favorite topic of andarz authors. Contrary to the opinion of some scholars, expressions of relative fatalism do not imply a specifically Zurvanite posture. This attitude regarding human effort seems associated, rather, with the tendency to regard most aspects of the material world as dangerous and addiction to them as distracting from true piety. Here, too, the right measure is enjoined, but often with a strong tendency to tip the scale in favor of frugality and near abstinence (ibid., pp. xxxvif.). It is thus understandable that poverty (driyōšīīh, to be distinguished, however, from škōhīh, which denotes abject material privation and is usually used in a negative sense) is often used as a positive term in its own right (Denkard 6.141),though we also hear of the advantages of material wealth and its proper employment (e.g., op. cit., 6.C32). Religious andarz texts stress the importance of making the gods welcome in one’s own person; this can be done by chasing away the demons, who are represented concretely by evil character and action, and by inducing in oneself the correct attitudes which the deities symbolize. These texts tend to spiritualize and interiorize traditional religious concepts through allegory while deemphasizing concrete ritual.
For the authorship of andarz texts, there is only the evidence of the attribution of texts to authors in the works themselves. Several compositions are anonymous, e.g., Andarz ī dānāgān ō mazdēsnān (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 51-54) and Andarzīhā ī pēšēnīgān (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 39-40, Pers. tr. M. Nawwābī, Našrīya-yeDāneškada-yeAdabīyāt-eTabrīz12/2, 1339 Š./1960, pp. 256-57). The latter is a group of four compositions which come in a single sequence in the manuscripts used by the editor of Pahlavi Texts (pp. 39-40); the title was added by him. Despite a similarity in style produced by the use of a rudimentary form of rhyme in each case, the individual sections seem to constitute different works. The first enumerates things which are “best,” each in its own class. The second contains a few injunctions, a section of self-inquiry, and a consideration of the last judgment. The third enumerates the hardships caused by want of different things like wisdom, a wife, offspring, etc.; the worst off is he who has no soul. The tone of the fourth is pessimistic, being an enumeration of what is missing to various categories of people; worst off is he with whom God (Xwadāy) is dissatisfied. Other andarz texts are apocryphal, as is the case with those attributed to the prophet Zoroaster (Dēnkard 3.195, p. 209), to his disciple Sēn (Dēnkard 3.197, pp. 212-13), and to Ošnar, a legendary sage whose name is borrowed from the Avesta (AirWb., col. 44). The Andarzī Ošnarīdānāg is extant in a unique Ms. (ed. by E. B. N. Dhabhar, Bombay, 1930). The frame story of the composition states that a disciple asked Ošnar to give him instruction “from one to a thousand,” and the sage proceeds with precepts based on various numbers. The second part of the treatise contains a miscellany of sayings, and the general spirit is pragmatic and worldly: Although the world is decried as transient, poverty is to be avoided. An Arabic version of a Persian andarzbook attributed to Hōšang and forming part of the Jāvīdān ḵerad also contains a large number of sayings on numbers, so the two works may be related, although they do not share the same material. The name of Hōšang might have been confused with that of Ošnar along the line of transmission (E. W. West, “Pahlavi Literature,” in Geiger and Kulm, Grundr.Ir.Phil. 11, p. 109; J. C. Tavadia, Die mittelpersischeSpracheundLiteraturderZarathustrier, Leipzig, 1956, pp. 106f.). Most texts are attributed to sages of the Sasanian period, about many of whom independent information exists; they may well have been the actual authors of the treatises ascribed to them. As for kings, only Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān is mentioned as the author of an andarzin Pahlavi. But other kings are said to be the authors of writings extant in Arabic. To Ardašīr is attributed, besides his Testament, an āʾīn(Phl. ēwēn; JA 254, 1966, pp. 91f.); and there is reference to the wisdom of Hormoz: (Ebn Meskawayh, Jāvīdānḵerad, p. 66; JA 254, 1966, pp. 108f., with quotations also from Ardašīr, Šāpūr, and Yazdegerd). It may be assumed that such attribution need not be false, at least insofar as the writing could have emerged from the king’s official circle; but there is no way of verifying them. Even in the case of Ardašīr and Tansar, whose reputed writings contain some vague historical clues, and attributions have been debated, although no definitive argument for positive dating has yet been offered. The transmission of attributions is steady: Scattered sayings taken from Sasanian texts and quoted at random by early Arab authors are usually ascribed to the same traditional author. This is not proof of authorship, but it indicates at least that authors’ names were not carelessly attached to works; later Arab authors who use andarz material often tend to be careless.
To judge by explicit attribution in texts, the most prolific author of Pahlavi andarzworks was the sage Ādurbād ī Mahraspandān, who lived under King Šāpūr II (r. 309-79). Five works or fragments of works are attributed to him in Pahlavi, and at least one more in Arabic (Andarz ī Adurbād ī Mahraspandān, Pahlavi Texts, pp. 58f.; Wāzagēčand ī Adurbād ī Mahraspandān, Pahlavi Texts, pp. 144f.; Andarz ī Adurbād ī Mahraspandān, PahlaviRivayat, chap. 62; Dēnkard 3.199; Dēnkard 6.D1a; and Ebn Meskawayh, op. cit., pp. 26f.). The title of Pand-nāmag ī Zardušt (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 4l-50) apparently refers to his son Zardušt, although this attribution is not mentioned in the text itself; and his grandson, Adurbād ī Zarduštān (son of Zardušt ī Adurbādān), is quoted as the author of another short andarz treatise (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 81f.).
Numerous andarz compilations were also made, it seems, in the reign of Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān (r. 531-79). Two texts extant in Pahlavi (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 55-57; Dēnkard 3.201, pp. 218f.) and others in Arabic (Ebn Meskawayh, op. cit., pp. 41f., 49f., 61; idem, Taǰārebal-omam, ed. Grignaschi in JA 254, 1966, pp. 16f.; cf. ibid., pp. 103f.) are attributed to the king himself. One of the former, Andarzī Xusraw ī Kawādān, an admonition spoken by the dying king to the people of the world, is concerned mainly with death, the impermanence of man, and the final judgment (C. Salemann, MélangesAsiatiques IX, St. Petersburg, 1888, pp. 242f.; recent translations: E. M. F. Kanga, SanjVartaman Annual, l948; M. Mokrī, Andarz-eḴosrow-e Qobādān [in Persian], Tehran, 1951, 2nd ed.; M. Nawwābī, Našrīya-ye Dāneškada-ye Adabīyāt-e Tabrīz 12, 1339 Š./1960, no. 1, pp. 142-44; Geiger and Kuhn, Grundr. Ir. Phil. II, pp. 72, 112). Still more writings are ascribed to him in Arabic sources. His famous counsellor, Wuzurgmihr ī Buxtagān, has one composition which has fortunately survived both in Pahlavi and in Arabic (Pahlavi Texts, pp. 85f.; Meskawayh, op. cit., pp. 29f.), and several others are ascribed to him in Arabic (cf. ibid., pp. 37f., 45f.). The priest Baxt-āfrīd, who belongs to the same period, has a number of short sayings attributed to him in Pahlavi (Pahlavi Texts, p. 81; Dēnkard 6.A4, E22). The date of Wehzād ī Farrox-pērōz, the reputed author of an andarz concerned mostly with wisdom, has not been ascertained (Pahlavi Texts, Bombay, pp. 73-77; Geiger and Kuhn, Grundr. Ir. Phil. II, p. 113; a poem in praise of wisdom from the text is edited and translated in S. Shaked, “Specimens of Middle Persian Verse,” W. B. Henning Memorial Volume, London, 1970, pp. 398-400; Persian translation of the whole text by F. Ābādānī, Našrīya-ye Dāneškada-ye Adabīyāt-e Tabrīz 19, 1346 Š./1967, pp. 36-42; ed. and Persian tr. by A. Tafażżolī, Īrān-šenāsī 2, 1971, pp. 45-60; English tr. by idem, Stud. Ir. 1, 1972, pp. 207-17; cf. G. Lazard, “Deux poèmes persans de tradition pehlevie,” Mémorial Jean de Menasce, Louvain, 1974, pp. 433-40, esp. p. 439). The only author of andarz whom we know with certainty to belong to the post-Sasanian period is Ādurfarnbag ī Farroxzādān, one of the compilers of the Dēnkard in the 9th century (his andarz is in Pahlavi Texts, pp. 79f.; the saying in Dēnkard 6.D10, where Ādurfarnbag is mentioned, need not refer to him).
The andarz genre probably existed in Iran as early as the period when the late Avestan literature was composed, for there are summaries of Avestan passages in Pahlavi, especially portions of the Avestan text of the Bariš Nask, which are definitely the Avestan predecessors of the Pahlavi andarz (see J. P. de Menasce, Une encyclopédie mazdéenne: le Dēnkart, Paris, 1958, pp. 38f.). Many passages in the extant Pahlavi andarz literature are introduced by phrases which usually indicate that they are considered to be derived originally from the Avesta, e.g., pad dēn paydāg “it is manifest in the religion,” i.e., in the scripture, or pad paydāgīh ī az dēn (Pahlavi Texts, p. 41). The unnatural word order in the Middle Persian of some andarz passages has the style of a translation from the Avesta (see intro. to Shaked, Wisdom, pp. xviif.). However, the Pahlavi exegesis, or zand, of an Avestan text often constitutes a conception of the original text which is quite divergent from what may be regarded as its original meaning.
A substantial amount of andarz material was translated into Arabic during the first three or four centuries of Islam; since so much of the literature composed in Middle Persian was lost in the original, the Arabic channel of transmission is particularly welcome, being in many cases the only mode in which a text has come down to us. Nearly all the celebrated authors of early Arabic adab literature used Persian andarz material to some extent. Large portions of Sasanian andarz in Arabic transmission are found particularly in Ebn Meskawayh’s Jāvīdān ḵerad; Ṯaʿālebī’s Ḡorar; Ketāb al-tāǰ fī aḵlāq al-molūk, attributed to Jāḥeẓ but actually by Moḥammad b. Ḥāreṯ Taḡlebī (cf. G. Schoeler, ZDMG 130, 1980, pp. 217-25; published by A. Z. Pāšā, Cairo, 1322/1914); and the Istanbul Ms. Köprülü 1608 (ed. M. Grignaschi in JA 254, 1966, pp. 1-142). A great deal of scattered material is found in the works of Ebn Qotayba (particularly ʿOyūn al -aḵbār), Masʿūdī (particularly Morūǰ), Jāḥeẓ, and Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ, to name only a few of the most prominent transmitters of such material. Fragments of andarz of possible Middle Persian origin are quoted and requoted in practically all adab compilations in Arabic, either juxtaposed with material from other sources, Islamic, Greek, Jewish, Indian, and ancient Arabic, or occasionally, presented under the distinctive heading of Persian wisdom. Some of this material was further translated from Arabic into New Persian, Hebrew and Syriac, and occasionally into other languages.
In some cases we find traces of Sasanian andarz in Arabic literature where they are not identified as Persian. This is true of certain texts which seem to be of Hellenistic Greek origin, such as the Serr al-asrār (known subsequently in Europe under the title Secretum secretorum), where it may be possible to surmise a combination of Persian and Hellenistic elements in the lost Greek original, rather than in the Arabic version. Other types of unacknowledged borrowing of Persian andarz into Arabic literature exist in some of the works of Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ, where only the existence of fragments of the Pahlavi original establish the fact of the borrowing (cf. Shaked, “From Iran to Islam,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 4, 1984, in press). Even Islamic religious literature, including collections of Hadith and of sayings by early ascetics (zohhād) seem to contain material possibly derived from Persian andarz sources, though it is much more difficult to establish such connections in detail.
Andarz literature must have existed, not only in Middle Persian, but also in other literary Middle Iranian languages, such as Parthian and Sogdian. At least one of the extant books in Pahlavi, Draxt asūrīg, is actually composed not in Middle Persian but in Parthian with some Middle Persian retouching (cf. Ch. Bartholomae, Zur Kenntnis der mitteliranischen Mundarten IV, Heidelberg, 1922, pp. 23f.; E. Benveniste, in JA 217, 1930, pp. 193f.; C. J. Brunner, JNES 39, 1980, pp. 191f.); and fragments of Manichean collections of moral fables have come to light in Sogdian (cf. W. B. Henning, “Sogdian Tales,” BSOAS 11, 1945, pp. 465f.).
It seems unlikely that during the Sasanian period the andarz literature was still transmitted by oral means only. It may be assumed, on the contrary, that written collections were in circulation before the advent of Islam. Contemporary Syriac references to “Magian literature” may well refer to this type of writing, since the Avesta and the Zand seem to have had very limited circulation as written books in the pre-Islamic period. Islamic references to these works also imply written material (cf. above), but it is characteristic of this type of literature, which is nontechnical and popular in character, to have parallel oral transmission as well, the two modes of transmission interacting to some degree. The existence of Jewish, Christian, and Manichean literature in Iran in the Sasanian period adds weight to this assumption of written transmission. It must, however, be noted that the extant manuscripts which contain andarz material in Pahlavi are all of a much later period, from the 14th century onwards.
A discussion of the individual works, before most of them were yet published, is to be found in E. W. West in Geiger and Kulm, Grundr. Ir.Phil. II, pp. 75-l29.
The small andarz texts are discussed together, with useful bibliographies, in J. C. Tavadia, Die mittelpersischeSpracheund LiteraturderZarathustrier, Leipzig, 1956, pp. 103-10; other texts can be found under different headings in the same book. Andarz is discussed as a literary genre by M. Boyce, HO I/IV, Iranistik: Literatur, Leiden and Cologne, 1968, pp. 51-55; see also J. P. Asmussen in La Persia Nel Medioevo, Accademia Nationale dei Lincei, Rome, 1971, pp. 269f.
On the transmission of Persian andarz in Arabic, and in particular on the Xwadāy-nāmag, see K. A. Inostrantsev, Persidskaya literaturnayatraditsiya v perv y evekaislama (Mémoires de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St. Pétersbourg, 8e série, vol. 8, no. 13), St. Petersburg, 1909; tr. G. K. Nariman, Iranian influence on Moslem literature, Part I (no more published), Bombay, 1918.
Further contributions to this subject were made by F. Gabrieli, especially in RSO 11, 1926-28, pp. 295-305; 13, 1931-32, pp. 197-347; and by M. Moḥammadī, who collected material in his book al-Rawāfedal-fāresīya fi’l-adabal-ʿArabī, Beirut, 1964.
W. B. Henning in ZDMG 106, 1956, pp. 73-77.
See also Camb.Hist. Iran III, pp. 398f.
Christensen, Iran Sass., pp. 51f., 431f.
The andarz themes found in Pahlavi writings reappear in new forms but without much change of substance in New Persian. Short homilies and terse maxims are replaced by longer discourses in verse or prose, which contain the same ideas and sometimes explain the moral principles in detail. As time passes, the content is gradually adapted to the norms of Iranian Islamic culture and becomes greatly enriched thereby. Ethico-didactic writings constitute a large part of classical Persian literature, certainly larger than in the case of most other languages. Such writings, whether in verse or prose, are termed pand (maxim), andarz (counsel), naṣīḥat (advice), waṣīyat (testament), waṣāya (instruction), mawʿeẓa (exhortation), or ḥekmat (wisdom, proverb).
In the period up to the early years of the 5th/11th century, when the pre-Islamic Iranian culture was still pervasive, all counsels, whether or not translated from Pahlavi originals (for passages in Arabic tr. see, e.g., Masʿūdī, Morūǰ II, pp. 159f., 165, 166, 172, 210, ed. Pellat, secs. 584, 587, 591, 593, 597, 631; Ṯaʿālebī, Ḡorar, pp. 40-41, 482-84), urge the individual to learn the conventions of social life, to make himself acceptable in cultured society by acquiring good manners and good speech, working hard and guarding against laziness, shunning falsehood and injustice, and always being truthful and honest, and generally to adorn himself with virtue, knowledge, and skill. Significantly little or nothing is said about devotions and spiritual or bodily asceticism, let alone fasting and vigil-keeping, as means to divine favor and celestial reward. In other words, negative ideas about life do not enter into their concept of piety. When they speak about the transience of this world, their purpose is not to warn the hearer or reader against absorption in worldly affairs but to urge him to be virtuous and do good so that he may leave behind a good name (e.g., Rūdakī in Ṣafā, Ganǰ-esoḵan, 6th ed., Tehran, 1357 Š./1978, I, p. 8; Šāh-nāma, ed. Borūḵīm, pp. 1918, 2261, 2374, and elsewhere; Faḵr-al-dīn Asʿad Gorgānī, Vīs oRāmīn, passage quoted in Ṣafā, Adabīyāt, pp. 378-79). Both the maxims and the discourses reflect a tradition of personal and social morality and of professional or occupational standards required in tradesmen, secretaries, officials, soldiers, and kings and their viziers and courtiers.
Around the middle of the 5th/11th century, when Islamic teachings had penetrated more deeply and knowledge of Arabic and Arab culture had spread more widely, Iranian culture entered a new phase, which may be divided into two periods: The first up to the end of the 9th/15th century when Sunnism was dominant; second from the beginning of the 10th/16th century when Shiʿism prevailed. In both periods ethico-didactic writers present Koranic verses, Prophetic traditions, and sayings of eminent Moslems (whether Sunnite saints or Shiʿite imams) as rules for life, linking them to Islamic doctrines and laws and to hopes of reward or salvation from punishment in the afterworld. Such material is either added to materia1 from the early period or, increasingly as time passes, substituted for it. The displacement of counsels of national origin by counsels of religious origin is much more marked after the victory of Twelver Shiʿism. Up to the end of the 9th/15th century, despite the constantly growing influence of Islamic teachings of Arab culture, the traditional Iranian counsels are still va1ued and placed side by side with the imported counsels, whereas in the subsequent period this is not the case. The Shiʿism of Safavid times fell under the sway of scholars; of Arab descent from Jabal ʿĀmel, Aḥsāʾ, Bahrain, etc., whom the Safavid kings invited to Iran to direct the training of Shiʿite ʿolamāʾ. These scholars naturally took no interest in Iranian counsels, their concern being to propagate Shiʿism and Arab culture (for a more detailed discussion, see Ṣafā, Adabīyāt V, pp. 126-28, 187-92). Thus Bozorgmehr is replaced by Loqmān, and, even then, the maxims are usually accompanied by corroborative reports of words or deeds of the Shiʿite imams, particularly ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭāleb, Moḥammad al-Bāqer, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, and Mūsā al-Kāẓem (see, e.g., Maǰlesī’s Ḥayāt al-qolūb, Tehran, n.d., I, pp. 314-23). In Twe1ver Shiʿite ethical treatises countless exhortations are ascribed to the Prophet, the imams, and 1eading Shiʿites and used as the basic subject-matter.
Counsel-giving in verse can be traced back to the 3rd/9th century in the earliest preserved fragments of Persian poetry by such poets as Ḥanẓala Bādgīsī and Bū Salīk Gorgānī (Lazard, Premiers poètes I, pp. 12, 21). From then onward it flourished without a break. In the next century Rūdakī (d. 329/940) devoted much of his very large poetic output to mora1 exhortation, some of which have survived in the form of short poems (qeṭʿas). A major contribution of his was a versified version of the Kalīla wa Demna fables into matİƎnawī verse.
Other poets of the 4th/10th century, such as Šahīd Balḵī, Abū Ṭāher Ḵosrāvānī, Daqīqī, Ḵosravī Saraḵsī, Abu’l-Fatḥ Bostī, are all known to have written 1ong or short moralistic poems, but none is comparable to Abū Šakūr Balḵī partly preserved in his Afarīn-nāma, a long maṯnawī in the motaqāreb meter completed in 336/947, which probably served as the prototype of later didactic maṯnawīs such as Saʿdi’s Būstān. The verses, touching on social and moral matters, rules of conduct, man’s duty to control his instincts and improve his mind through knowledge and understanding (see Lazard, op. cit., pp. 91-127; Nafīsī, Rūdakī, pp. 1233-60), reveal an outlook similar to that which we find in the Pahlavi andarz books or in the Šāh-nāma and recall the descriptions of virtues cherished by the Iranians in Meskawayh’s (Meskūya’s) al-Ḥekmat al-ḵāleda and al-Saʿāda wa’l-esʿād (Tehran, 1336 Š./1957). The obviously practical intent and the didactic method are far removed from the philosophical theorizing and logical reasoning of Aristotelian ethics.
The very numerous counsels found in the āh-nāma stem from the texts to which Ferdows-1 had access. They may be divided into three main types: Those of the first and most basic type appear in the parts of the Šāh-nāma concerning careers of Sasanian kings, particularly Ardašīr Bābakān (ed. Borūḵīm, pp. 1990-92, 1998-99), Šāpūr I (p. 2008), and Hormozd (pp. 2009-14), and in the account of Anōšīravān’s seven banquet-sessions with Bozorgmehr (pp. 2373-401). The last one, demonstrably derived from Pahlavi advice-books such as the Pand-nāmag ī Wuzurgmihr ī Bōtagān, consist of maxims of conduct and civility, such as good manners in conversation, seeking excellence, behaving like a man, being truthful and honest, avoiding slackness and laziness, amassing know1edge, and the like, each of which is enunciated in one or two verses or sometimes in a halfverse. (Ṣafā, Ḥamāsasarāʾī dar Īrān, 4th ed., Tehran, 1363 Š./1984, p. 69). The maxims of the second type are those put into the mouth of a king as his throne address and his testament. They are generally about statecraft, treatment of the subjects, avoidance of injustice and tyranny, as well as the necessity of obedience to kings and respect for religious ordinances. The counsels of the third type come in comments by Ferdowsī himself at the end of stories of kings and heroes (particularly when one dies or is killed); these include remarks on the transience of worldly life and exhortation for good thoughts, good deeds, justice, and avoidance of evil (e.g., the end of the story of Żaḥḥāk, ed. Borūḵīm, p. 61). Furthermore the story-texts, and especially the dialogues between heroes, often contain maxims which Ferdowsī probably found in his sources (e.g., the story of Īraǰ, verses 509-10, 524-25).
Among the epic poems written after the Šāh-nāma and under its influence only the Garšāsp-nāma of Asadī Ṭūsī (d. 465/1072) deserves attention for our purpose. Counsels and maxims are found in various contexts and one cannot be sure whether the author inserted them or took thern from the condensed prose version of the Garšāsp saga on which he depended. Also relevant are the exchanges of questions and answers between the Brahmin and Farāmarz in the Farāmarznāma (Bombay ed., pp. 152-56) and the occasional dialogues in other epics, particularly Nezāmī’s Eskandar-nāma and works modeled on it.
Among the poets of the first part of the 5th/11th century, one named Badāyeʿī Balḵī (not to be confused with Badīʿ Balḵī, see Maǰmaʿ al-foṣaḥāʾ I, pp. 456-62) made a verse rendering of the Pand-nāma of Anōšīravān in the motaqāreb meter (409 verses) and entitled it Rāḥat al-ensān (ed. Ch. Schefer in Chrestomathie Persane, Paris, 1885; repr., together with Pers. tr. of the Pahlavi Pand-nāmak, by S. Nafīsī in Mehr 2/2-3, 1313 Š./1934). As in other Iranian andarz books of this type, many different virtues of self-control and self-perfection, such as following reason, seeking knowledge, speaking courteously, showing kindness, telling the truth, keeping good company, and being content with one’s lot, are here epitomized in one or two verses each.
The writing of didactic matnawīs and qeṭʿas, begun by Rūdakī, received a great impetus by Kesā’ī Marvazī (late 4th/10th and early 5th/11 th cent.) and Nāṣer(-e) Ḵosrow (d. 481/1088) the author of two relatively short matnawīs, the Rowšanāʾī-nāma and the Saʿādat-nāma. Nāṣer Ḵosrow is also unique in having written long qaṣīdas on ethical, philosophical, and practical subjects.
In the first half of the 6th/12th century Sanāʾī Ḡaznavī (d. 545/1150), after undergoing a spiritual transformation, opened a new chapter by writing poetry with a combined mystic and moral content. The example was to be widely followed. Sanāʾī expounded mystic and ethical ideas and poured forth counsels and homilies in qaṣīdas and qeṭʿas of seldom equalled eloquence and in long matnawī poems, particularly his Ḥadīqat al-ḥaqīqa. His success led a number of poets of the 6th/12th and early 7th/13th centuries to take works of his as their models: e.g., Qewāmī Rāzī (d. ca. 560/1164), Jamāl-al-dīn Eṣfahānī (d. 588/1164), Ḵāqānī Šervānī (d. 595/1198), in the writing of didactic qaṣīdas, Neẓāmī Ganǰavī (d. 614/1217) in his maṯnawī, the Maḵzan al-asrār, and several others.
One of the ablest poets of this period was Awḥad-al-dīn Anwarī (d. 583/1187); famous above all for his qaṣīdas, he also knew how to evoke social and moral problems through counsels or critical taunts in short, cogent qeṭʿas. This style of exhortative qeṭʿa-writing was to be brought to perfection by another great poet, Ebn Yamīn (d. 769/1367), whose qeṭʿas soon won renown for their variety and simplicity and for the author’s manifest sincerity.
Didactic literature reached its zenith in the works of Shaikh Moṣleḥ-al-dīn Saʿdī Šīrāzī (d. 691/1291 or 694/1294). In his Golestān, with its wealth of moral, educational, and political maxims in both prose and verse, and in his celebrated maṯnawī the Būstān, and his qaṣīdas, he gives counsels on every aspect of private and social life which remain well-known and, for the most part, are seen by Iranians as enduringly valid. In both of his major works, Saʿdī prefers to impress moral lessons on the reader’s mind by means of exemplary anecdotes and vivid comparisons rather than dry statements of principle. This method was maintained by all the imitators of the Golestān and Būstān.
Following Sanāʾī’s initiative in linking moral to mystic themes, later poets composed maṯnawīs with the aim of expounding basic principles of Sufism and guiding seekers to ways of spiritual self-protection. Their discourses are accompanied by anecdotes and comparisons and are frequently interspersed with moral and social maxims. The number of such maṯnawīs is very large. Names of the authors and titles of the finest works in this genre are listed below: Neẓāmī Ganǰavī, Maḵzan al-asrār (the model for many later didactic maṯnawīs); Farīd-al-dīn ʿAṭṭār (d. 618/1221 or 627/1229), Manṭeq al-ṭayr, Asrār-nāma, Elāhī-nāma, and others; Jalāl-al-dīn Moḥammad Balḵī Rūmī (d. 672/1273), the Maṯnawī, Mīr Ḥosaynī Heravī (d. 718/1318), Zād al-mosāferīn and Kanz al-romūz; Amīr Ḵosrow Dehlavī (d. 725/1324), Maṭlaʿ al-anwār (on the model of Neẓāmī’s Maḵzan al-asrār); Awḥadī Marāḡaʾī (d. 738/1337), Jām-e Jam (important for its plentiful data and recommendations on social and educational matters); Kᵛāǰū Kermānī (d. 753/1352), Rawżat al-anwār; ʿEmād-al-dīn Faqīh Kermānī (d. 773/1371), Moʾnes al-abrār; Kātebī Nīšābūrī (838/1434), Golšān-e abrār; ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898/1492), Toḥfat al-aḥrār and Sobḥat al-abra@r; Ḡazālī Mašhadī (d. 936/1528), Mašhad-e anwār; Fayżī or Fayyażī (d. 1004/1595), Markaz-e adwār. The abovementioned works, beginning with the Maṭlaʿ al-anwār of Amīr Ḵosrow are all imitations of the Makzan alasrār of Neẓāmī, whose works, like those of Sanāʾī, Rūmī, and Saʿdī, were imitated up to the mid-13th/19th century.
From around the beginning of the 8th/14th century, another poetic vehicle for the conveyance of counsels, namely the ḡazal, came into widespread use. The counsels in this genre of poetry are often expressed, particularly in the works of the adherents of sabk-e Hendī (q.v.), in delicate, poetic language, sometimes with accompanying current proverbs and symbolic comparisons; their contents usually have a bearing on the poet’s own circumstances and environment.
Prose. Post-Islamic wisdom literature by Iranians was initially in Arabic. Among the subsequently written Persian books of this genre, some are translated or derived either from ancient, mainly Pahlavi, sources, or from their Arabic versions; some are grounded in the moral and social conventions which had gradually arisen in Islamic Iranian civilization; a few fall into the category of philosophical ethics.
A prominent example of the works translated from Arabic versions of Pahlavi originals is Nāma-ye Tansar (ed. M. Mīnovī, Tehran, 1311 Š./1933; tr. M. Boyce, The Letter of Tansar, Rome, 1968). It is a letter allegedly written by Tansar (Tōsar?), the chief priest of Ardašīr I, to Jošnasf (Gošnasp) Šāh the ruler of Ṭabarestān, answering a number of questions posed by the latter with regard to the legitimacy of the king’s rule (see Boyce, op. cit., intro.; Mīnovī, intro.). It was translated into Arabic by Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ and then into Persian by Ebn Esfandīār (6th-7th/12th- 13th cent.) who included it in his Tārīḵ-e Ṭabarestān (pp. 15-41).
Among the Persian works ascribed to Ebn Sīnā (d. 428/1036) is one entitled Ẓafar-nāma (Tabrīz, 1307 Š./1928 as a feuilleton to the Taqwīm-e Tarbīat; Tehran, 1331 Š./1952, several other eds.). Its contents are manifestly based on Bozorgmehr’s counsels and sayings in reply to Anōšīravān’s questions. According to the preface, the book was translated by order of the Samanid amir Nūḥ b. Manṣūr (r. 365-87/975-97). Another set of counsels ascribed to Anōšīravān is found in chapter 8 of the Andarz-nāma (q.v.), known as the Qābūs-nāma, of ʿOnṣor-al-maʿālī Kaykāvūs. It comprises fifty-eight counsels, each epitomizing a moral principle, which according to ʿOnṣor-al-maʿālī were inscribed on the wall of Anōšīravān’s tomb. There is also a short Pand-nāma-ye Anōšīravān (Armaḡān 12/9, 1310 Š./1931, pp. 623-26), discussing the maxims which, according to the preface, were inscribed on each side of his decagonal crown; as already noted, it was put into verse by Badāyeʿī Balḵī in his Rāḥat al-ensān.
Ebn Sīnā’s contemporary Abū ʿAlī Ḵāzen Aḥmad b. Moḥammad known as (Ebn) Meskūya or Meskawayh (d. 421/1030) compiled an Arabic work entitled al-Ḥekmat al-ḵāleda from ancient materials, including maxims of pre-Islamic Iranians, Indians, Arabs, Romans, and Greeks as well as wise sayings of Moslems (ed. with intro. by ʿA. Badawī, Cairo, 1952. See also W. B. Henning, in ZDMG 106, 1956, pp. 73-77; M. Moḥammadī, “Āyīn-nāma wa’l-maqāṭeʿ al-bāqīa menhā fi’l-maṣāder al-ʿarabīya,” al-Derāsāt al-adabīya 1/2-3, pp. 15-39, esp. 36-39, and idem, al-Tarǰama wa’l-naql men al-fāresīya fi’l-qorūn al-eslāmīya al-ūlā, Part 1, Kotob al-tāǰ wa’l-āyīn, Beirut, 1964). Two Persian translations of this work were made in India: one, entitled Jāvīdān ḵerad, in Jahāngīr’s reign (1014-37/1605-27) by Taqī-al-dīn Moḥammad b. Šayḵ Moḥammad Arraǰānī Šūštarī; the other, entitled Enteḵāb-e šāyesta-ye Ḵānī, in Awrangzēb’s reign (1068-118/1658-707) by Šams-al-dīn Moḥammad Ḥosayn Ḥakīm.
A little after ʿOnṣor-al-maʿālī’s time, Ḵᵛāǰa Neẓām-al-molk Ṭūsī (d. 485/1092) wrote the celebrated Sīāsatnāma for the Saljuq sultan Malekšāh (465-85/1072-92). The work consists mainly of counsels on governmental problems, statecraft, and royal treatment of courtiers, ministers, peasants, and troops. Neẓām-al-molk has also left a letter to his son Faḵr-al-molk (d. 500/1106) on qualities required of ministers, copies of which have reached us under the title Waṣāyā-ye Neẓām-al-molk or Dostūr al-wezāra, and another essay in the same field entitled Qānūn al-molk (Ṣafā, Adabīyāt II, p. 907).
Counsels on morality, statecraft, social conduct, and education are of course to be found in many Persian prose classics, e.g., the Kīmīā-ye saʿādāt and Naṣīḥat al-molūk of Moḥammad Ḡazālī, the Marzbān-nama, the Baḵtīār-nāma, the Persian version of Kalīla wa Demna, the Sendbād-nāma, the Ṭūṭī-nāma, and the Golestān of Saʿdī.
Among the works written in the late 6th/12th century and early 7th/13th century, one which deserves mention is Makārem al-aḵlāq in forty chapters by the poet and scholar Rażī-al-dīn Nīšābūrī (d. 598/1201; see the notice in S. Nafīsī’s ed. of the Tārīḵ-e Bayhaqī III, Tehran, 1319 Š./1940, pp. 1339f.). Also interesting are two advice-books, the first on political, the second on military matters, by Mobārakšāh Moḥammad b. Manṣūr known as Faḵr-e Modabber (d. before 633/1235); the first is named either Ādāb al-molūk or Kefāyat al-molūk, the second, unique in its field, Ādāb al-ḥarb wa’l-šafāʾa. A book named TohÂ¡fat al-molūk written by an unknown author some time after 618/1221 uses material from early sources such as Rūdakī’s Kalīla wa Demna and Ferdowsī’s Šāh-nāma in its advice to kings, and is noteworthy because it contains instructions on practical morality in the traditional Iranian style.
This interest in the traditional mores of the Iranians was maintained in the 7th/13th century. Ḵᵛāǰa Noṣīr-al-dīn Ṭūsī (d. 672/1273) has left us a Persian translation of Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ’s advice to his own son al-Adab al-wafīz le’l-walad al-ṣaḡīr (Short book of advice on morals and manners for a young son). In his treatises on ethics he uses three different methods. In his Aḵlāq-e Nāṣerī he generally follows the Aristotelian method in discussing theoretical and practical ethics (including politics and economics), and views these subjects mainly from a philosophical standpoint; in his Awṣāf al-ašrāf he looks at moral education from a Sufi standpoint. In his Aḵlāq-e Moḥtašamī he writes about ethics mainly from a religious standpoint, presenting counsels and arguments based on verses of the Koran, traditions of the Prophet, and sayings of sages and saints.
From the 8th/14th and later centuries we possess a number of books on ethics whose approach to the subject is half way between that of the Aḵlāq-e Nāṣerī and that of the Aḵlāq-e Moḥtašamī. In the main they tend to link ethical principles to words and deeds of great religious and historical figures, with frequent citation of Koranic verses and Prophetic traditions, as well as poems and parables, in support of arguments. Aside from the Aḵlāq-e Jalālī of Jalāl-al-dīn Davānī (d. 908/1502), which is largely philosophical, the following works may be mentioned: Aḵlāq-e Moḥsenī by Ḥosayn Kāšefī Sabzavārī (d. 910/1504); Aḵlāq-e Homāyūn, on right conduct for princes, written for Ẓahīr-al-dīn Bābor by Qāżī Eḵtīār-al-dīn Ḥosaynī Torbatī in 912/1506; Toḥfa-ye Qoṭbšāhī, written for the sultan of Golkonda, ʿAbdallāh Qoṭbšāh (d. 1083/1672), by ʿAlī b. Ṭayfūr Besṭāmī; Aḵlāq-e Šefāʾī, by Moẓaffar b. Moḥammad Ḥosaynī Šefāʾī Kāšānī (d. 1088/1676); and Abwāb al-ǰanān, by Wāʿeẓ Qazvīnī (d. 1089/1677), a work with a more emphatically religious tone (he planned eight chapters, but only wrote two, and his son Mollā Moḥammad Šafīʿ compressed the remaining material into a single chapter).
Emphasis on religious premises and concern for Islamic culture in the treatment of ethical and related subjects long antedated the appearance of the above-mentioned books. The spread of the teachings of Moḥammad Ḡazālī, who abjured the Aristotelian method of inquiry into ethical matters and based his writings about these matters on Islamic law, Koranic teaching, and intuitive faith, had prompted Muslim thinkers to refute the Greek philosophy and to declare philosophers to be infidels (see Ṣafā, Adabīyāt II, pp. 274-88). Even such intellectual poets as Sanāʾī Ḡaznavī and Ḵāqānī Šervānī joined in the condemnation of philosophy, insisting that human salvation lies only in adherence to religion and Koranic precepts (ibid., pp. 288-92).
The contents of Ḡazālī’s Kīmīā-ye saʿādat (Alchemy of happiness), itself a Persian summary of his Eḥyāʾ ʿolūm-al-dīn, are both abstract and concrete, arranged under four “headings” (ʿonwān) and four “pillars” (rokn) respectively. The four “headings” are knowing one’s self, knowing the True God, knowing this lower
world, and knowing the afterworld. The four “pillars” are about rituals of worship, dealings with fellow-humans, removal of obstacles to religion, and private confessions and prayers to God. Ḡazālī planned the work on these lines with the aim of leading his readers to the “alchemy of happiness,” i.e., the essential element of intuitive faith which would enable them to throw off bad qualities, develop good qualities, break loose from worldly attachments, submit wholly to God’s will, and thus advance to the ultimate and eternal happiness of total self-effacement and absorption in God. In his opinion, character training and moral improvement are the proper concern of ethics and are only possible through fulfillment of religious commandments and purposes.
Ḡazālī’s method is more or less followed by several later writers of ethical treatises, some of which have already been mentioned. Mollā Moḥsen Fayż Kāšānī (d. 1091/1680) even tried to improve on Ḡazālī’s major Arabic work Eḥyāʾ ʿolūm al-dīn. In a book entitled al-Meḥaǰǰa al-bayżāʾ fī eḥyāʾ Ketāb al-eḥyāʾ (Tehran, n.d.), he supplements Ḡazālī’s work with traditions of the imams of the Shiʿites and reported pronouncements by Shiʿite ʿolamāʾ (Ṣafā, Adabīyāt V, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983, p. 334). The same technique of deducing ethical principles from religious teachings, above all verses of the Koran and reported words and deeds of the Prophet Moḥammad and the imams, is used in books which other theologians of the Safavid period wrote in Persian, the best examples being those by Mollā Moḥammad-Bāqer Maǰlesī (d. 1110/1698), particularly his Ḥelyat al-mottaqīn and a section of his Ḥaqq al-yaqīn. In the former he lays down rules, based on precedents set by the Prophet and the imams, for every action in a believer’s life, even for such things as dressing, eating, marrying, and going to public baths. On minute details Maǰlesī quotes precise instructions or counsels said to have been given by the Prophet or an imam.
One of the Arabic classics in the field of adab is a book which is also of religious importance and has strongly influenced Persian ethico-didactic literature, namely the Nahī al-balāḡa ascribed to ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭāleb, the first imam of the Shiʿites. The book is a collection of ʿAlī’s sermons and short sayings on religious and mundane matters assembled and put into literary form by Sayyed Rażī (d. 406/1015), but its main significance for this study lies in the short sayings, many of which give advice on various subjects not unlike the old Iranian counsels. There are also separate collections of the short sayings, which are very numerous—over 13,000 in some collections. The first collection, made by the famous Arab writer al-Jāḥeẓ (d. 255/868) and entitled Meʾat kalema, consists, as the title shows, of only 100 sayings. Many Persian prose and verse translations of this were brought out under the title Ṣad kalema, the earliest being by the well-known poet of the 6th/12th century Rašīd-al-dīn Vaṭvāṭ (for the later translations and commentaries, see the Catalogue of Tehran University Library, vol. 2, pp. 137-41). The main collection containing most, if not all, of ʿAlī’s real or purported short sayings, was made in the 5th/11th century by Nāseḥ-al-dīn Abu’l-Fatḥ Āmedī, a contemporary of Sayyed Rażī, the compiler of the Nahī al-balāḡa; it is entitled Ḡorar al-ḥekam wa dorar al-kalem and consists of twenty-nine chapters arranged in the alphabetical order of the spelling of the first word of each saying (Bombay, 1280/1863). A Persian commentary on this work was made by Āqā Jamāl Ḵᵛānsārī (d. 1125/1713), and a complete translation was produced by ʿAbd-al-Karīm Qazvīnī, a contemporary of the Safavid king Solṭān Ḥosayn.
The Nahī al-balāḡa was, of course, not the only channel of Arabic influence on the language and content of Persian ethico-didactic writings. Virtually all Persian prose writers and poets had some knowledge of Arabic texts and, roughly speaking, from the 6th/12th century onward they showed a fondness for filling their works with references to well-known sayings of Arab orators, sages, and poets, and for citing Arabic maxims as proof of arguments. Good examples of this style of writing by pretentious Persian scribes are to be found in Ṣaʿd-al-dīn Varāvīnī’s version of the Marzbān-nāma and Ḥosayn Kāšefī’s version of Kalīla wa Demna, in the works of historians such as Ebn Bībī, ʿAṭā Malek Jovaynī, Nāṣer-al-dīn Monšī, and Waṣṣāf, and in collections of letters from subsequent centuries.
None of these Arabic influences left such a mark on the Persian language as the practice of paraphrasing Koranic verses, Prophetic traditions, and sayings of saints, etc. Most quotations of this type are, by their very nature, religious injunctions, and they are presented by didactic writers as keys to happiness in the present life and salvation in the afterlife. Such material is used in different ways: Either an entire verse, report, or saying, or a part of it having special importance for the writer, may be brought into the Persian discourse, or a mere reference to it may be considered sufficient. The practice is best illustrated in Persian writings of mystics, Sufis, and preachers, such as the Maǰāles of Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Karīm Šahrestānī (d. 548/1153), the Ketāb al-taṣfīa of Abū Manṣūr ʿAbbādī (d. 547/1152), the Ketāb al- maʿāref of Bahāʾ-al-dīn Moḥammad Balḵī (d. 628/1230), and the Maṯnawī of Jalāl-al-dīn Moḥammad Balḵī Rūmī and all matnawīs modeled on it (Ṣafā, Adabīyāt II, pp. 953-54, 1019-22; idem, Ganǰīna-ye soḵan, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974, II, pp. 207-20). Some of these authors extended the practice to letter-writing, as can be seen in surviving collections of their letters, e.g., the Makātīb of ʿAyn-al-qożāt Hamadānī (d. 523/1130; 2 vols., repr. Tehran, 1362 Š./1983), and the Maktūbāt of Rūmī (Tehran, 1356 Š./1977).
Counsels and maxims of Indian origin have also entered Persian literature as a natural result of the translation of Indian writings. They are generally linked to exemplifying allegories and parables, as in Kalīla wa Demna, the Sendbād-nāma, and the Ṭūṭī-nāma. Translation from Sanskrit into Persian was pursued until relatively late times, in particular in the reigns of Akbar (963-1014/1605-56), Jahāngīr (1014-37/1605-27), and Šāh Jahān (1037-69/1627-59).
Perhaps to a wider extent than any other influence, the ideas of Iranian mystics and Sufis have left their stamp on the content of Persian ethico-didactic literature. From early times such men began (as already noted) to propagate their ideas by writing as well as preaching. They composed maṯnawīs, qaṣīdas, ḡazals, prose treatises and, above all, accounts of the lives and sayings of Sufi saints and leaders. The number of such writings is extremely large (some are listed in the bibliography). Works such as Hoǰvīrī’s Kašf al-maḥǰūb, ʿAṭṭār’s Taḏkerat al-awlīāʾ, Jāmī’s Nafaḥāt al-ons, ʿAlī Ṣafī’s Rašaḥāt ʿayn al-ḥayāt contain so many moral exhortations and educational and other counsels that these alone could fill separate volumes. They are usually centered on themes such as self-perfection, moral purification, spiritual detachment, intensification of faith, self-respect, magnanimity, service to fellow-men, generosity and charity, or avoidance of greed, ambition, distrust, hypocrisy, untruthfulness, dishonesty, and conceit—in short, on ways to become a perfect man who will seek, heed, and see only God.
Sufi shaikhs made abundant use of Koranic verses and reported words and deeds of great Moslem theologians and mystics as instructional material for their disciples and for people in general. Their teachings hinge on Koranic precepts and Islamic norms as they understood them. With the passage of time and the maturation of Islamic Iranian civilization, this characteristic of Sufi didactics becomes more marked. The later writers appear to have completely lost touch with their Iranian ancestors. They show no knowledge of the moral teachings and counsels to be found not only in Pahlavi andarz texts but also in Persian books such as Abū Šakūr Balḵī’s Āfarīn-nāma, Badāyeʿī Balḵī’s Rāḥat al-ensān, Ferdowsī’s Šāh-nāma, and ʿOnṣor-al-maʿālī’s Andarz-nāma.
A select list: (1) General. ʿA. Dehḵodā, Amṯāl o ḥekam, 4 vols., Tehran, 1308-10 Š./1929-31 (the most comprehensive collection of Persian proverbs and maxims in prose and verse).
A. Amīnī, Dāstānhā-ye amṯāl, 3rd enlarged ed., Isfahan, 1351 Š./1972 (stories on which popular proverbs are based).
Z. Mazāreʿī, Amṯāl-e sāʾera wa pandhā-ye mawzūn, Shiraz, 1360 Š./1981 (current proverbs and versified counsels).
A. K. Lambton, “Islamic Mirror for Princes,” in La Persia nel Medioevo, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, 1971, pp. 419-42.
A. H. Dawood, A Comparative Study of Arabic and Persian Mirrors from the Second to the Sixth Century A.H., Ph. D. Dissertation, University of London, 1965.
(2) Printed editions of Persian andarz books and ethical treatises: “Pandnāma-ye Būzarǰmehr,” in Armaḡān 18, 1316 Š./1937, pp. 247-49.
“Resāla-ye nasāyeḥ-e Būzarǰmehr,” Dāneš-nāma I, 1326 Š./1947, pp. 1-12.
“Yādgār-e Bozorgmehr,” Pahlavi text and Persian tr. with comparison of citations in the Šāh-nāma, by M. Nawwābī, in Našrīya-ye Dāneškada-ye adabīyāt-e Tabrīz 11, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 303-33.
Dastūr-nāma ya@ towqīʿāt-e Kesrā Anōšīravān (tr. from the Arabic by Moḥammad Jalāl-al-dīn Ṭabāṭabāʾī in 1062/1651), ed.
Ḥ. Naḵǰavānī, Tabrīz, 1334 Š./1955.
S. Nafīsī, Aḥwāl o āṯār-e Rūdakī, 3 vols., rev. ed., Tehran. 1341 Š./1962.
Abū Manṣūr Mātorīdī, “Pand-nāma,” ed.
Ī. Afšār, in FIZ 9, pp. 46-67.
ʿAlī b. ʿAbbās Maǰūsī Ahvāzī, “Pand-nāma-ye Ahvāzī,” tr.
M. Naǰmābādī, Tehran, 1320 Š./1941.
Ḥ. Naḵǰavānī, ed., “Ṣadr pand-e Loqmān-e Ḥakīm,” Jahān-e aḵlāq I/3, 1335 Š./1954, pp. 60-63.
Idem, ed., “Pand-nāma-ye Aresṭāṭālīs be Eskandar,” Yaḡmā 5, 1331 Š./1952, pp. 31-34.
M. Šafīʿī, ed., Dāneš wa ḵerad-e Ferdowsī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971, esp. pp. 90-96, 159-226, 244-97.
Asadī Ṭūsī, Garšāsp-nāma, ed.
Ḥ. Yaḡmāʾī, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1354 Š./l975, pp. 66-68, 356-60, 462-67.
Ḵᵛāǰa Neẓām-al-molk Ṭūsī, Sīāsat-nāma, ed.
H. Darke, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962.
Several earlier eds.: French tr. by Ch. Schefer, Paris, 1893; Russian tr. by B. N. Zachoder, Moscow, 1949; German tr. by K. E. Schabinger von Schowingen, Freiburg and Munich, 1960; Eng. tr. by H. Darke, London, 1960.
Moḥammad Ḡazālī Ṭūsī, Eḥyāʾ ʿolūm al-dīn (Pers. tr.), ed., M. Ḵadīvǰam, 2 vols., Tehran, 1351-52 Š./1972-73.
Idem, Kīmīā-ye saʿādat, Tehran, 1319 Š./1940, 1333 Š./1954.
Idem, Naṣīḥat-nāma-ye Ḡazālī Ṭūsī, ed.
S. Nafīsī, in Maǰalla-ye āmūzeš o parvareš 22/1-3, 1326 Š./1947.
Idem, Ayyoha’l-walad, many eds. Idem, Naṣīḥat al-molūk, ed.
J. Homāʾī, Tehran, 1315-17 Š./1936-38; tr.
F. R. C. Bagley, 2nd revised ed., Oxford, 1971.
Neẓāmī ʿArūżī, Čahār maqāla, ed. M. Qazvīnī, Leiden, 1909.
Several later eds.: tr. E. G. Browne, London, 1921 (advice for secretaries, poets, astrologers, and physicians).
Abu’l-Fażl Yūsof b. ʿAlī Mostawfī (early 6th/12th cent.), Ḵerad-nāma (an anthology of counsels attributed to eminent Iranians, Greeks, and Arabs, with corroborative short sayings attributed to ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭāleb and verses from Ferdowsī’s Šāh-nāma), ed.
A. Borūmand, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.
Rašīd-al-dīn Vaṭvāṭ, tr., Ṣad Kalema, also entitled Maṭlūb koll ṭāleb men kalām ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭāleb or Naṯr al-laʾālī men kalām Amīr-al-moʾmenīn ʿAlī (two verses for each saying), many eds. Neẓāmī Ganǰavī, Hazār andarz-e Ḥakīm Neẓāmī, ed. W. Dastgerdī, Tehran, 1319 Š./1940.
W. Dastgerdī, Sargoḏašt-e Ardašīr-e Bābakān (in verse), in Armaḡān 27-31, 1338-41 Š./1959-62; printed separately, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962.
Toḥfat al-molūk, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938.
Moḥammad ʿAwfī, Jawāmeʿ al-ḥekāyāt wa lawāmeʿ al-rewāyāt, partial (offset) edition, Tehran, 1335 Š./1956; part ed. by M. Moʿīn, Tehran, 1335 Š./1956; another part ed. by Mme. Moṣaffā, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973.
ʿObayd Zākānī, Andarz-nāma, ed.
Moʾtamen-al-solṭān Ḥabīballāh b. Yaḥyā Laškarnevīs, lithographed, Tehran, n.d. Fīrūz b. Kāvūz, Pand-nāma-ye Šīrvānī, ed.
M. J. Ḵodābaḵš, Bombay, 1923. Rāḡeb Eṣfahānī, al-Ḏarīʿa elā makārem al-šarīʿa (Arabic original written in the 5th/11th cent., Pers. tr. made in the 8th/14th cent.; see E. Blochet, Catalogue des mss. persans de la Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris II, pp. 17f.).
Serāǰ-al-dīn Ormavī, Laṭāʾef al-ḥekma, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972.
Moḥammad Ḡaznavī, Pand-nāma-ye Ḵᵛāǰa Moḥammad Ḡaznavī, ed.
M. Ḡaznavī, Lahore, 1354/1935.
Ḥ. ʿA. Garrūsī, Pand-nāma-ye Ḥasan-ʿAlī Ḵān Garrūsī, ed. by N. Taqawī, Tehran, 1316 Š./1937.
Abu’l-Maʿālī Naṣrallāh Monšī, Kalīla wa Demna, ed. M. Mīnovī, Tehran, 1343 Š./1964, and reprints.
Saʿd-al-dīn Varāvīnī, Marzbān-nāma, ed.
M. Qazvīnī, Leiden, 1909, and reprints. Eng. tr. R. Levy, London, 1959.
Moḥammad b. Ḡāzī Malaṭyavī (early 7th/13th cent.), Rawżat al-ʿoqūl, another version of the Marzbān-nāma, ed. and French tr. by H. Massé, Paris, 1938.
Idem, Barīd al-saʿāda, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972.
Ẓahīrī Samarqandī (late 7th/13th cent.), Sendbād-nāma, based on the prose tr. by ʿAmīd Abu’l-Fawāres Qanāvozī (Fanārūzī?), ed. A. Ateş, Istanbul, 1948.
Ẓahīrī Samarqandī, Aḡraż al-sīāsa fī aʿraż al-reʾāsa, ed. J. Šeʿār, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.
Moḥammad Dārā Šokōh, Ṭūṭī-nāma, precis of the selections versified by Żīāʾ-al-dīn Naḵšabī in 730/1330; ed. and Eng. tr. by F. Gladwin, London, 1801; German tr. by C. J. L. Iken, Berlin, 1905; French tr. by H. Muller, Paris, 1934.
ʿEmād-al-dīn Moḥammad Ṯoḡarī, Jawāher al-asmār, another version of the Ṭūṭī-nāma, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973.
Ḏ. Ṣafā, ed., ʿAǰāʾeb al-baḵt fī qeṣṣat al-eḥdā ʿašar wazīran wa mā ǰarā lahom maʿa ebn al-malek Āzādbaḵt (apparently a direct translation from Pahlavi into Arabic), printed with the Persian text of the Baḵtīār-nāma, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.
Šams-al-dīn Moḥammad Daqāʾeqī Marvazī, Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī sorūr al-mefrāḥ (an ornate Persian rendering of the Baḵtīār-nāma), ed. Ḏ. Ṣafā, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.
M. Rowšan, ed., Lomʿat al-serāǰ le-ḥażrat al-tāǰ (another version of the Baḵtīār-nāma), Tehran, 1348 Š./1969.
Ḵᵛāǰa Naṣīr-al-dīn Ṭūsī, Aḵlāq-e Moḥtašamī, Tehran, 1339 Š./1960.
Ebn al-Moqaffaʿ, al-Adab al-waǰīz le’l-walad al-ṣaḡīr, Pers. tr. by Naṣīr-al-dīn Ṭūsī, Tehran, 1312 Š./1933; Isfahan, 1339 Š./1960.
ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī, Bahārestān, text ed. with German tr. by O. M. von Schlechta-Wssehrd , Vienna, 1846, repr. (offset) Tehran; French tr. by H. Massé, Paris, 1925; Eng. tr. by the Kama Shastra Society, Bombay, 1887.
Ḥosayn Wāʿeẓ Kāšefī, Anwār-e Sohaylī (ornate Persian version of Kalīla wa Demna), Tehran, 1336 Š./1957; various other eds. and trs. Rafīʿ-al-dīn Moḥammad Wāʿeẓ Qazvīnī, Abwāb al-ǰanān, Tabrīz, 1261/1845; Tehran, 1274/1857.
Abu’l-Fażl ʿAllāmī, Bahār-e dāneš, 1336/1918.
Ebn Meskawayh, Jāvīdān ḵerad, a Pers. tr. of al-Ḥekmat al-ḵāleda by Šams-al-dīn Moḥammad-Ḥosayn Ḥakīm b. Ḥāǰǰī in 1065/1655, ed. by H. Hataria known as Darvīš Fānī and lithographed, Tehran, 1294/1877; also known as the Enteḵāb-e Šāyesta-ye Ḵānī, but not the same as the earlier tr. made by Taqī-al-dīn Arraǰānī Šūštarī, a contemporary of Jahāngīr.
(3) Printed editions of Persian Sufi codes of honor (fotowwa), etc. Abu’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī Ḵaraqānī, Nūr al-ʿolūm, Tehran, 1354 Š./1975.
Abū Ebrāhīm Mostamlī Boḵārī’s commentary (in Pers.) on Kalābāḏī’s al-Taʿarrof le-madhab al-taṣawwof, Lucknow, 1912; partial text, Tehran, 1346 Š./1967.
Hoǰvīrī, Kašf al-maḥǰūb, ed.
V. A. Zhukovsky, Leningrad, 1926; English tr. with introd. by R. A. Nicholson, Leiden, 1911.
Abu’l-Qāsem Qošayrī, Resāla (Pers. tr.), ed.
B. Forūzānfar, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.
Moḥammad b. ʿOṯmān, Ferdaws al-moršedīya, ed.
Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1333 Š./l954.
ʿAbdallāh Anṣārī, Rasāʾel-e Ḵᵛāǰa ʿAbdallāh Anṣārī Heravī, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973.
Aḥmad Ḡazālī, Sawāneḥ, Istanbul, 1942.
Aḥmad-e Jām, Ons al-taʾēbīn, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971.
Idem, Rawżat al-moḏnebīn, Tehran, 2535 = 1355 Š./1976.
Idem, Meftāḥ al-neǰāt, ed.
ʿAlī Fāżel, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.
Moḥammad b. Monawwar, Asrār al-tawḥīd fī maqāmāt al-Šayḵ Abī Saʿīd, ed.
Ḏ. Ṣafā, Tehran, 1332 Š./1953 and reprints.
Farīd-al-dīn ʿAṭṭār, Taḏkerat al-awlīāʾ, ed.
M. Esteʿlāmī, Tehran, 1346 Š./1967; ed.
R. A. Nicholson, 2 vols., Leiden, 1905-1907.
Several partial trs.: Bahāʾ-al-dīn Moḥammad Balḵī, Ketāb al-maʿāref, ed.
B. Forūzānfar, 2 vols., Tehran, 1333 Š./1954, 1338 Š./1959.
Borhān-al-dīn Moḥaqqeq Termeḏī, Maʿāref, Tehran, 1339 Š./1960.
Šams Tabrīzī, Maqālāt, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.
Jalāl-al-dīn Moḥammad Balḵī Rūmī, Fīhe mā fīhe, Tehran, 1330 Š./1951.
Idem, Maktūbāt, Tehran, 1335 Š./1956.
Shah Neʿmatallāh Walī, Rasāʾel, Tehran, 1346 Š./1967.
ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī, Nafaḥāt al-ons, Tehran, 1336 Š./1957.
Faḵr-al-dīn ʿAlī Ṣafī, Rašaḥāt ʿayn al-ḥayāt, 2 vols., Tehran, 2536 = 1356 Š./1977.
Ḥāǰǰ Moḥammad Maʿṣūm Šīrāzī, Ṭarāʾeq al-ḥaqāʾeq, 2 vols., Tehran, 1316-19/1899-1902.
Ḥosayn Wāʾeẓ Kāšefī, Fotowwat-nāma-ye solṭānī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971.
Maʿṣūm b. ʿAbdallāh Kāšānī, Toḥfat al-eḵwān, ed.
M. Dāmādī, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972.
Rasāʾel-e ǰavānmardān, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973.
(S. Shaked, Z. Safa)
Originally Published: December 15, 1985
Last Updated: August 3, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 1, pp. 11-22