ĀṮĀR AL-WOZARĀʾ, a biographical work on ministers and other officials, their policies and literary works, by Sayf al-dīn Ḥāǰǰī b. Neẓām ʿAqīlī, written at Herat between 875/1470-71 and 892/1486-87. ʿAqīlī indicates in his preface that he had been employed in the administration under the Timurid noble and patron, Ḵᵛāǰa Qewām-al-dīn Neẓām-al-molk Ḵᵛāfī who was appointed Ḥosayn Bāyqarā’s governor in Ray and Qom in 873/1468-69 and two years later became chief minister (removed in 892/1486-87). ʿAqīlī for years collected letters of rulers, ministers, and learned men, with contents ranging from praise to reproach and from serious to satirical material. Qewām-al-dīn (to whom the final work was dedicated) had asked for the anthology; ʿAqīlī first wanted to prepare for him a selection of the material he had, but later resolved to write a more extensive, biographical work.
The Āṯār al-wozarāʾ contains an introduction, describing the circumstances of the work’s composition and giving a list of contents, and two discourses (maqālas). The first discourse, in twelve chapters, is on the viziers of the ancient kings and of the caliphs down to the viziers of the Timurids, while the second discourse, in four chapters, describes the life and works of Qewām-al-dīn.
ʿAqīlī claims to have used a wide range of sources, e.g., Ṭabarī, the Šāh-nāma, Ḵᵛāǰa Rašīd-al-dīn’s Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ, Awfī’s, Jāmeʿ al-ḥekāyāt, Tanūḵī’s Faraǰ baʿd al-šedda, Jorbaḏaqānī’s Persian translation of ʿOtbī’s al-Taʾrīḵ al-yamīnī, Abu’l-Fażl Bayhaqī’s collection of Abū Naṣr Moškān’s Maqāmāt, Jovaynī’s Tārīḵ-eǰahāngošā, Maḥmūd Kotobī’s Tārīḵ-eāl-e Moẓaffar, and Nāṣer-al-dīn Monšī Kermānī’s Nasāʾem al-asḥār, of which in fact Āṯāral-wozarāʾ is largely a reworking, although it also incorporates some useful passages from older (and sometimes no longer extant) works. It antedates by several years Ḵᵛāndamīr’s Dastūr al-wozarāʾ.
The work was edited by J. Moḥaddeṯ Ormavī, Tehran, 1337 Š./1958.
Nāṣer-al-dīn Monšī Kermānī, Nasāʾem al-asḥār, ed. J. Moḥaddeṯ Ormavī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959.
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 17, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 8, pp. 911-912