AWLĪĀʾALLĀH ĀMOLĪ, the author of the history of Rūyān, Tārīḵ-eRūyān, written about 760/1359. Nothing is known about his life except for a few data mentioned in his book. He was born and lived in Āmol in Māzandarān until 750/1349 when he fled because of the upheaval in the town following the murder of the last Bavandid king of Māzandarān, Faḵr-al-dawla Ḥasan, by the sons of Kīā Afrāsīāb Čalābī. Awlīāʾallāh had evidently been a partisan of the Bavandid and now sought refuge in Rūyān with the Ostandār Jalāl-al-dawla Eskandar (734/1334-761/1360) who was an active champion of a Bavandid restoration. He became closely attached to Eskandar’s brother and later successor, Faḵal-dawla Šāh-Ḡāzī (ruled 761/1360-781/1379), who at this time governed Nātelrostāq. The latter suggested to him writing his history of Rūyān. Awlīāʾallāh was evidently an Imami Shiʿite and mentions that he visited the tombs of the imams in Najaf, Karbalāʾ, and Baghdad. Nothing is known about his life after the completion of his book.
The Tārīḵ-eRūyān is preserved in a single manuscript and has been edited twice, by ʿAbbās Ḵalīlī (Tehran, 1313 Š./1934) and by Manūčehr Sotūda (Tehran, 1338 Š./1969). The text of the manuscript appears to be in some places in disorder and perhaps incomplete. The book was evidently composed under the reign of the Ostandār Eskandar whose name is regularly followed by formulas indicating that he was alive. There is no account of his death and of the succession of Šāh-Ḡāzī, Awlīāʾallāh’s patron. The last date mentioned in the main text is 759/1358. It is commonly assumed that the date of writing, 1 Moḥarram 764/21 October 1362, given at the end of the manuscript together with some appended notes on much later events, marks the author’s completion of his book, but this assumption must be questioned. For the early history of Rūyān, the author relied on various literary sources, most extensively on Ebn Esfandīār’s Tārīḵ-eṬabarestān. For the history after the end of the latter work (ca. 613/1216), he provides a virtually unique account. It is, however, summary and inadequate, especially for the time before the author’s life. The reliability even of the dates of reigns during that period must be considered doubtful.
The unpublished continuation of Ebn Esfandīār’s Tārīḵ-eṬabarestān contained in most manuscripts of that book is known to be largely taken from Awlīāʾallāh’s Tārīḵ-eRūyān. It has been suggested that Awlīāʾallāh himself composed and added it to the work of his predecessor. A close comparison, however, has not yet been made.
Storey, I, p. 361.
Storey-Bregel, pp. 1070, 1072-73.
M. Sotūda, introd. to his edition of Tārīḵ-eRūyān. Ṣafā, Adabīyāt III/2, pp. 1303-04.
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 2, pp. 120-121