(The Compendium of chronicles), historical work composed in 1300-10 by Ḵᵛāja Rašid-al-Din Fażl-Allāh Ṭabib Hamadāni, vizier to the Mongol Il-khans Ḡāzān and Öljeitü.


JĀMEʿ AL-TAWĀRIḴ (The Compendium of chronicles), the historical work composed in the period 1300-10 by Ḵᵛāja Rašid-al-Din Fażl-Allāh Ṭabib Hamadāni, vizier to the Mongol Il-khans Ḡāzān (r. 1295-1304) and Öljeitü (Uljāytu; r. 1304-16), in response to commissions by both rulers. As its title suggests, the work is a compilation of materials not only on Islamic and Persian history, but also on the Mongols and other peoples with whom they came into contact: Turks, Franks, Jews, Chinese, and Indians, which has caused it to be called the “first world history” (Boyle, 1962, 1971b; Jahn, 1967; Morgan, 1982). This is indeed justified, given its coverage and reflecting its composition at one of the courts of what could equally be called the first world Empire.

Rašid-al-Din (ca. 1247-1318) entered Mongol service as a physician, but he came to prominence and power in 1298 with his appointment as co-vizier with Saʿd-al-Din Sāvaji. He remained joint vizier until his dismissal at the start of Abu Saʿid’s reign, only to be coaxed out of retirement by Amir Čobān (q.v.) and ultimately to his death from the intrigues of his rivals (Melville, 1997, pp. 93-94). The details of his life have been fully studied elsewhere (e.g., ed. Quatremère, pp. i-xliv; Morgan, 1994; Amitai-Preiss; Rajabzāda, pp. 30-65), as has his Jewish background (Fischel, pp. 118-25; Netzer; ed. Rowšan and Musawi, Intro., pp. 73-81); one possible consequence of the latter may be that he was comfortable approaching Islamic history from a different perspective than was usual; this is certainly reflected in his work. It is perhaps also seen in his inclusion of a history of the Jews in the second volume (see below). He was a prolific author and wrote on many practical and theoretical subjects aside from the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ (see, e.g., Jahn, 1964; van Ess; Allsen, 1996, pp. 14-15; Rajabzāda, pp. 302-25). Although several aspects of his life and background may have affected his historical writing, the most important factors are his intimate access to the two Mongol rulers, Ḡāzān and Öljeitü (Uljāytu), and his high position at the center of government. He also supported the work of other historians; in 1303, for example, he presented the historian Šaraf-al-Din ʿAbd-Allāh Waṣṣāf-e Ḥaẓrat and his work to Ḡāzān at ʿĀna on the Euphrates (Waṣṣāf, pp. 305-7), and inspired several later authors (see below).

While there is little reason to doubt Rašid-al-Din’s overall authorship of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ, the work has generally been considered a collective effort, partly carried out by research assistants (Bira, pp. 96-97). The best evidence of this is the notorious claim by Abu’l-Qāsem Qāšāni that Rašid-al-Din had “stolen” his work (see Qāšāni, 1969, esp. pp. 54-55, 240-41; Zaryāb, pp. 134-35; Morgan, 1997, esp. pp. 182-83; Rajabzāda, pp. 351-53). The context of the final complaint is a story praising Öljeitü’s generosity, none of which, however, benefited Qāšāni. The work in question is here called the Ḏayl-e Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ, and could therefore refer either to the second part of the chronicle, commissioned by Öljeitü, concerning Islamic history and the people of the world, or to the history of Öljeitü himself, which has not been recovered. In the first instance, it is worth recalling that Qāšāni did write a general history (entitled Zobdat-al-tawāriḵ) that covers much the same ground as Rašid-al-Din (Blochet, 1910, pp. 132-57). Secondly, Qāšāni’s history of Öljeitü, as it stands, in the same format as the histories of the previous Il-khans, could resemble the drafts for those earlier reigns. It seems unlikely that Rašid-al-Din’s version was ever completed; the copy reportedly sighted by Togan in Mashad turns out to be the text continued by Ḥāfeẓ-e Abru (q.v.; see Ṣayyād, pp. 279-80). As noted by A. H. Morton (in Ẓahir-al-Din Nišāpuri, Introd., pp. 25-27), there are other grounds for believing that Qāšāni’s claims are not entirely baseless. Certainly, assistants were used, together with named collaborators and informants, for the sections outside Rašid-al-Din’s area of knowledge, such as the Kashmiri monk Kamāl-ashri for the life and teachings of Buddha (Jahn, 1956), and Chinese, Uighur, Qepčaq, and other scholars resident at court (on Rašid-al-Din’s sources, see, e.g., idem, ed. Rowšan and Musawi, Intro., pp. 57-63). It was probably written, like the contemporary Chinese histories of the Chin and Liao, by a committee of historians, as part of an empire-wide project to record the early history of the dynasty (Allsen, 2001, pp. 95-101).

For the first part of the chronicle (see below), apart from the ruler himself, Rašid-al-Din acknowledges the crucial role played by the Yüan envoy in Iran, Bolad Ch’eng-hsiang, an unrivalled authority on the early history of the Mongols, in giving him access to the Mongols’ own record of their history (ed. Rowšan and Musawi, pp. 35, 1338; Boyle, 1971a, p. 3; see also Allsen, 1996, p. 13, and idem, 2001, pp. 84-85, concerning Bolad’s own use of assistants). Zeki Velidi Togan (1962, pp. 63-68) proposed that this “Mongol” part of the world history is little more than a Persian translation of a Mongolian original, an idea that has attracted both criticism and support (Morgan, 1997, pp. 183-84; Bira, p. 98). Rašid-al-Din’s use of Mongol sources has been analyzed by John Andrew Boyle (1962, 1971a), Thomas Allsen (2001, pp. 88-91), and Shagdaryn Bira, and is revealed also by his use of the animal calendar (Melville, 1994). It is clear at least that much scattered material, both archival and orally transmitted by Bolad and including information found in the so-called Altan debter “Golden register” (see ed. Rowšan and Musawi, pp. 186, 227, 235) was combined with sources such as ʿAlāʾ-al-Din ʿAṭā-Malek Jovayni, (see, e.g., Minorsky, pp. 222-28, for his account of the Mongol conquests in Russia and the Caucasus) and Ebn al-Aṯir (q.v., to whom Rašid-al-Din himself refers; ed. Rowšan and Musawi, p. 306), to produce a narrative with a very distinctive idiom, terminology, and structure, quite unlike anything produced by previous Muslim historians.

Contents. Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ is divided into two volumes of unequal length, which prompted Edward G. Browne (1929-30, III, pp. 72-74) to propose a different scheme of contents. Rašid-al-Din’s own structure, however, addresses two fundamental questions that correspond to the circumstances of the empire at the time of writing: who were these nomadic people who conquered the world, and what was that world? (Toynbee, X, pp. 75, 79). The set had also a third volume that was devoted to geography, but is not known to be extant.

Volume one. This volume, divided into five parts, has been published in a composite edition by Bahman Karimi and in a new complete edition by Rowšan and Musawi; a complete English translation by Wheeler M. Thackston (pp. vii-x) includes references to other partial editions and translations (for the Russ. publications, see Arends, pp. 42-43, 50-51; see also Rajabzāda, pp. 331-33, 358-60).

The first part is a history of the Mongolian and Turkic peoples and tribes (ed. Berezin, 1861; Russ. tr. idem, 1858; ed. Romaskevitz et al., 1965; Russ. tr. and commentary, Khetagurov and Semenov, 1952), followed first by the history of the Mongols before the rise of Čengiz Khan (q.v.; tr. Brezin, 1868; ed. idem, 1888) and then his times and life (ed. and Russ. tr. Berezin, 1888; Russ. tr. and commentary, Smirnova and Pankratov, 1952) in the next two parts. The final two parts are devoted to Čengiz Khan’s successors from Ögedei to Temür Khagan (ed. Blochet, 1911; ed. Karimi, 1934; partial ed., ʿAlizāda, 1980, “Ögedei” only; Russ. tr. Verkhovskii, 1960; Eng. tr. Boyle, 1971) and the history of the Il-khans of Persia from Hülegü to the death of Ḡāzān (ed.ʿAlizāda, 1957; Russ. tr. Arends, 1946, 2nd ed. 1957; partial ed., with Fr. tr., Quatremère, 1836, “Hülegü” only; Jahn, 1940, “Ḡāzān;” Jahn, 1957, “Abaqa to Gayḵātu;” partial tr. Martinez, 1986-88, 1992-94).

Volume two. This volume, which has not yet been edited in its entirety (for mss., see Bibliography), was originally divided into two parts. The first part, on the history of Öljeitü, is missing, and the second part is divided into a couple of sections, each one made of a number of subsections:

The second part starts with a preface on Adam, the Patriarchs, and the biblical prophets (uned.), followed by a history of pre-Islamic rulers in four subsections (uned.; mss. in John Rylands University Library, Manchester, no. 406; Punjab University Library, Lahore, ms. 94/25; Arabic version in Edinburgh University Library, Arabic ms. 20). The next section treats the Islamic history from the time of the Prophet Moḥammad and the caliphate (uned.; mss. at Tehran University, Faculty of Letters, ms. 76-b; Institute of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg, E. 5; partly in Edinburgh, Arabic ms. 20; part in Khalili MSS 727, facs. ed. Sheila Blair, 1995) to the year 1258. This section also treats Persian independent dynasties, including the Ghaznavids and their predecessors (ed. Ateş, 1957, repr. Dabirsiāqi, 1959), the Saljuqs (ed. A. Ateş, 1960; Eng. tr. Luther, 2001), Ḵᵛārazmšāhs (uned.; mss. at Bibliothèque nationale, Suppl. persan 1364; British Library, Or. 1684; St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Studies, C. 374, fragment; partly in Edinburgh, Arabic ms. 20), the Salghurids (uned.; mss. at Bibliothèque nationale, Suppl. persan 1364; British Library, Or. 1684), and a Supplement on the Fatimids and Ismaʿilis, (ed. Dabirsiāqi, 1958; ed. Dānešpažuh and Modarresi Zanjāni).

The second section of this part is on the (other) people of the world encountered by the Mongols, including Oghuz Turks (Ger. tr. Jahn, 1969, with facs. illustrations; tr. Zeki Validi Togan, 1972; tr. Shukyurova; ed. Rowšan, 2005a), the Chinese (facs. ed. of Topkapı Saray, Istanbul, H. 1653 and Royal Asiatic Soc. ms. A.27 = Khalili MSS727, with Ger. tr. Jahn, 1971; ed. Wang Yidan, 2000; Rowšan, 2006), Jews (facs. ed. of Topkapı Saray, Istanbul, H. 1654, and Royal Asiatic Soc. A.27 = Khalili, MSS727, with Ger. tr., Jahn, 1973), Franks, their emperors, and popes (ed. and Fr. tr. Jahn, 1951; Pers. text, repr. Dabirsiāqi, 1960; facs. ed. of Topkapı Saray, Istanbul, H. 1654, H. 1653, and Sultan Ahmed III, no. 2935, with Ger. tr., Jahn, 1977; ed. M. Rowšan, 2005b), and Indians (facs. ed. of Royal Asiatic Soc. ms. A.27 = Khalili MSS727, British Library, Add. 7628, and Topkapı Saray, Istanbul, H. 1654, in Jahn, 1965; 2nd ed., with Ger. tr., Jahn, 1980; ed. Rowšan, 2005c).

Rašid-al-Din does not specify when his work began, though he seems to have been collecting material for some time before he was invited to compose his history. Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi appears to link the commission with Ḡāzān’s calendar reform, initiating the Ḵāni era in 701/1302 and his desire to leave a good name in the world (Ẓafar-nāma, p. 1414; cf. Šams-al-Din Kāšāni, fol. 4r). Ḡāzān’s stated aim was to preserve the Mongols’ identity and knowledge of their past, but also to make it more widely known. Much material concerning the Mongols was until then secret and kept in archives that consisted of books and scrolls with no particular order and in danger of being forgotten (Rašid-al-Din, ed. Rowšan and Musawi, pp. 34-36; cf. Toynbee, X, pp. 75-78).

One reason for preserving this memory was certainly highly practical, and explains the strong emphasis not only on the tribal origins and genealogies of the leading Mongol families but also especially on the genealogy of the ruling dynasty. As the political unity of the empire dissolved and succession crises became more frequent, it was important to reaffirm not only the identity of the ruling clan (in its descent from the mythical Alan Qoa) but also its dynastic legitimacy. Detailed genealogical information runs like a strong thread through the core of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ, not only in the remarkably full accounts of the Turkish and Mongol tribes with which the work begins, but also appearing again at the outset of every reign: the principles of the organization of the work and its aims being explained again at the start of the section on the life of Čengiz Khan (ed. Rowšan and Musawi, p. 306). To these genealogical charts, incidentally, Rašid-al-Din also intended to add portraits of the rulers and their families, an element that has scarcely survived in the remaining manuscripts of his work (see below). In addition, a whole volume of genealogical information seems to have been conceived as an appendix to the work, in the Šoʿāb-e panjgāna, which still remains unedited (Topkapı Saray, Istanbul, ms. Ahmet III, 2937; see Togan, 1962, pp. 68-71; Quinn; Allsen, 2001, p. 92).

The Jāmeʿ-al-tawāriḵ, then, is an official history, but it is characterized by a matter-of-fact tone and a refreshing absence of sycophantic flattery, even in the sections on Ḡāzān Khan himself, though the description of his reign is the main goal and purpose of the work (ed. Rowšan and Musawi, pp. 30-31, 307). At one moment, Rašid-al-Din is moved to consider Ḡāzān to be a Muslim saint (wali; idem, p. 1317), but he is praised chiefly for bringing Islam to the Mongols and thereby revealing and accomplishing God’s purpose in the career of Čengiz Khan and the destruction that he wrought. The narrative of historical events and anecdotes is lively and gains immediacy from many passages of direct speech and conversation (e.g. concerning the episode of Barāq, in the reign of Abaqa; ed. Rowšan and Musawi, pp. 1065-96). This, no doubt, reflects the important role of his oral sources of information, which in this case probably included the Amir Nowruz, who is specifically mentioned as an informant (ed. Rowšan and Musawi, p. 627). The organization of material does lead to some duplication (the story of Barāq is a case in point), and also some confusion in the histories of the rulers contemporary with the various Mongol khans; but, unlike the writings of Jovayni, his immediate predecessor, Rašid-al-Din’s work has a strong structural coherence to which the author regularly draws attention, while, at the same time, never failing to provide short, helpful passages linking the various sections of the chronicle.

Rašid-al-Din is remarkably frank about the shortcomings of early Mongol rule in Persia, but he is seldom overtly judgmental, offering little by way of personal opinion and even less of the moralizing tone that was a conspicuous aspect of the work of earlier historians such as Jovayni. One rare exception is his verdict on the reign of Aḥmad Takudār, whom he characterizes simply as a ruler unable to deliver justice, using personal experience from the time when he was in the service of the Jovaynis in Baghdad to illustrate the point (tr. Thackston, pp. 559-60; omitted from the edition of Rowšan and Musawi). The Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ does, nevertheless, have something of the style of a mirror for princes in the final third section of each reign, in which the author relates the character and customs, good deeds and words of the ruler, starting with the biligs (adages or maxims) of Čengiz Khan and Ögedei (Ukatāy; ed. Rowšan and Musawi, pp. 581-91, 676-705, the latter lifted directly from Jovayni, pp. 161-91). This section is particularly prominent in its account of Ḡāzān, describing in detail the ruler’s various reforms. This undoubtedly provides an idealized vision of the state that owes much to Rašid-al-Din’s own initiative; nevertheless, he could not have written in the way he did without a very real respect for Ḡāzān’s ability and character, and absolute confidence in his support.

Ḡāzān Khan’s history, as the first part of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ is called, was not completed before Ḡāzān’s death in 1304. His brother and successor Öljeitü ordered it to be finished in two further volumes: one including an account of his reign, to be compiled as it progressed, a general history of the (Muslim) world, and an account of the peoples with whom the Mongols came into contact; the other was to be a geography describing the different climes of the world and the routes linking them. Although Rašid-al-Din speaks of the latter as being completed (see also his reference to it in ed. Jahn, 1951, p. 11, tr. p. 24), no copy has yet been found. It is possible that elements of this were incorporated into the work of Ḥāfeẓ-e Abru (Rašid-al-Din, tr. Thackston, p. 11 n. 3), and more immediately into the geography of Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi (q.v.), though neither author refers specifically to this debt (see also ed. Rowšan and Musawi, Intro., p. 53; Allsen, 2001, pp. 103-4, 112-13).

Although most scholarly attention has focused on volume one, which is a fundamental source for the history of the rise and establishment of the Mongol Empire, from a historiographical point of view, the second volume is far more significant as the first attempt to write a universal history: an achievement not aspired to again in subsequent centuries (cf. Jahn, 1965, pp. ix-x). It attests to the remarkable global imperial vision of the Mongol rulers. Rašid-al-Din was aware of the unique quality of his work, referring to its unprecedented nature and as an assembly of all branches of history (ed. Rowšan and Musawi, pp. 8, 9, 14, 307; Barthold, pp. 44-49; Allsen, 2001, p. 83).

The general history of the world (in practice, the Muslim world) follows the pattern established by Qāżi Bayżāwi in his Ne ẓām-al-tawāriḵ, with sections on the prophets, the four dynasties of the pre-Islamic rulers of Persia, the prophet Moḥammad, and the Caliphs, and then the dynasties that flourished under the ʿAbbasids; it thus provides a similarly Perso-centric view of Islamic history (see Melville, 2000). Much of this remains unpublished and, until this is rectified, it is premature to offer remarks on Rašid-al-Din’s use of his sources and the message that his history of the caliphate conveys. It is clear that the sections on the Ghaznavids and the Saljuqs made use of the work of Abu Naṣr ʿOtbi and Ẓahir-al-Din Nišāpuri respectively (for the latter, see Luther, 1971; Morton). The section on the Ismaʿilis is borrowed in large amount from Jovayni, but with the addition of new material; Rašid-al-Din’s treatment of the sect is also much more objective than was the norm among Sunni historians (see Levy; Daftary, p. 95). Certainly, the language was also modified, especially that of ʿOtbi’s translator, Jorfāḏa-qāni, probably the version used by Rašid-al-Din (Šahidi, esp. pp. 186-91). Behind this part of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ lies the interesting historiographical question of the relationship between Rašid-al-Din and the Zobdat al-tawāriḵ of Qāšāni (cf. above), still to be thoroughly investigated (for the Ismaʿilis, see Qāšāni, 1987, which also provides the parallel passages in Ḥāfeẓ-e Abru).

The following sections, in contrast, contain much information that had previously not been available to Muslim scholarship. As in the first volume, Rašid-al-Din starts with a history of the Turks, thus vicariously linking the comparatively insignificant Mongols to the far more ancient and illustrious legends of the Oghuz (Turan); there is once more a concern with genealogies (tr. Jahn, 1969, pp. 44-47). This material derives entirely from oral sources. The recent history of China had also already been included in the first volume, but Rašid-al-Din now prepared a separate account of the Chinese, containing general information on the country and its customs, followed by the history and stories of the emperors of China, in annalistic form. Rašid-al-Din’s own engagement with Chinese civilization continued, particularly in his Tansuq-nāma, chiefly concerning medicine (Jahn, 1970). Rašid-al-Din’s Chinese informants, from the Buddhist tradition, are named but still not identified (see also, Franke, pp. 21-24; Menges).

As with China, Persia’s long contacts with the West had not generated a real Muslim history of Europe. The impulse of empire building led to an expansion of knowledge here, too; political circumstances and Mongol religious tolerance were particularly favorable to the exchange of goods and cultural wares (Jahn, 1971, pp. 12-13; Allsen, 2001). In contrast with the case of China, however, volume one of the Jāmeʿ-al-tawāriḵ contains almost nothing of contemporary interest, such as the Mongol missions to the West, and there is only a single enigmatic reference to the Crusades; the section on the West in volume two stands in no sort of organic relationship with the work as a whole (Boyle, 1970, p. 63). The section on the Franks derives from conversations with unnamed clerics in Tabriz, including perhaps Isolo the Pisan (Nizami, p. 37). Its introductory descriptions of Europe’s geography and politics concentrate on the Mediterranean countries, and emphasize the power of the king of France, third only to the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor; there are also various interesting items of information (Jahn, 1971, pp. 19-20; Jackson, pp. 329-30). One example is the suggestion that the killing of the Christian community in Lucera was in response to the Muslim capture of Acre and the destruction of churches in Il-Khanid Iran (ed. Rowšan, 2005b, pp. 46, 122). The second part, on the history of the Popes and emperors, is based on the popular history by Martin of Troppau (d. 1278), and supplemented by a few extra legends and sagas (Jahn, 1951, pp. 8-10; idem, 1971, p. 21). It originally resembled a Western work not only in its contents, but also in its page layout and illustration (cf. Jahn, 1951, pp. 12-13).

As with the previous sections, Rašid-al-Din’s history of India is in two parts, the first containing information about the geography, habits, and religious beliefs of the people, based largely on Abu Rayḥān Biruni’s celebrated study. There follow chapters on the Sultans of Delhi, the rulers of Kashmir, and the four yugas “ages” and the kings who reigned in them; this account contains the remarkable claim that Čengiz Khan was descended from one of the legendary dynasties of India (see Jahn, 1965, pp. lxxviii-lxxxvi; Nizami, p. 41; ed. Rowšan, 2005c, p. 100). The second part of book is on Buddha and his teachings, with a supplement on transmigration (tanāsoḵ); as noted, the main source of information was the Buddhist Lama from Kashmir, Kamālashri. Mongol interest in the subject is natural given the fact that this was the religion of Arḡun (q.v.) and his son Ḡāzān for a time, and the work might reflect the syncretist conceptions held by the Mongols in Iran (Jahn, 1956, pp. 83, 127); but there is also an attempt to fit Buddhism into the wider context of mediev al religious thought and to approximate Buddhist to Muslim theological concepts (e.g., concerning angels, prophethood).

Rašid-al-Din made elaborate provisions for the preservation and transmission of his work. In an addendum to the endowment deed (waqfiya) for the quarter he established in Tabriz, the Rabʿ-e Rašidi, dated 1 Rabiʿ I, 709/9 August 1309, he stipulates that two copies of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ were to be made every year in the ketāb-ḵāna, one in Arabic and one in Persian, and distributed throughout the cities of the Arab world and Iran. His collected works were also to become part of the curriculum of the madrasas he had founded. This addendum is dated Ḏu’l-ḥejja 713/April 1314 (see Rašid-al-Din, Waqf-nāma, pp. 237, 239, 241, 252; Afšār, pp. 12-13; Blair, 1995, pp. 14, 114-15; Blair, 1996; Hoffmann, p. 200, with further bibliography).

In view of these precautions, it is ironic that so few early manuscripts have survived. This is particularly unfortunate given the fact that they were intended to be illustrated, and the surviving examples are of crucial importance for the development of Persian manuscript painting: a departure as original as the nature of the text itself. The earliest surviving copy is part of an Arabic version, to be dated 714/1314, now preserved in Edin-burgh University Library and the Khalili Collection, and must thus have been one of the first to be produced according to the stipulations of the author’s endowment instructions. It comprises about half of part 2 of the second volume. Many of the illustrations show a strong influence of Chinese painting (see Blair, 1995, with full bibliography; Hillenbrand, pp. 145-50). The subjects cho-sen to illustrate the text are partly for pedagogical purposes and partly reflect current interests at the Il-khanid court (Blair, 1996, esp. pp. 51-53), a notion developed further by Abolala Soudavar, to suggest that illustrations in a contemporary copy of the Šāh-nāma were used to depict events recorded in the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ rather than in Ferdowsi’s work itself (Soudavar; cf. Grabar and Blair).

Later historians recognized that Rašid-al-Din stood apart from other Muslim universal historians, in style if not in intention (Ḵonji Eṣfahāni, p. 87, tr., p. 8), although his intention was also quite different from that of his predecessors; like Bayhaqi’s work, Rašid-al-Din’s work found no later emulators, though many admirers. Both Faḵr-al-Din Banākati and Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi acknowledged their very full use of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ, which was also put into verse by Kāšāni in the reign of Öljeitü (Banākati, p. 107, 338, 340; Blochet, 1910, pp. 94-106; Mortażawi, pp. 590-625; Paris ms. Supplément persan 1443), and summarized in the later 14th century (ms. St. Petersburg University Library, OP. 950B). The most important means of the transmission of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ was its absorption into the work of Ḥāfeẓ-e Abru, also a native of Hamadān (born in Ḵᵛāf, Khorasan, and raised in Hamadān; see Aḏkāʾi), giving rise to an extremely complicated textual tradition that, despite the painstaking work of Felix Tauer, has still not been entirely clarified. Ḥāfeẓ-e Abru’s compilation reflects the fact that Ḡāzān and Öljeitü’s universalist vision was shared by his patron, Šāhroḵ b. Timur, but it is nevertheless significant that Rašid-al-Din’s work on the peoples of the world was merely reproduced, not updated. It is probably via the work of Ḥāfeẓ-e Abru that Rašid-al-Din’s history was exploited by later Timurid universal historians, such as Mirḵᵛānd and Ḵᵛāndamir (qq.v.).

Edward G. Browne’s assessment of the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ (e.g., 1929-30, III, p. 75) is as valid now as a century ago and is echoed by all subsequent writers (for a thorough survey of early authorities, see Mortażawi, 1980, pp. 405-544). Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ presents a vast amount of data on East Asia and gave the Muslim world a quantum leap in their knowledge of the region and the wider world about them (Allsen, 2001, p. 85) at the unique moment in history when Persia was, with China, at the cultural heart of a great world empire. The passing of the moment once more restricted the intellectual horizons and vision of Persian historians. It thus remains all the more regrettable that there is still no complete critical edition of the whole text, a fundamental requirement for a full evaluation of the relationships between the Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ and the work of previous and subsequent historiographers.



Manuscripts. For the numerous cataloged manuscripts of the Jāmeʿ-al-tawāriḵ, see Storey I/1, pp. 71-78, supplemented by Bregel, I, pp. 301-20; Monzawi, VI, pp. 4133-35. Four of these manuscripts were produced in the author’s lifetime (cf. Thackston, tr., pp. xii-xiii). Several excerpts from the illustrated Istanbul mss. H. 1653 and 1654, together with others, have been reproduced in the publications by Karl Jahn (Jahn, 1951, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1980); the fragment of the Arabic text in the Khalili Collection (MSS727) has been reproduced and studied by Sheila Blair.

Manuscripts of the second volume, which has not yet been edited in its entirety, are accessible for almost the whole text in Topkapı Saray, Istanbul, Hazine 1654 and 1653; Süleymaniye, Istanbul, Damad Ibrahim Paša 919; British Library, Add. 7628, and I. O. Islamic 3524 (Ethé, no. 2828); Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, Suppl. persan, 2004; and Reza Library, Rampur (see Bregel, p. 310).

Editions (arranged alphabetically by editor’s name). ʿA. A. ʿAlizāda, II/2 (Ögedei), Moscow, 1980; III, ed., with Russ. tr. by A. K. Arends, Baku, 1957.

Ahmed Ateş, as Cāmiʿ al-tavārīh (Metin) II. Cild, 4: Cüz, Sultan Mahmud ve devrinin tarihi, and Cild, 5. Cüz, Selcuklular Tarihi, Ankara, 1957-60; repr. 1999.

I. N. Berezin, as “Sbornik letopiseĭ: Istoriya Mongolov, sochinenie Rashid ad-Dina …(Collection of Chronicles: History of the Mongols, work by Rašid-al-Din . . .)” Trudy Vostochnogo Otdeleniia Imperatorskogo Russkogo Arkheologicheskogo Obshchestva 5, 7, 13, 15, St. Petersburg, 1858, 1861, 1868, 1888.

Egar Blochet, as Djami el-Tévarikh /Histoire gènèrale du monde: Tarikh-i moubarek-i ghazani/Histoire des Mongols, Leiden, 1911.

Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi, Faṣl-i az Jāmeʿ-al-tawāriḵ: tāriḵ-e ferqa-ye rafiqān wa Esmāʿi-liān-e Alamut, Tehran, 1958; repr. Tehran, 1987.

Idem, ed., Faṣl-i az Jāmeʿ-al-tawāriḵ (Tāriḵ-e Ḡaznaviān wa Sāmāniān wa Āl-e Buya), Tehran, 1959.

Idem, Tāriḵ-e Afranj, yā faṣl-i az Jāmeʿ-al-tawāriḵ, Tehran, 1960.

Mo-ḥammad-Taqi Dānešpažuh and Moḥammad Modarres Zanjāni, Jāmeʿ-al-tawāriḵ, qesmat-e Esmāʿiliān wa Fā-ṭemiān wa Nezāriān wa dāʿiān wa rafiqān, Tehran, 1960.

Karl Jahn, as Geschichte Ġāzān-Ḫān’s: taʾriḫ-i-mubārak-i-ġāzānī des Rašid al-Din Faḍlallāh, London, 1940.

Idem, as Taʾriḫ-i mubārak-i ġāzāni des Rašid al-Din Faḍlallāh: Geschichte der Ilḫāne Abāgā bis Gaiḫātū (1265-1295), Prague, 1941; 2nd ed., Gravenhage, 1957.

Idem, ed. and tr. with commentary as Histoire universelle de Rašīd al-Dīn Fadl Allāh Abul-Khair I: Histoire des Francs, Leiden, 1951.

Idem, in Rashīd al-Dīn’s History of India: Collected Essays with Facsimiles and Indices, The Hague, 1965.

Idem, ed. and tr., Die Chinageschichte des Rašīd ad-Dīn, Vienna, 1971.

Idem, ed. and tr., Die Geschichte der Kinder Israels des Rašīd ad-Dīn, Vienna, 1973.

Idem, ed. and tr. as Die Frankengeschichte des Rašīd ad-Dīn, Vienna, 1977.

Idem, ed. and tr. as Die Indiengeschichte des Rašīd ad-Dīn, Vienna, 1980.

Bahman Karimi, Tāriḵ-e pādšāhān-e Moḡol az Uketāy Qāʾān tā Teymur Qāʾān, Tehran, 1934.

Idem, Ferqa-ye Esmāʿi-liān-e Alamut, 2 vols., Tehran, 1959.

Etienne M. Quatremère, ed. and tr. as Raschid-Eldin: Histoire des Mongols de la Perse, Paris, 1836, repr. Amsterdam, 1968 (probably the source of the anonymous Extraits de l’histoire des Mongols de Raschid-eldin, Texte persan, Paris, 1847).

A. A. Romaskevitz, L.A. Khetagurov, and ʿA. A. ʿAlizāda, eds., Moscow, 1965; 2nd ed., Moscow, 1968. Moḥammad Rowšan, ed., Tāriḵ-e Oḡoz, Tehran, 2005a.

Idem, ed., Tāriḵ-e Afranj, Pāpān wa Qayā-ṣera, Tehran, 2005b.

Idem, ed., Tāriḵ-e Hendustān wa Kašmir, Tehran, 2005c.

Idem, ed., Tāriḵ-e aqwām-e pādšāhān-e Ḵatāy, Tehran, 2006.

Moḥammad Rowšan and M. Musawi, eds., 4 vols., Tehran, 1994.

Wang Yidan, ed., Tārik-e Čīn, Tehran, 2000.



John A. Boyle, as The Successors of Genghis Khan, 2 vols., New York, 1971.

Karl Jahn, ed. and tr., 1951, 1965, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1980 (see above).

Idem, as Die Geschichte der Oguzen des Rašīd ad-Dīn, Vienna, 1969.

Kenneth A. Luther, as The History of the Seljuq Turks from the Jamiʿ al-tawarikh: An Ilkhanid Adaptation of the Saljuq-nama of Zahir-al-Din Nishapuri, ed. C. Edmund Bosworth, Richmond, 2001.

A. P. Martinez, as “The Third Portion of the History of Gāzān Xan in Rašīdu’d-Dīn’s Taʾrīx-e mobārak-e Gāzānī,” Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 6, 1986-88, pp. 129-242.

Idem, “The Third Portion of the History of Gāzān Xan in Rašīdu’d- Dīn’s Taʾrīx-e mobārak-e Gāzānī,” AEMA 8, 1992-94, pp. 99-206.

Etienne M. Quatremère, 1836 (see above). R. M. Shukyurova, as Oguz-name, Baku, 1987.

Wheeler M. Thackston, as Rashiduddin Fazlullah’s Jamiʿu’t-tawarikh, A Compendium of Chronicles: A History of the Mongols, 3 vols., Cambridge, Mass., 1998-99.

A. Zeki Velidi Togan, as Oguz destan. Reşideddin Oguznâmesi, Tercüme ve Tahlili, Istanbul, 1972.



Parviz Aḏkāʾi, Tāriḵnegārān-e Irān I, Tehran, 1994.

Iraj Afshar, “Autograph Copy of Rashīd-al-Dīn’s Vaqfnāmeh,” CAJ 14/1-3, 1970, pp. 5-13.

Thomas T. Allsen, “Biography of a Cultural Broker: Bolad Ch’eng-Hsiang in China and Iran,” in Julian Raby and Teresa Fitzherbert, eds., The Court of the Ilkhans 1290-1340, Oxford, 1996, pp. 7-22.

Idem, Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia, Cambridge, 2001.

Reuven Amitai-Preiss, “New Material from the Mamluk Sources for the Biography of Rashid al-Din,” in Julian Raby and Teresa Fitzherbert, eds., The Court of the Ilkhans 1290-1340, Oxford, 1996, pp. 23-37.

A. K. Arends, “The Study of Rashīd ad-Dīn’s Jāmiʿu’t-Tawārīkh in the Soviet Union,” CAJ 14/1-3, 1970, pp. 40-61.

Faḵr-al-Din Dāwud Banākati, Tāriḵ-e Banākati: Rawżat ule’l-albāb fi maʿrefat al-tawāriḵ wa’l-ansāb, ed. Jaʿfar Šeʿār, Tehran, 1969.

Vasiliĭ V. Barthold, Turkestan down to the Mongol Invasion, ed. Clifford Edmund Bosworth, 4th ed., London, 1977.

Širin Bayāni, “Barrasi-e awżāʿ-e ejtemāʾi-e Irān az ḵelāl Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ,” in Sayyed Hossein Nasr et al., eds., Majmuʿa-ye ḵaṭābahā-ye taḥqiqi dar bāra-ye Rašid-al-Din Fażl-Allāh Hamadāni, Proceedings of the Colloquium on Rashid-al-Din Fadlallah, Tehran-Tabriz, 11-16 Abān 1348 (2-7 November 1969), Tehran, 1971, pp. 59-79.

Shagdaryn Bira, Mongolian Historical Writing from 1200 to 1700, tr. John R. Kreuger, 2nd ed., rev. and updated by the author, Bellingham, 2002.

Abu Rayḥān Biruni, Ketāb taḥqiq mā le’l-Hend men maqula maqbula fi’l-ʿaql aw marḏula, Hyderabad, 1958; tr. Eduard Sachau as Albiruni’s India, 2 vols., London, 1888-1910.

Sheila S. Blair, A Compendium of Chronicles: Rashid al-Din’s Illustrated History of the World, London, 1995.

Idem, “Patterns of Patronage and Production in Ilkhanid Iran: The Case of Rashid al-Din,” in Julian Raby and Teresa Fitzherbert, eds., The Court of the Ilkhans 1290-1340, Oxford, 1996, pp. 39-62.

Edgar Blochet, Introduction à l’histoire des Mongols de Fadl Allah Rashid ed-Din, Leiden, 1910.

John A. Boyle, “Juvayni and Rashīd al-Dīn as Sources on the History of the Mongols,” in Bernard Lewis and Peter M. Holt, eds., Historians of the Middle East, London, 1962, pp. 133-37.

Idem, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Franks,” CAJ 14/1-3, 1970, pp. 62-67.

Idem, “The Significance of the Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh as a Source on Mongol History,” in Sayyed Hossein Nasr et al., eds., Collected Works of Rashid-al-Din Fadlallah, Proceedings of the Colloquium on Rashid-al-Din Fadlallah, Tehran-Tabriz, 11-16 Aban 1348 (2-7 November 1969), I, Tehran, 1971a, pp. 1-8.

Idem, “Rashīd al-Dīn: the First World Historian,” Iran 9, 1971b, pp. 19-26.

Edward G. Browne, “Suggestions for a Complete Edition of the Jāmi’u’t-tawārīkh of Rashīdu’d-Dīn Faḍlu’llāh,” JRAS, January 1908, pp. 17-37.

Idem, Literary History of Persia, 4 vols., Cambridge, 1929-30.

Farhad Daftary, “Persian Historiography of the Early Nizārī Ismāʿīlīs,” Iran 30, 1992, pp. 91-97.

ʿAbbās Eqbāl, “Nosḵahā-ye moṣawwar-e Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ,” Yādgār 2/3, 1945, pp. 33-42. Walter J. Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Mediaeval Islam, London, 1937. H. Franke, “Some Sinological Remarks on Rashîd al-Dîn’s History of China,” Oriens 4, 1951, pp. 21-26.

Oleg Grabar and Sheila Blair, Epic Images and Contemporary History: The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shahnama, Chicago and London, 1980.

Ḥāfeẓ-e Abru, Ḏayl-e Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ-e rašidi, ed Ḵānbābā Bayāni, Tehran, 1971.

Robert Hillenbrand, “The Arts of the Book in Ilkhanid Iran,” in Linda Komaroff and Stefano Carboni, eds., The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353, New York, 2002, pp. 134-67.

Birgitt Hoffmann, “The Gates of Piety and Charity: Rašīd al-Dīn Fadl Allāh as Founder of Pious Endowments,” in Denise Aigle, ed., L’Iran face à la domination mongole, Tehran, 1997, pp. 189-202.

Peter Jackson, The Mongols and the West, 1221-1410, Harlow, 2005.

Karl Jahn, “Kamālashrī-Rashīd al-Dīn’s ’Life and Teaching of Buddha: A Source for the Buddhism of the Mongol Period,” CAJ 11/2, 1956, pp. 81-128; repr. in idem, Rashīd al-Dīn’s History of India, The Hague, 1965, pp. xxxi-lxxvii.

Idem, “The Still Missing Works of Rashīd al-Dīn,” CAJ 9, 1964, pp. 113-22.

Idem, “Rashīd al-Dīn as World Historian,” in Yádnáme-ye Jan Rypka: Collection of Articles on Persian and Tajik Literature, Prague, 1967, pp. 79-87.

Idem, “Some Ideas of Rashīd al-Dīn on Chinese Culture,” CAJ 14/1-3, 1970, pp. 134-47 (printed as “Rashīd al-Dīn and Chinese Culture”).

Idem, “Rashīd al-Dīn’s Knowledge of Europe,” in S. Hossein Nasr et al., ed., Collected Works of Rashid-al-Din Fadlallah I, Tehran, 1971, pp. 9-25.

ʿAlāʾ-al-Din ʿAṭā-Malek Jovayni, Tāriḵ-e jahāngošā, ed. Moḥammad Qazvini, 3 vols., London, 1912-37.

Šams-al-Din Kāšāni, Chengiz-nāma, ms. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Suppl. pers. 1443.

Fażl-Allāh Ḵonji Eṣfahāni, Tāriḵ-e ʿālamārā-ye amini, ed. John E. Woods, London, 1992 (with Vladimir Minorsky’s tr. rev. and enlarged).

Reuben Levy, “An Account of the Ismāʿīlī Doctrines in the Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh of Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍlallāh,” JRAS, 1930, pp. 509-36.

Kenneth A. Luther, “The Saljuqnamah and the Jamiʿ al-tawarikh,” in S. Hossein Nasr et al., eds., Collected Works of Rashid-al-Din Fadlallah I., Tehran, 1971, pp. 26-35.

Charles Melville, “The Chinese Uighur Animal Calendar in Persian Historiography of the Mongol period,” Iran 32, 1994, pp. 83-98.

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Karl H. Menges, “Rašīdu’d-Dīn on China,” JAOS 95, 1975, pp. 95-98.

Vladimir Minorsky, “Caucasia III: The Alan Capital Magas and the Mongol Campaigns,” BSO(A)S 14, 1952, pp. 221-38.

Aḥmad Monzawi, Fehrest-e nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭi-e fārsi, 6 vols., Tehran, 1969-74.

D. O. Morgan, “Persian Historians of the Mongols,” in idem, ed., Medieval Historical Writing in the Christian and Islamic Worlds, London, 1982, pp. 109-24.

Idem, “Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb,” in EI2 VIII, 1994, pp. 443-44.

Idem, “Rašīd al-Dīn and Gazan Khan,” in Denise Aigle, ed., L’Iran face à la domination mongole, Tehran, 1997, pp. 179-88.

Manučehr Mortażawi, “Jāmeʿ al-tawāriḵ wa moʾallef-e wāqeʿi-e ān,” Našriya-ye Dāneškada-ye adabiyāt-e Tabriz 13, 1961, pp. 31-92, 311-50, 516-26.

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Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi, Ẓafar-nāma, ba enżemām-i Šāh-nāma-e …Ferdawsi (as ed. by Mostawfi), facs. ed. Naṣr-Allāh Purjawādi and Noṣrat-Allāh Rastegār, 2 vols., Vienna and Tehran, 1999.

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Amnon Netzer, “Rashīd al-Dīn and His Jewish Background,” in Shaul Shaked and Amnon Netzer, eds., Irano-Judaica: Studies Ralating to Jewish Contacts with Persian Culture throughout the Ages 3, Jerusalem, 1994, pp. 118-26.

K. A. Nizami, “Rashid al-Din Fazl Allah and India,” in S. H. Nasr, et al., eds., Collected Works of Rashid-al-Din Fadlallah I, Tehran, 1971, pp. 36-53.

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(Charles Melville)

Originally Published: December 15, 2008

Last Updated: April 10, 2012

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Vol. XIV, Fasc. 5, pp. 462-468