ḠĀZĀN-NĀMA, a verse chronicle of the reign of the Il-khan Ḡāzān Khan (694-703/1295-1304), by Ḵᵛāja Nūr-al-Dīn b. Šams-al-Dīn Moḥammad Aždarī. The work, in the style of Ferdowsī’s Šāh-nāma, was started in 758/1357 (fol. 13r) and completed in 763/1362 (fol. 300r); it was dedicated to the Jalayerid ruler, Oways b. Ḥasan.


The only manuscript of the work so far identified (Cambridge University Library, Browne Ms. V. 28[8]) was written in taʿlīq script in 873/1469; it contains around 9,000 bayts and ends with a brief prose account of the death of Öljeitü (Ūljāytū) in 716/1316. A detailed survey of the contents is given in Nicholson’s catalogue (pp. 231-36). The chronicle has not been exploited as a historical source; Jahn incorrectly states that it covers the period to 758/1357, and Togan’s view that it is almost identical with the Šahanšāh-nāma of Aḥmad Tabrīzī (Jahn, p. 203) is without foundation. Tabrīzī’s work, in fact, has real historical value (cf. Boyle, pp. 186-87), which cannot at present be said for the Ḡāzān-nāma. Though some nuggets of information may be quarried from it, its principal interest is literary and in the development of a semi-legendary treatment of Ḡāzān Khan. Of particular relevance in this respect are reported encounters with Shaikh Zāhed Gīlānī (fols. 123r-134v), a Christian monk in Kurdestan (fols. 192r-201r) and a pīr who leads him to Alexander’s treasure (fols. 250r-259r), as well as an anachronistic meeting with Naṣīr-al-Dīn Ṭūsī (fol. 242r-245r).


Bibliography: J. A. Boyle, “Some Thoughts on the Sources for the Il-khanid Period of Persian History,” Iran 12, 1974, pp. 185-88. Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia III, pp. 103-4. K. Jahn, “Study on the Supplementary Persian Sources for the Mongol History of Iran,” in D. Sinor, ed., Aspects of Altaic Civilization, Indiana University Publications, Uralic and Altaic Series 23, 1963, The Hague, pp. 197-204. R.A. Nicholson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Oriental Mss. Belonging to the Late E.G. Browne, Cambridge, 1932. Ṣafā, Adabīyāt III/1, pp. 326-27. Storey, I/1, p. 21. Storey-Bregel, II, p. 775.





(Charles Melville)

Originally Published: December 15, 2000

Last Updated: February 3, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. X, Fasc. 4, p. 383