GOLČIN MAʿĀNI, AḤMAD (b. Tehran, 1916; d. Mašhad, 2000; Figure 1) literary scholar, bibliographer, and poet. He held various administrative and judicial posts in the Ministry of Justice (1934-59). His considerable knowledge of literary manuscripts was later put to good use when he was transferred to the Majles Library, where he catalogued the Persian and Arabic manuscripts. From 1330 Š./1951, he also worked in the manuscript department of the Malek Library (Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Malek) in Tehran. In 1342 Š./1963 he moved to Mašhad, where he served as bibliographer of the manuscript collection of Āstān-e qods-e rażawi (q.v.). He prepared the following catalogues of Persian and Arabic manuscripts of the library: volume VII, on history and literature (published in 2 parts, Mašhad, 1346 Š./1967); volume VIII, on mathematics (Mašhad, 1350 Š./1971); and a list of its Koran manuscripts (Rāhnemā-ye ganjina-ye Qorʾān-e Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Āstān-e qods-e rażawi, Mašhad, 1347 Š./1968). In addition, he catalogued some of the majmuʿas (miscellanea manuscripts) of the Majles Library (Našriya-ye nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭi 5, 1345 Š./1966, pp. 153-203) and the manuscript collection of ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Bayāt (Našriya-ye nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭi 6, pp. 63-117). In total, he catalogued 2,360 manuscripts in these works. He also prepared a bibliography of commentaries on Golšan-e rāz (“Golšan-e rāz wa šoruḥ-e moḵtalef-e ān,” Nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭi no. 4, 1344 Š./1965, pp. 53-124.)

In the course of his life, Golčin-e Maʿāni was an active member of three different literary societies. From 1314 Š./1935, he attended the weekly meetings of Anjoman-e Ḥakim Neẓāmi at the home of its founder, Ḥasan Waḥid Dastgerdi. In these sessions, Golčin-e Maʿāni at times helped Waḥid Dastgerdi with his editing of Neẓāmi’s Ḵamsa by comparing different manuscripts, and he thus became familiarized with work on manuscripts. After Waḥid’s death in 1321 Š./1942, Golčin co-founded Anjoman-e adabi-e Irān (the Literary Society of Iran) with the poet Moḥammad-ʿAli Nāṣeḥ (d. 1365 Š./1986). He was also, from late in 1325 Š./1947, the secretary and an active participant in another literary society headed by Moḥammad-Taqi Malek-al-Šoʿarāʾ Bahār (q.v.) and attached to the Farhangestān-e Irān (q.v.). These gatherings provided him with the opportunity to meet other contemporary poets and men of letters, with some of whom he formed lifelong friendships.

Golčin’s own poetry has been published (Divān-e Golčin, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983). But he is also the author of a substantial corpus of satirical and comic verse which appeared in Tehran journals and newspapers over the years under different pseudonyms including Ašʿar-al-Mamālek, Bača maktabi, Gol Āqā, Lajbāz, Nowča, Sejāf-e daftar, Sāreq-e divān, Simorḡ (Ḵalḵāli, p. 350).

As a critic and literary historian, he is noted for his work on the intricacies of the so-called “Indian Style” and cultural life in the Safavid period, particularly in relation to India and the poets who traveled or migrated there from Persia. His Maktab-e woquʿ dar šeʿr-e fārsi (Tehran, 1348 Š./1969) and Kārvān-e Hend: Dar aḥwāl o āṯār-e šāʿerān-ʿaṣr-e ṣafawi ka ba Hend raftand (2 vols., Mašhad, 1369 Š./1990) are examples of his meticulous work in this field. The latter title is also indicative of another main interest and contribution of Golčin-e Maʿāni to classical Persian literature: anthologies of poetry and their history. He edited ʿAbd-al-Nabi Qazvini’s Taḏkera-ye mey-ḵāna with copious notes and wrote a monumental history of Persian anthologies, Tāriḵ-e taḏkerahā-ye fārsi (2 vols., Tehran 1348-50 Š./1969-71). As well as other publications, mainly editions of medieval texts such as Aḥmad b. Maḥmud Moʿin-al-Foqarāʾ’s Tāriḵ-e Mollāzāda (Tehran, 1339 Š./1960) and Faḵr-al-Din ʿAli Wāʿeẓ Kāšefi Ṣafi’s Laṭāʾef al-ṭawāʾef (Tehran, 1336 Š./1968), he wrote many articles on literary subjects for several journals, and compiled a valuable collection of specimens of writings by eminent literary and religious figures of his time in their own hand and with their photographs attached (Golzār-e maʿāni, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1363 Š./1984).



Moḥammad-Bāqer Borqaʿi, Soḵanvarān-e nāmi-e moʿāṣer-e Irān, Qom, 1373 Š./1994.

ʿAbd-al-Rafiʿ Ḥaqiqat, Farhang-e šāʿerān-e zabān-e pārsi, Tehran, 1368 Š./1989.

ʿAbd-al-Ḥāmid Ḵalḵāli, Taḏkeraʾ-ye šoʿarā-ye moʿāṣer-e Irān, Tehran, 1333 Š./1954.

(Iraj Afshar)

Originally Published: December 15, 2001

Last Updated: February 14, 2012

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Vol. XI, Fasc. 1, pp 67-68