Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

King's Pote 56 (King's College Library, King's College Cambridge)

Pote Collection


Summary of Contents: 1 copy of Barzū-nāmah.

Note concerning author: The author is thought to be Kūsaj and not Khwājah ʿAmīd ʿAṭāʾī b. Yaʿqūb - see the edition of Akbar Naḥvī (Tehran, 1388/2009).

Language(s): Persian

Colophon details: Date: 829 / 1425-6 Scribe: Jahāngīr جهانگير .

Colophon further notes: Browne believed the date 829/1425-6 to be an error, apparently, for 1019/1610-11. However, the hand and illuminations could be early 9th/15th. In notes held in the King's Archive (attached to a letter dated 16.4.1951), Basil Robinson disagrees with Browne, saying: "A very neat little manuscript clearly dated Muḥarram A.H. 829 (A.D. 1425) and with an illuminated heading in exactly the same style as found in a number of manuscripts produced at Shīrāz at about this time.".

Note concerning manuscript: A very fine old manuscript in a miniscule hand.

Note concerning work: A mathnawī in the style of the Shāhnāmah but not agreeing with the poem described under this title in BMPS, no.195. It deals with the adventures of Rustam and Suhrāb. There is an edition of the Barzū-nāmah by Kūsaj edited by Akbar Naḥvī (Tehran, 1388/2009): details. For a copy attributed to Khwājah ʿAmīd ʿAṭāʾī ibn Yaʿqūb see for example Bodleian MS. Pers. c. 26.


Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library E. Sachau and H. Ethé 1889 col.456, no. 511 [Bodl. Fraser 85]
Persian Literature: a bio-bibliographical survey C. A. Storey 1927–39 V.2 p.571 (perhaps a different work)

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 94 pages.
Dimensions (leaf): 18 × 12.7 cm.
Dimensions (written): 12.5 × 9.2 cm.
Foliation: Paginated.


Water-staining in margins and extensive worming.


23 lines per page.

Gold ruling with black outline and an outer lapis line. (4 columns; verse).


Script: nastaʿlīq. Quality: Fine, early nastaʿlīq . Scribe: Jahāngīr جهانگير.


F.1v: an elegant, very fine Shīrāzī-style illuminated heading ( sarlauh ) in blue and gold. Some illuminated rubrics occur within the text (f.1v,f.2r) - gold nastaʿlīq over gold islīmī . Illuminated panels and triangles to the left and right of colophon, containing fine gold Shirazi-style floral motifs.


Upper doublure: a note in English states the ms was written in 829 (author of note: Jalāl Matīnī, c.1967). F.93r: a circular seal (ʿAbduhu Iskandar Khān).

Notes concerning codex: The date 829/1425 makes this the earliest copy of the work. See p.136 of "Two 17th-Century Prose Renditions of the Barzuname: The Story of Barzu, Son of Sohrab, in the Ehya' al-Moluk and in the Tarikh-e Shamshirkhani" by Gabrielle van den Berg (2011) (where the manuscript reference is wrongly given as King's Pote 156).


Marbled paper binding. Decorations: Orange leaves on a light green ground. Dimensions: 17.9 × 12.8 × 1 cm. Boxed. Polier's number: 92.


Origin: 829 AH; 1425-6 CE

Provenance and Acquisition

The "Pote Collection" arrived in England from India in 1790 and was divided between the Colleges of Eton and King's, Cambridge, with the first half alphabetically going to King's. Both halves of the collection are now housed in Cambridge University Library on permanent loan. Most if not all of the manuscripts had previously been owned by Colonel Antoine-Louis Henri Polier (1741–1795).

Gift of Edward Ephraim Pote (d.1832) in 1788.

Record Sources


All manuscripts of the Pote Collection are on permanent loan at Cambridge University Library. Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures consult Cambridge University Library. Contact near_eastern@lib.cam.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Funding of Cataloguing

King's College Cambridge


Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.