Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Eton Pote 278(1) (Eton College Library, Eton College)

Pote Collection


Summary of Contents: 1 copy of Taʾrīkh ʿĀlam-ārā.

Note concerning author: Faz̤lī is the author of Afz̤al al-Tavārīkh. Charles Melville found that work was related to Iskandar Beg Munshi's work of this title: Taʾrīkh ʿĀlam-ārā-yi 'Abbasi. See his discovery in Christ's College library Dd.5.6: http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bcai/31/30/. See also Melville's "A lost source for the reign of Shah 'Abbas: The Afzal al-tawarikh of Fazli Khuzani Isfahani" on JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/stable/4311148. Could this be yet another manuscript mixing the two works?!

Language(s): Persian

Colophon details: Date: Undated Scribe: Anonymous.

Note concerning work: There is a note inserted in English (attributed to Klaus Rohrborn of Hamburg, 1961) stating that this is in fact the unique first volume of the Afdal al-tawarikh, the second volume of which is in the British Museum [now Library] Rieu Suppt 56. An English note in the ms itself says this is NOT Taʾrīkh ʿĀlam-ārā but the (unique?) first volume of the Afzal al-Tavārīkh of which the second is (unique, autograph) BL Or. 4678 - for that see Rieu, Pers. Suppl. p. 37 (#56). This work and this ms are also mentioned in Melville's article, who argues he has discovered the lost THIRD volume. His footnote 5 seems to suggest the first volume is known.


Persian Literature: a bio-bibliographical survey C. A. Storey 1927–39 I.1 p.301 (ta'rikh i alam-ara by Fadli Ispahani vol I: also I.2 p.1280: Rieu Supp 56 is immediate continuation)
Mughals in India: a bibliographical survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts D.N. Marshall 1962 p.545; p.145

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 276 folios.
Dimensions (leaf): 33.5 × 18.5 cm.
Dimensions (written): 26.5 × 12 cm.
Foliation: Foliated.


21 lines per page.

Not ruled. Rubrications in red.


Script: shikasta. Scribe: Anonymous.


Reddish brown leather, Indian style. A metal inlayed turanj , pendants and corner pieces. Plain paper doublures. Dimensions: 33.5 × 18 × 3.5 cm. Unboxed. Polier's number: 736.


Origin: Undated.

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 second half alphabetically going to Eton. 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

Manuscript description based on D.S. Margoliouth, Catalogue of the Oriental Manuscripts in the Library of Eton College, Oxford, 1904 enhanced with additional descriptions and corrections by Shiva Mihan.


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

Eton College


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