Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 999 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The first of two volumes of an incomplete Shāhnāmah (Book of Kings), by Abū al-Qāsim Manṣūr Firdawsī (fl. ca. 940–1020), together with Persian MS 1000. It opens with a shortened redaction of the Baysunghur preface, followed by the poem proper, of which Abū Manṣūr Daqīqī (d. ca. 980) commenced a thousand lines, but after his death, Firdawsī completed the work shortly before the year 1000 CE. He drew upon a number of pre-Islamic Pahlavi middle Persian sources, principally the now-lost Khwadāynāmag (Book of Lords) that recounted the ancient rulers of Persian until the Sassanian period, as well as Iranian mythology and folklore.

Physical Description

Form: codex



Provenance and Acquisition

Previously held in the Chetham Library, Manchester.

Purchased in 1981 by the John Rylands Library, together with other oriental manuscripts for £2000 .

Record Sources

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023 .


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    Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, Khwadāynāmag: The Middle Persian Book of Kings Leiden: Brill 2018.
    A. F. L. Beeston, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Part III (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954), p. 21, no. 2537 [Bodleian Ms. Pers. D. 44].
    François du Blois, Persian Literature a Bio-Bibliographical Survey : Poetry of the Pre-Mongol Period, Vol. V, 2nd ed. (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), pp. 94–96 no. 52 [Daqīqī]; 110–138, no. 58 [Firdawsī].
    H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office, Vol. I (Oxford: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), col. 546, no. 860 [British Library IO Islamic 2118].
    G. P. Greswell, Bibliotheca Chethamensis: Sive Bibliothecæ Publicæ Mancuniensis Ab Humfredo Chetham Armigero Fundatæ Catalogus, Vol. III (Mancunii: Henricus Smith, 1826), p. 163, no. 7983
    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), p. 147, no. 472.
    S. Rafiee-Rad, 'Persian Manuscripts in Samuel Robinson’s Collection in The John Rylands Library', Manuscripta: A Journal for Manuscript Research, Vol. 61, No. 2 (2017): pp. 262–266, pl. 6 [Rylands Persian MS 977–978].
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), p. 533 [British Library Add. 21103, &c.].
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Vol I. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), col. 450, no. 493 [Bodleian Elliot 325, &c.]

Funding of Cataloguing

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation


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