Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 984 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts

Contents

Summary of Contents: This 14th-century copy of the Mas̲navī-i Ma‘navī (Spiritual Couplets) by Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (1207–1273) contains all six books but lacks an opening preface. Completed by a scribe named Maḥmūd ibn Mubārak in 9 Muḥarram 758 AH (2 January 1357 CE), about 85 years after the author completed it. Therefore, it not only constitutes the earliest copy of the work held in the Rylands, but it is also one of the oldest held in Britain.
Title: Mas̲navī
Title: مثنوی
Scribe: Maḥmūd ibn Mubārak محمود ابن مبارک
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): بشنو از نی چون حکایت می کند * از جدایی ها شکایت می کند.
Colophon: Completed by a scribe named Maḥmūd ibn Mubārak in 9 Muḥarram 758 AH (2 January 1357 CE).
Language(s): Persian

For two earlier manuscripts, see Meredith Owens catalogue [British Library Or 5602 and 7693].

Physical Description

Form: codex
Dimensions (leaf): 298 × 215 mm.
Dimensions (written): 223 × 115 mm.

Hand(s)

Primarily written in black nasta‘līq with red subheaders by Maḥmūd ibn Mubārak.

Decoration

Ruling: Margins ruled in red single lines throughout.

Additions:
Marginalia: Notations and corrections in various hands throughout.

Accompanying Material

A letter dated 4 December 1975 accompanies the volume, written by David Brady (Middle Eastern Librarian in the University of Manchester from the late 1960s to the 1980s) to Glenys Matheson (Keeper of Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library until the 1980s):
‘Dear Miss Matheson, I am sending to you a Persian manuscript which has been kept in the Cataloguing Room here at least as long as I have been here. I think that it is time that it joined the Persian manuscripts collection at Deansgate. The appended card contains some information about the manuscript, which I managed to discover a few years ago. Best wishes, David Brady’.

History

Origin: Completed by a scribe named Maḥmūd ibn Mubārak in 9 Muḥarram 758 AH (2 January 1357 CE).

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by scholar Samuel Robinson (1794–1884) of Wilmslow who donated it to Owens College (the original institution that evolved into the of The University of Manchester today).

Transferred to the John Rylands Library in 1975 after it merged with the University of Manchester.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description derived from Siavash Rafiee-Rad, 'Persian Manuscripts in Samuel Robinson’s Collection in The John Rylands Library' (2017).

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2022 with reference to the volume in hand.

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Availability

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader, see Becoming a Reader for details. Please contact uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Bibliography

    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. 275–276.

Funding of Cataloguing

The John Rylands Research Institute


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