Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 34 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Mas̱navī-i Maʿnavī by Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī

Language(s): Persian

Incipit: بشنو از نی چون حکابت میکند *** از جدائها شکایت میکند
Explicit: هست باقی شرح این لیکن درود *** بسته شد دیگر نمی آید برون
Colophon: تم الدفتر السادس من المثنوی الهادی إلب الصراط المستقیم بعون الله وحسن توفیقه علی ید اضعف

The date (year) can be found in a colophon to Book III on f182.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Fine brown woven paper.
Extent: ff.ii+380+ii
Dimensions (leaf): 220 × 180 mm.
Dimensions (written): 170 × 80 mm.

Perso-Arabic numerals in pencil.


Fine condition. Damage to the bottom of each folio. Some worm damage. First folio very damage.


21 written lines in body of text with 17 hemistichs written transversely across the margins.


Very small and elegant nastaʿlīq.


Each book of the Masnavī begins with a new first page that has a blue and gold cupola style headpiece with a floral design.


There are some marginal annotations by Jones throughout the manuscript, but particularly in the first quarter of the textblock. These range from linguistic notes, quotations from other works and transcribing the metre of the poem. On f1r, Jones has written "Masnavi". There are also notes in Persian from a range of different hands throughout the manuscript.


Standard India Office half leather binding with wine-coloured marbled endpapers.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 1029 (1619 - 1620) AH ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. This manuscript was presented by Lady Jones.

The Royal Society's collection of 280 Persian and Arabic, and 86 Sanskrit manuscripts were transferred to the India Office Library in 1876.


India Office Library

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on E. Denison Ross and E. G. Browne, Catalogue of two collections of Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1902), p. 29 no. XXXIV


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass. Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.

Funding of Cataloguing



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