RSPA 40 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)
India Office Library
Royal Society Arabic and Persian
Mas̱navī-i Maʿnavī, Book 6 of 6
Jones commissioned the six volumes of the Mas̱navī which make up MSs RSPA 35-40. This is clear from a note in MS RSPA 35 in which he acknowledges the scribe: "Written by Maulavī Aâzzu'ddīn began 21 Jan 1790. Began 21 Jan. 1790 25S.R. a month, asked; 30S.R. given". The scribe's name was Mavlavī ʿIzz al-Dīn.
On f1r, Jones has written out the same poet circle as found at the end of MS RSPA 31, in which he writes the names of Firdawsī, Rūmī (written as Maulavī), Saʿadī, Anvarī, Ḥāfiẓ and Niẓāmī in a circle together.
The final forty-five lines of poetry are a poem by Rūmī's son and are not found in the usual recensions of the text. This poem begins "مدتی رین مثنوی چون والدم *** شد خمس کفتش ولد ای زنده ام" on f334v under the red heading explaining the contents.
European numerals in pencil.
The manuscript is in excellent condition.
Very neat black nastaʿlīq with red ink headings.
Very frequent annotations by Jones. He highlights large sections with curly brackets, stars and underlining and translates some sections of poetry. He also, at times, narrates the contents of the poem. In particular, there are lots of annotations surrounding the story of Nimrod at the end of the textblock, which he explains in his marginal comments and also repeatedly remarks how beautiful the poetry is.
Standard India Office half leather binding with wine-coloured marbled endpapers.
Provenance and Acquisition
RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. These manuscripts were all given by Sir William 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
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