Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 13506 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts


1 copy of Kitāb-i Kalīlah va Dimnah by ʻIbn al-Muqaffaʻ, d. ca. 760

The animal fables of Bīdpāy

Translation completed in 536

Language(s): Persian translation


For a more detailed description see Waley 1998, page 67. For a more detailed description see Titley 1977, page 6-7.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 209 ff
Dimensions (leaf): 22 × 11 cm.


3 illuminations

67 miniatures

f. 2v (forming a double-page miniature with 3r). A king's retinue with cheetahs, horse and hawk (flaked).

f. 3r The king enthroned surrounded by courtiers two of whom stand behind him with crossed spears. Two lions before the throne (flaked).

f. 8v Anūshīrvān and Būrzuyeh who holds the 'Book of Wisdom' (i.e. Kalīlah va Dimnah).

f. 11r The four wise men who wee ordered each to compose an instructive maxim.

f. 20r Būrzuyeh receiving his instructions before going to India.

f. 23r Būrzuyeh reporting to Anūshīrvān.

f. 31r The man and the thief, who is masked.

f. 35v The man who jumped into the well when pursued by a mad camel shown with his feet on the snakes, the dragon below him, rats nibbling the branches and a beehive by his head.

f. 36v Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī (rubbed).

f. 38r The carpenter and the monkey (rubbed).

f. 41r The lion with its courtiers, leopard, wolf and gazella and Dimnah.

f. 44v The lion, the gazelle, Dimnah and Shanzabeh, the ox.

f. 46r The old woman trying to kill her daughter's lover (rubbed).

f. 47v The surgeon, the shoemaker and his wife who is veiled.

f. 51r The man killing the snake which killed the crow's fledglings. (All birds in the miniatures except owls are haloed).

f. 52v The hare and the lion looking at their reflections in the well.

f. 58v Dimnah with Shanzabeh.

f. 63v The lion assisted by the wolf, leopard and Dimnah treacherously attaking the camel.

f. 65r The ducks carrying the tortoise clinging to a stick watched by astonished villagers.

f. 66v The lion attacking Shanzabeh watched by Kalīlah, Dimnah, the wolf and the leopard (rubbed).

f. 69v The man hidden in the tree telling lies about the stolen money to the judge (rubbed).

f. 72v Dābishlī and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 74r (above) The leopard telling the lion of the jackal's treachery. (Below) The lion and his mother.

f. 81v The lion with Kalīlah, Dimnah, the leopard and the wolf.

f. 86v The falcon tearing the eyes out of the falconer who lied.

f. 88r Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 89r The crow and the ringdovers.

f. 93v The crow and the rat. Fish in the pool.

f. 104r Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 111v The elephant tricked by the hare looking at the moon's reflection.

f. 112v The hare and the nightingale consulting the cat.

f. 115r The monk who was tricked into thinking his sheep was a dog.

f. 117r The div encouraging the thief (masked) to steal the sleeping monk's cow.

f. 118v The carpenter under the bed listening to his wife and lover.

f. 121v The religious man offering his daughter to the mouse.

f. 122v The owls trapped in the cave by the crows which lit fires outside.

f. 124v The snake and the frogs. (The artist appears to have been unfamiliar with frogs as he has drawn creatures like bear cubs).

f. 127r Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 130r The monkey riding the tortoise (rubbed).

f. 132v The monkey with the tortoise.

f. 134v The lion killing the ass.

f. 135v Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī (flaked).

f. 139v The religious man accidentally breaking his oil pot.

f. 140v The man killing the weasel before he realised it had saved his baby's life by killing the snake. Baby in cot.

f. 143v The rat and the cat.

f. 147v Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 149v The king talking to the falcon Fanzeh which had torn out his son's eyesafter the prince had killed its fledgling.

f. 156r Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 161v The lion with the wolf, leopard and jackal.

f. 163r The lion with its mother and two gazelles.

f. 169v Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 171r The Brahmans interpreting Hīlār's dreams.

f. 172v Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.

f. 176r Hīlār with a Brahman.

f. 180r Hīlār's wife Īrāndukht with their two sons.

f. 180v Hīlār seeking advice from his vizier about the Brahman's interpretation of his dreams (damaged).

f. 181r Hīlār's vizier consulting a wise man.

f. 181v The white elephant belonging to Hīlār.

f. 182r The other elephants of Hīlār.

f. 182v Camel belonging to Hīlār.

f. 183r Sword belonging to Hīlār.

f. 183v Hīlār with Īrāndukht.

f. 184r Hīlār with another of his wives.

f. 190v The two doves.

f. 197r Īrāndukht asking Hīlār for his forgiveness.

f. 200v The man who rescued the monkey standing above the pit in which the snake, the lion and the goldsmith are still imprisoned.

f. 203r Dābishlīm and Bīdpā'ī.


Origin: Southern Iran (Shiraz?); 707 AH

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on M. I. Waley: Supplementary handlist of Persian manuscripts, 1966-1998. London, 1998


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.

Digital Images

BL Digitised Manuscripts (full digital facsimile)

Funding of Cataloguing



Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.