Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 2265 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

The Khamsah, or five poems, of Niẓāmī


1 copy of Khamsah-ʼi Niẓāmī by Niẓāmī Ganjavī, 1140 or 41-1202 or 3

The manuscript is illustrated

Language(s): Persian
f. 2
Title: Makhzan al-asrār ( مخزن الاسرار )
f. 36
Title: Khusraw va Shīrīn ( خسرو وشيرين )
f. 120
Title: Laylá va Majnūn ( ليلى ومجنون )
f. 193
Title: Haft paykar ( هفت پيكر )
f. 260
Title: Iskandarnāmah ( اسكندر نامه )


For a more detailed description see Rieu 1895, page 1072-3.
For descriptions of the miniatures seeFor a more detailed description see Titley 1977, page 139.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 396 ff
Dimensions (leaf): 14.5 × 10 in.



This fine copy is due to the pen of the celebrated calligrapher Shāh Maḥmūd Nishapūrī, شاه مخمود نشاپوری (see Rieu 1876-83, page 574.), who signs شاه مخمود النشابوری الشاهی. He wrote it for Shāh Ṭahmāsp, شاه طهماسپ , whose name is introduced as an inscription on a palace wall in one of the miniatures, fol. 60


In four gold-ruled columns, and richly ornamented with six highly finished ʻUnvāns

Illuminated headings and borders on every page. The broad margins are covered throughout the volume with spirited drawings of wild animals and flowers in gold

Includes fourteen miniatures in the best Persian style


Bound in painted covers, the outsides of which represent Fatḥ ʻAlī Shāh hunting with attendants


Origin: Tabrīz; From Jumada II, A.H. 946 to Zulhijjah, A.H. 949

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Ch. Rieu: Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum. 3 vols, London, 1879-83


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



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