Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or. 4615 (St. Pancras, British Library)

Asian and African Studies Oriental Manuscripts


1 copy of Dārābnāmah by Abū Ṭāhir Ṭarsūsī, Muḥammad ibn Ḥasan

Containing only the first part of the work, namely, the story of Dārāb

Language(s): Persian

Zāl with Rustam and his other two sons.

(above). Rustam standing at the edge of the pit of spears shooting Shaghād. (below). Rūdābeh watching as Zāl sends his army under Farāmurz against Bahnam at Kabul.

Zāl imprisoned in a suspended cage by order of Bahman. Mahesh.

Ardashīr receiving Tāj Ārā'ī and Humāy (her daughter) when he selected Humāy as his wife at the harem.

Bahman and his horse being swallowed by a dragon.

Hurmuz, the launderer who rescued Dārāb as an infant, washing clothes in the river.

Dārāb displaying his strenght by throwing a bleacher's or fuller's club in the air, watched by Hurmuz.

Dārāb lifting Hurmuz.

Dārāb defeating Gharjeh. Mahesh.

Dārāb and Ẓuḥḥāk in battle with their respective armies. Lālū.

Dārāb brought before his mother, Humāy. Mithrā.

Ẓuḥḥāk carried in a litter to Humāy's palace. Iḳbāl.

Humāy playing polo with her slaves. Sānwlah.

Dārāb meeting Humāy on the polo ground. Mithrā.

Dārāb playing polo. Bhīnī.

The murdered Jahrūn brought before Humāy by his servants who are asking for justice (attribution cut off).

Humāy fainting as the fettered Dārāb is brought before her. Nānhā.

Dārāb left by Ẓuḥḥāk to face the dragon. Nānhā.

Dārāb attacking the dīv, Samandūn, whose brothers Ḳanṭarash and Kumūz, are watching.

Dārāb brought as a prisoner before Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Shīvdās.

Dārāb in bed between Ṭahrūsiyyeh and 'Anṭūshiyyeh. Bhagwān.

Dārāb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh in a boat. Bhūreh.

Dārāb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh watching a battle between the Zangi army and bears on the Island of Angaliyun. Paras.

The battle continued. Paras.

The battle continued. Paras.

Dārāb asking the sage for the name of the Island of Shish Mināreth. Bhagwān.

Dārāb at the top of the minaret while the sage explains to Ṭahrūsiyyeh that whoever enters the tower cannot escape. Bhagwān.

'Umar entertaining Dārāb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh to a meal in his tent. Nānhā.

Dārāb drawing the mighty bow of Isfandiyār before Sangarūn. The severed head of the son of the ruler of the Island of Katrun is fixed to the wall above. He was beheaded because he failed to draw the bow. Bhagwān.

Khavārīḳ and Ṭahrūsiyyeh before the Zangi king and his wife while pages and slaves are seized by the Zangis who later ate them. Mādhū Khurd.

Dārāb, having thrown Hamangū to the giant fish, sleeps in the enclosure of Khavārīḳ. Mādhū Khurd.

Khavārīḳ attacking the Zangi king on his throne. Mādhū Khurd.

Khavārīḳ and the pilgrim looking down at Dārāb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh after putting them in the well on the false pretext of Dārāb's drunkenness. Tulūk.

Dārāb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh coming before the zāhid after they had escaped from Khavārīḳ who had tortured them. Nānhā.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh watching Dārāb throwing Ṭanbalūs, brother of Ḳanṭarush, into the water. Ibrāhīm Ḳahhār.

Mihrāsb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh watching Dārāb fighting the Zangis. The body of Ṭanbalūs is floating in the water. Ibrāhīm Ḳahhār.

Dārāb (disguised as a merchant) and Mihrāsb brought before Shāhū, son of Ṭanbalūs. Nānhā.

Dārāb in a boat, with Majallat holding an astrolabe and standing on a bank. Elephants carrying wood nearby. Jagan.

Dārāb looking at the dishes of food left by the sun-worshippers on the mountain. Farrukh Khurd.

The battle between the armies of Dilkunād and Kandarūn which was waged with hooks on ropes. Farrukh Khurd.

Dārāb going into battle against the Zangis (attribution partly cut off). Probably Narāyan.

Dārāb receiving homage from the defeated Zangis. Narāyan.

Shāpūr who helped Ṭahrūsiyyeh search for Dārāb telling her that all the slaves have been sold. Basāwan.

Mihrāsb having lost all his possessions and become a woodcutter found Ṭahrūsiyyeh in Shāpūr's house. Nānhā.

Mihrāsb comforting Ṭahrūsiyyeh who is overcome by joy at seeing him. Nānhā.

Shāpūr and Ṭahrūsiyyeh embracing at Nurūz watched by Mihrāsb who crouches in the woodstore holding a book and an astrolabe. Banwāri Kalān.

Shāpūr returning to his house to find it ransacked. Sarwan.

Mihrāsb and Shāpūr fighting after Shāpūr had accused Mihrāsb of ransacking his room. Dhanū.

Mihrāsb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh throwing Shāpūr into the sea. Sānwlah.

Mihrāsb opening the door into the walled garden. Sānwlah.

Mihrāsb making love to an ape to placate it and save his own life and that of Ṭahrūsiyyeh in the land of fierce apes. Dhanū.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh carrying Mihrāsb from the apes' palace. Dhanū.

The apes sailing in turtle shells and carrying fishbone weapons attacking the boat in which Ṭahrūsiyyeh is travelling. One defender has a gun. Bhūreh.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh weeping by the bound Mihrāsb under the Waḳwāḳ Tree. Narāyan.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh and Mihrāsb under the Waḳwāḳ Tree. Mukhliṣ.

Mihrāsb and the water maiden on the roof of the hut with Ṭahrūsiyyeh nearby. Dharmdās.

The water people bringing pearls from the sea watched by Ṭahrūsiyyeh, Mihrāsb and the water maiden on the hut. Dharmdās.

The water maiden's husband, insane with jealousy because of her love for Mihrāsb, tearing their children's bodies apart in front of her, watched by Mihrāsb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Kesū Kalān.

The watchman on the tower of the Island of Malakūt warning the one-eyed people of Mihrāsb's approach by ringing a bell. Sarwan.

Sīṭarūsh, who knew all languages, questioning Mihrāsb in Pahlavi, watched by four of the one-eyed people. Sarwan.

Gauhar-āsā, widow of Farṭalūs, accusing the bound Sīṭarūsh of placing Mihrāsb on the throne to succeed her husband as King of Malakūt. Nānhā.

Gauhar-āsā having been killed by a cobra in her husband's tomb is discovered by her daughters. Sarjan.

Mihrāsb's supporters killing the daughter of Farṭalūs and her supporters. Sarjan.

Dārāb ordering Liknād to release Mihrāsb. Nānhā.

A gigantic white serpent drinking watched by Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Mukhliṣ.

The parents of the white serpent who were in the form of human-headed winged serpents greeting Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Bhagwān.

The winged serpents relating their story to Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Bhagwān.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh brought before Zangdilīsā, the queen of the Zangis. (Attribution cut) Bhureh?.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh and Zangdilīsā in a boat.

Zangdilīsā offering wine to Ṭahrūsiyyeh in the boat. Chaturbhūj.

(above). Ṭahrūsiyyeh thrown into the sea by Zangdilīsā's maidens. Manī. (below). Two men rescuing Ṭahrūsiyyeh from the sea. Manī.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh weeping by the shore is comforted by Satarūn's slave who are offering her food. Chaturbhūj.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh recognising Zangdilīsā in the house of Haranḳālīs the Greek, where she had been left by Sanṭāraḳ. Shankar.

Haranḳālīs embracing Ṭahrūsiyyeh having discovered her to be his niece. Bhagwān.

Miniature lost except for the lower half of a seated man on the left and dishes on the right. Sarjan.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh posing as an envoy in an attempt to end the fighting between Dārāb and Faṣṭaliḳīn. Mithrā.

Dārāb fainting as he recognises Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Mithrā.

Gifts being brought to Dārāb from the besieged fortress including an elephant mounted on wheels. Sānwlah.

Dārāb enthroned receiving the gifts brought by the envoy Shalshalīyūn, including the elephant on wheels. Nānhā.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh in disguise with her uncle Faṣṭaliḳīn in the besieged fortress. Ibrāhīm Lāhorī.

Dārāb kneeling beside Hartafālis and looking at Faṣṭaliḳīn who lies stabbed before the idol. 'Abḳarhūd, who is shown hurrying away, had dreamed of this incident and awoken to find it all true.

'Antūshiyyeh, mother of Ṭahrūsiyyeh receiving 'Abḳarhūd. Outline by Kālū Lāhorī and faces by Ibrāhīm Ḳahhār.

'Abḳarhūd ordering soldiers to go to the prison and murder Ṭahrūsiyyeh and Kharīṭīnūs. Tiriyyā.

Kharīṭīnūs and the daughter of the gaoler's wife (who was substituted for Ṭahrūsiyyeh) lying dead before 'Abḳarhūd who did not know of the deception. Tiriyyā.

'Abḳarhūd being acclaimed king by his followers. Mādhū Khurd.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh feasting with the gaoler and his wife and a sailor who did not recognise her. Dhanū.

(above). Dārāb and Hartafālis waiting with twenty men under the ramparts in a boat until the sailor could guide them across the moat into the fortress. (below). Reunion of Dārāb and Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Mukhliṣ.

Miniature by Narāyan lost except for part of a boat.

Dārāb receiving Ṭahrūsiyyeh's aged grandmother while 'Abḳarhūd stands bound in the foreground. Karm Chand.

Dārāb enthroned with Ṭahrūsiyyeh beside him. Kālū Lāhorī.

Ṭahrūsiyyeh telling Dārāb about 'Abḳarhūd's murderous plot as he stands bound before them. Sarwan and Paras.

Dārāb celebrating his accession to the kingdom of Ḥanṭarash. Kesū Ḳahhār.

Dārāb watching 'Abḳarhūd being tortured. Mukhliṣ.

'Anṭūshiyyeh and Hartafālis asking the idol oracle the fate of Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Mukhliṣ.

Dārāb watching the reunion between Ṭahrūsiyyeh and her mother, 'Anṭūshiyyeh. Bhūreh.

Zangdilīsā and the Zangis arriving by boat watched by Ṭahrūsiyyeh. Bhūreh.

During the quarrel between the crews of the boats Ṭahrūsiyyeh is killed by Zangdilīsā. Farrukh Khurd.

Dārāb and Haranḳālīs discover the body of Ṭahrūsiyyeh in the boat with her baby. Shankar.

The weeping Dārāb being rowed home whilst Ṭahrūsiyyeh's coffin and a woman holding her baby are in another boat with Zangdilīsā.

Dārāb, watched by Haranḳālīs, having consulted the idol oracle to find out the cause of Ṭahrūsiyyeh's death tying Liknād's arms. Chaturbhūj.

(above). Zangdilīsā and Liknād dying as the result of snakebite on 'Arūs Island watched by the countryman who was the only witness of their death. (below). Mihrāsb, by now old and feeble, rescued from the chest by Dārāb on the Island of Malakūt.

Mihrāsb, blinded by being in the dark so long, being robed and having his eyes attended to by order of Dārāb. Dārāb is being shown the magic stone brought from Mt. Balāvarān. Paras.

Dārāb in a boat on his way to Iran to see his mother Humāy. Khem Ḳarān.

Dārāb, reunited with his year-old-son, in a boat with Haranḳālīs, 'Anṭūshiyyeh and Maṭrūshiyyeh on their way to Ḥanṭarash. Mahesh.

Dārāb and his son watching one of the boats accompanying them being wrecked off the Arabian coast near Mt. 'Umān. Mahesh.

Dārāb's child playing with his nurse at an inn after being saved from the shipwreck. Bhagwān.

The inkeeper watching Dārāb who is raking the caravansarai. Bhagwān.

Dārāb fighting the slaveboys whose taunting had infuriated him. Farrukh Chela.

The merchant having learned Dārāb's story ordered a private room for him in the caravansarai. Farrukh Chela.

Dārāb praying in the temple where he had gone to seek divine guidance. Bhureh.

Dārāb with the aged fuller and Jānispar before Muṣṭaliḳ, the King of Rabat.

Dārāb and his companions eating in a caravansarai having left Muṣṭaliḳ. Tārā.

Muṣṭaliḳ and his vizier Shūyarbak, before Dārāb. Outline by Mādhū Kalān, portraits by Chaturbhūj.

'Anṭūshiyyeh discovering the body of Muṣṭaliḳ after he had been murdered by his two sons. Nānhā.

'Anṭūshiyyeh, Mihtantasiyyeh and a suckling child in the house as Dārāb rides off to rescue Humāy from the Ḳaiṣar of Rūm. Nānhā.

Humāy being seized and bound by order of the Ḳaiṣar of Rūm. Mithrā.

Dārāb pulling up a tree to use as a weapon as Humāy is abducted by Kuh Āsā and the Ḳaiṣar of Rūm. Miskīneh.

Dārāb untying Humāy's bonds after he defeated Kuh Āsā and his men. Mādhū Khurd.

Dārāb, with Humāy beside him, throwing rocks at the Ḳaiṣar of   Rūm's army. On the right the Ḳaiṣar is shown with Kuh Āsā. Ibrāhīm Ḳahhār.

Rashnavād walking in the tomb in the city of Ray, where he hid, to find himself being bound up by his son, neither recognising the other. Ibrāhīm Ḳahhār.

Rashnavād having been abandoned by the Ḳaiṣar's men on Mt. Tabark near Ray telling Dārāb and Humāy of his adventures. Work by Bihzād, corrected by 'Abd al-Ṣamad.

A council of war between the treacherous Iranians and Kuh Āsā secretly watched by Dārāb, Humāy and Rashnavād. Dhanū.

Dārāb watched by Humāy and Rashnavād, attacking the Ḳaiṣar's army with a tree trunk. Ibrāhīm Ḳahhār.

Dārāb continuing his battle with the Ḳaiṣar's army. Tulsī Kalān.

The goat, sent in answer to their prayers, which saved Humāy and Rashnavād from thirst (attribution cut). Probably Tulsī Kalān.

Humāy  and Rashnavād arriving at the house of Nūrshān, the merchant who hid them. Ibrāhīm Lāhorī.

Nūrshān and his wife entertaining Humāy and Rashnavād. Sānwlah.

Humāy, having been recognised as the Queen fo the Iranians, being honoured in the house of Yulīmān, the goldsmith. Sānwlah.

Humāy promising Yulīmān he will be appointed amīr of Ray as a reward while Ghammāz the traitor who informed on the m stands behind him. Chaturbhūj.

Ghammāz telling his story to the Ḳaiṣar who disbelieves him and orders him to be bound (attribution cut).

Ghammāz captured by Yulīmān and brought before Humāy  and Rashnavād as the traitor who tried to reveal their whereabouts to the Ḳaiṣar. Paras Ḳahhār.

Neighbours of Yulīmān reading a letter and discovering the body of Ghammāz who had been killed by Yulīmān who himself then fled with Humāy  and Rashnavād. Humāy ordered Yulīmān to leave a letter on the body telling of Ghammāz's treachery. Paras Ḳahhār.

The dragon outside its mountain cave explaining to Dārāb that it had been sent by God as His servant on earth. Narāyan.

The reunion of Dārāb (dismounting from his horse) with Humāy  and Rashnavād watched by the dragon. Ḳesū Ḳahhār.

Humāy presenting Dārāb as her successor to the throne of Iran. Ḳesū Ḳahhār.

Humāy  watched by Dārāb as she dictates letters announcing Dārāb's accession and appoints Yulīmān to be amīr of Ray and Rashnavād to be Dārāb's personal assistant. Dharmdās.

Dārāb leading his army against the Ḳaiṣar of Rūm. Dharmdās.

The Ḳaiṣar falling from his elephant and Dārāb recapturing the Iranian standard from the standard bearer. Jagan.

Rashnavād bringin the Ḳaiṣar as a prisoner before Humāy and Dārāb (attribution cut).

Dārāb receiving a letter from Failaḳūs, brother of the Ḳaiṣar of Rūm. Mithrā.

The Turanians buliding the city of Dārābgīrd in the sea, as part of their reparations, directed by Dārāb. Mithrā.

Humāy's groom, who had a secret passion for her, murdering her at night when she would not submit to him. Manī.

Dārāb having his armour put on before he set out to avenge the murder of Rashnavād. Bhagwān.

(above). Dārāb attacking Shu'aib, the Arab who had killed Rashnavād. (below). Dārāb carrying Shu'aib away.

Shu'aib about to be executed reminds Dārāb that they are both descended from the lines of Ẓuḥḥāk and Jamshīd and is pardoned by Dārāb. Tiriyyā.

Failaḳūs and Shu'aib together. Jagan.

Dārāb receiving the homage of Failaḳūs and Shu'aib. Mukhliṣ.

Dārāb  realising the treachery of Failaḳūs  and Shu'aib seizing them both by their throats during the meal. Mukhliṣ.

Failaḳūs reunited with his family, embracing his wife. Shīvdās.

Dārāb capturing the town of 'Amuriyeh where Failaḳūs lived. Failaḳūs is shown on the roof which had been decorated with arms and standards to deceive Dārāb into thinking the fortress was heavily guarded. Manī.

Filāsūn, vizier to Failaḳūs bringing gifts to Dārāb. Darkeh.

Dārāb rejecting Nāhid, daughter of Failaḳūs, who was offered in marriage to him.


For a more detailed description see Rieu 1895, no 385.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 129 ff
Dimensions (leaf): 35.6 × 23.5 cm.



Written in fair nastaʿlīq


Numeorus miniatures

Gold-ruled margins

Decorated ʿunwān


Origin: End of 16th century CE

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Ch. Rieu: Supplement to the Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum. London, 1895


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Funding of Cataloguing



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