Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 364 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts

Two unrelated texts of different sizes bound together.


Summary of Contents: Persian treatise entitled Jām-i Jahān'numā-'i Sāsānī (The World-Viewing Goblet of Sāsānī) and the History of Shākmūnī or Gautama Buddha translated from the Jamī‘ al-Tavārīkh (Compendium of Chronicles) of Rashīd al-Dīn (d. 1318), the latter likely commissioned for John Staples Harriott who once owned the Arabic manuscript, now held in the Khalili Collection, from which he apparently commissioned this translation.

Physical Description

Form: composite_manuscript
Extent: 65 folios (ff. ii + 24 + 41 + iv).
Foliation: Foliated in penciled Arabic numerals by the cataloguer.
Marginalia: Various comments in Persian in various hands thoughout written in both ink and pencil.
  • Folio iia:

    ‘Borrowed(?) 3 Nov. 1836 by Prince Ogynski.’

  • Folio 1a: Note by former owner John Staples Harriott (1780–1839):

    ‘J. S. Harriott- The Jame-Jehan Numa of Maulvi Abul Qasim of Sasan in Persia- rec'd Calcutta, Feb. 1817.’

  • Folio 27a:
    • Note stating Horace Heyman Wilson (d. 1860) borrowed the volume: ‘The original is lent to Dr. H. H. Wilson. Tartarian Prophet and Legislator- from Arabic ms. 1823.’

    • ‘Tarikh Hist: of ShakMuni.’

    • ‘Tarjumah-'i Tārīkh-i Shākmūnī bizabān-i Pārsī az Javāmi‘ al-Tavārīkh-i ‘Arabī.’

Bookplates: The left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘F/9’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 469’, with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘364’ written aside.


Sewn at 5 stations on sawn-in cords, probably with now-missing endbands. Covered in quarter calfskin leather with green vellum tips at the corners. Boards faced with French papier tourniquet manufactured by the Montgolfier mill, Annonay. Endpapers of finely spattered, violet shell patterned marbled paper.

Titled JEHAN NUMA on the spine, and gilt double fillet panel lines with blind zig-zag lines either side.

255 × 172 × 10 mm.

In fair condition. Handle with care. Leather endcaps missing and joints weakened.


The second right flyleaf (f. iia) bears a small, red, rectangular wax seal of Captain John Staples Harriott (1780–1839), written in Persian and dated 1224 AH (1809–10 CE) (also impressed on the right paste down of Persian MS 90 and Persian MS 55, folio 2a).

‘ ات کپتان ۱۲۲۴
جان سٹی‍پلس هاری ’

(Jān Staypils Hārī-āt, Kaptān, 1224).

12 × 14 mm.


Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly part of the collection of East India Company interpreter John Staples Harriott (1780–1839), who impressed his red wax seal impressed upon folio iia. Sold after his death by the Alliance des Arts, Paris 13 to 15 April 1843 (cat. 171). Purchased at the sale by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865), after whose death Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold it to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Persian MS 364A


Summary of Contents: The first work, Jām-i Jahān'numā-'i Sāsānī (The World-Displaying Mirror of Sāsānī), a history of the Sassanian dynasty, comprises the bulk of the volume. The author, Abū al-Qāsim ibn Muḥammad ʻAlī Simnānī Sāsānī assisted translator Francis Gladwin at Fort William College.
Folios 1a–23b
Scribe: Bishan Singh بشن سنگ
Title: جام جهان‌نمای ساسانی
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱ر (folio 1a): گوهر آبدار ستایش وکالای شاهوار نیایش سز او از تنار(؟) بارگاه شهنشاه فیض سرای جهان آرای است.
Explicit: برگ ۲۳پ (folio 23b): و برای هوشیاران وزیرگان همین قدر کافی است.
Colophon: برگ ۲۳پ (folio 23b): تمت تمام شد رسالهٔ جام جهان نمای ساسانی در یوم ثالث از تربیع ثالث از شهر ثانی از سنه ثانیه از عشره رابع از مایه ثالثه از الف ثانیه هجریه علا (علی) ید الکاتب نده بشن سنگه ساکن عظیمآباد سمت یکهذار هشتصد و هفتاد و ۳ سنه بکراماجتی.
Colophon: Completed by Bishan Singh in Patna in ca. 15 Rabī‘ II 1242 AH (4 March 1817 CE) corresponding to 1873 VS in the Hindu Bikramājtī (Vikrami) calendar.
Language(s): Persian


C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol I, Pt. I (London: Luzac & Co., 1927), pp. 147–148, no. 178.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: First text comprised of cross-grained medium-weight ivory-coloured paper with ~1mm between laid lines, and no discernible chain lines, probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent.
Extent: 24 folios (ff. 1–24).
Dimensions (leaf): 249 × 165 mm.
Dimensions (written): 187 × 103 mm.
Foliation: Modern pencilled Arabic numerals inscribed at the upper-left corners of the a sides.


Undetermined. Catchwords throughout.


Good condition.


Written in 1 column with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in nast‘aliq script in black with shikastah ligatures.


Origin: ‘Aẓīmābād (Patna), India; completed by Bishan Singh on 15 Rabī‘ II 1242 AH (4 March 1817 CE).

Persian MS 364B


Summary of Contents: An original Persian translation of the life of Shakyamuni excerpted from the Arabic Jāmi‘ al-Tawarīkh of Rashīd al-Dīn, translated into Persian by an anonymous individual, who simply identifies himself as a resident at the Qadiri shrine in Dewa, in the Barabanki district near Lucknow, India.
31 folios (ff. 25–65)
Author and Bibliographic antecedent: Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb, ca. 1247-1318
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۲۹پ (folio 29b): میگپیر کماکشری النحستی جائگه ثبات و تقریر یافت تحقیق که احوال نادره و کارهای عجیبه میشود.
Explicit: برگ ۶۵پ (folio 65b): و کتاب شاکمونی را بزبان مغولی ترجمه گویند آثار و اخبار او فراوان است و این مختصر بیجایش(؟) ندارد.
Colophon: بر‌گ‌های ۲۸پ-۲۹ر (folios 28b–29a): ... از احقر العباد ژولیده خاطر عبد القادر ساکن قصیه دیوی متصاف بلده لکهنؤ از کتاب جامع التواریخ مذکور که هم بزبان عربیست بحسب امار جلیل القدر قدردان منچر پریت صاحب دام حشمته بزبان پارسی سلیس ترجمه بیکم و کامست نگاشت شهود خطا را از کریمان امید غفور عطاست در ماه میء سال هزار و هشتصد و بیست و سه عیسوی مطابق ماه رمضان المبارک سنه هزار و سیصد و سی و هشت هجری مقدسه نبوی الیه حسبی و نعم الوکیل.
Colophon: Folios 28b to 29a: completed on Ramaz̤ān 1338 AH (May 1823 CE), by an anonymous scribe and translator who describes himself as ‘the lowest of the disheveled devotees for the sake of ‘Abd al-Qādir in the Dewa district’ which implies that he resided at the Qādiriyya shrine, now that of Wāris̱ ‘Alī Shāh (1822–1905); although the date indicates that he likely followed that saint's father, Qurbān ‘Alī Shāh.

Former owner, John Staples Harriott also formerly owned the Arabic manuscript likely consulted by the translator, now held in the Nasser Khalili Collection (MSS 727).

Language(s): Persian


J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London: Thames & Hudson, 2011, pp. 156–165, cat. 180–197.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Compratively thin, darker cream-coloured, sized and polished probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent, with two folios of cross-grained ruled notebook paper with a Britannia watermark dated 1817 added as endpapers.
Extent: 31 folios (ff. 25–65).
Dimensions (leaf): 214 × 156 mm.
Dimensions (written): 186 × 108 mm.
Foliation: Modern pencilled Arabic numerals inscribed at the upper-left corners of the a sides.


Catchwords throughout>.


Good condition.


Written in 1 column with 14 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in nasta‘liq script in black ink with shikastah ligatures.


Origin: Qadiri shrine in Dewa, India; completed by an anonymous translator and scribe Ramaz̤ān, 1238 AH (May, 1823 CE).

Additional Information

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume in hand.


To book an in-person or online appointment to consult the manuscript, visit Using the Special Collections Reading Rooms. For any other enquiries please email uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)


    Jules Mohl and Paul Lacroix. Catalogue de livres et manuscrits orientaux, provenant de la bibliothèque de feu M. John Staples Harriot... (Paris: Alliance des arts, 1843), p. 25, no. 171.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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