Persian Manuscripts : Bahāristān-i Jāmī

Jāmī, 1414-1492جامی

Persian Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The Timurid court poet and renowned Sufi ‘Abd al-Raḥman Jāmī (1414–1492) originally composed the <i>Bahāristān</i> (Spring Garden) in 892 AH (1487 CE). Modelled upon the <i>Gulistān</i> (Rose Garden) of Saʻdī, he divided the work into eight chapters or 'gardens' (<i>rawz̤ah</i>) devoted to Sufi saints and philosophers, the topics of justice, generosity, love, and comedy, as well as a highly esteemed section on poetic literature, and the last regarding animals. The earliest of several copies held in the John Rylands Library, an anonymous scribe completed in 903 AH (1498 CE), just eleven years after the author first composed it and six years after his death. It opens with a pair of elegantly illuminated roundels, the second stating the name of the patron, Fāiḳ Pāşā, likely an Ottoman vizier appointed late in the second reign of Sultan Mehmed II (r. 1444–1446) into that of his son and successor Sultan Beyazid II (r. 1481–1512). The phrasing referencing an <i>‘imāret</i> along with a prayer for the longevity of his buildings, suggests he commissioned it for his charitable mosque complex that he commenced constructing in 898 AH(1492–93 CE), in Narda (now Arta, Greece), of which a mosque still survives today. Subsequent owner French orientalist Antoine-Isaac Silvestre de Sacy (1758–1838) in Paris likely had the volume rebound in Paris in an elegant, Islamic-inspired style binding, albeit constructed and decorated with European materials. However, it still retains a late Ottoman period protective leather pouch, lavishly embroidered with silver and silk threads. </p>

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