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Ms. Diez A fol. 1
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (in index)
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Accession Number:
Ms. Diez A fol. 1
Hijri Date:
1002 Muharram
Gregorian Date:
1593 September (to nearest hijri month)
Obtained in Constantinople by Heinrich Friedrich von Diez (1751-1817). Stamp on folio 1r from Sultan Uthman ibn Mustafa (1168-70/1754-56).
Yusuf b. Husain b. Yusuf Katib Jahrumi
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 19
Page Size (h x w):
325 x 210 mm
Text Size (h x w):
193 x 113 mm
Colophon Folio:
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
31 ( 27 Shahnama 3 Barzunama 1 other [ Bahmannama? ] )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2013-08-23 23:21
Public Notes
According to a stamp on f. 1r the manuscript once belonged to the library of Sultan 'Uthman b. Mustafa (1754-7). It entered the collection in 1817 as part of the Diez bequest.

The manuscript has a binding of Shirazi type made from dark brown leather (without flap). Outer and inner surfaces are identically structured: a central area with medallion, pendants and corner pieces surrounded by two borders filled with cartouches - and completely gilded or covered by leather filigree on coloured backgrounds. On the outsides of the covers, stamped and gilded decoration consisting of flowered tendrils and cloud ribbons dominates. Only the inner border has coloured decoration. Contrastingly, on the doublures, gilded leather filigree over red, blue or green backgrounds is used for most decorative units.

The double-page frontispiece (ff. 1v-2r) and the heading at the beginning of the poem (f. 18v) are typical Shirazi work as well. This, however, cannot be said about the illustrations. In particular, those attributed to painter 1 by Stchoukine have much more in common with the Qazvin style of about 1590. The inferior work - most likely the work of one artist - also relates to Qazvin painting.

Where this complex work was produced remains an open question. Since another manuscript copied by Yusuf b. Husain b. Yusuf (katib Jahrumi) with Shiraz style miniatures was already completed in 1571 it is not of much help in fixing the place of origin of the Shahnama.

Both painters use the same range of strong colours. Concerning their balance, the drawing of figures, faces and landscape details, and the evoking of the illusion of space, painter 1 is clearly the better artist. His interior architecture, however, displays the same flat ornamented surfaces as does the work of the second painter.

The volume has the Baysunghur preface and contains two large interpolations, the Barzunama (beginning on f. 293r) and the Bahmannama (beginning on f. 485r). 23 of the 31 miniatures are assigned to the first part of the Shahnama and the interpolations it includes. While the Shahnama illustrations are dedicated to well-known episodes, for the interpolations several unusual subjects were selected. Probably, the people involved in the production of the manuscript had little experience illustrating the interpolated texts. The second artist in particular may have kept to the notes that in some cases are preserved at the top of the upper margin (see e.g. f. 481r) .

(Karin Ruhrdanz)


W. Pertsch, Die Handschriftenverzeichnisse der königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin, 4: Verzeichnis der persischen Handschriften, Berlin, 1888, 734-5, no. 703.

I. Stchoukine, B. Flemming, P. Luft, & H. Sohrweide, Illuminierte islamische Handschriften, Wiesbaden, 1971, 73-7, no. 26.

Project Notes
Contains Barkhiyas interpolation.
Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Origin Ref:
Stchoukine, I. et al. Illuminierte Islamische Handschriften. (in Orientalische Handschriften in Deutschland) 16 (1971) Franz Steiner Verlag GMBH. Wiesbaden. Germany.
Illustration Ref:
Stchoukine, I. et al. Illuminierte Islamische Handschriften. (in Orientalische Handschriften in Deutschland) 16 (1971) Franz Steiner Verlag GMBH. Wiesbaden. Germany.
Illustration in archive - 31     (back to top)
sample page
f. 072v
Zal marries Rudaba (1593)
f. 089r
Rustam catches Rakhsh (1593)
f. 099v
Rustam's third labour: he kills a dragon (1593)
f. 102v
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1593)
f. 142v
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1593)
f. 197r
Kay Khusrau receives Rustam and Zal (1593)
f. 240r
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1593)
f. 253v
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1593)
f. 268v
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1593)
f. 289v
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit (1593)
f. 319v
Scene from the Barzunama (1593)
f. 323v
Scene from the Barzunama (1593)
f. 338v
Scene from the Barzunama (1593)
f. 354v
Bizhan kills Human (1593)
f. 382v
Jahn arrives with a message from Afrasiyab (1593)
f. 399v
The execution of Garsivaz (1593)
f. 414r
The coronation of Luhrasp (1593)
f. 433v
Bidarafsh kills Zarir, the brother of Gushtasp (1593)
f. 454v
Isfandiyar besieges Arjasp's fortress (1593)
f. 474v
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1593)
f. 481r
Rustam falls into a pit (1593)
f. 505v
Scene from the Bahmannama (1593)
f. 519r
Iskandar attends the dying Dara (1593)
f. 596v
Bahram Gur enthroned after killing the lions (1593)
f. 680v
Anushirvan sits before the chessboard sent by the Raja of Hind (1593)
f. 715r
Bahram Chubina kills the fleeing Sava Shah (1593)
f. 751r
Khusrau Parviz reviews the troops brought by Niatus from Rum (1593)
f. 756v
Bahram Chubina and Khusrau Parviz fight for the third time (1593)
f. 763r
Bahram Chubina kills the monkey-lion (1593)
f. 781v
The musician Barbad plays for Khusrau Parviz (1593)
f. 807v
Bizhan kills Mahuy to avenge Yazdagird (1593)