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Yerevan, Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (in index)
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© The Matenadaran Library, Yerevan
Accession Number:
Hijri Date:
Gregorian Date:
1829 (to nearest hijri year)
Qajar Iran
Came to the Matenadaran in 1956 from the State Historic Museum of Armenia, where it arrived as a part of the collection of the Lazarev Institute in Moscow in 1925
Muhammad Karim Khan
Muhammad Husain b. 'Ali Muhammad
Folios extant in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 27
Page Size (h x w):
250 x 224 mm
Text Size (h x w):
247 x 148 mm
Colophon Folio:
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
56 ( 52 Shahnama 4 Barzunama )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2017-11-13 20:41
Public Notes
The binding is laquered, Qajar, in quite a poor condition: the lacquer is covered with cracks, and yellowed; and torn on edges.The spine is of simple dark brown leather. Both outside covers represent battle scenes: On the front cover - an extremely crowded battle, hardly identifiable, a king (may be not: he is wearing a white turban, not a Qajar crown) on a white horse is cutting in half an old white bearded man. In the foreground there is a row of artillery guns. On the back outside cover: a king (in his Qajar crown, his courtier is holding a parasol over his head) on his brown horse is approaching an Indian king (according to his turban) on an elephant. They do not have any arms. However all their entourage are fighting. Some of them are on camels, some on elephants.

Inside covers are decorated with floral ornament over a red foreground, also in the lacquer technique. The decoration is organized in the traditional way, with three central medallions, one in a large (155 x 105 mm) almond shape, and two above and below lotus-like (45 x 30 mm). The ornament is in green, orange, yellow and red. The central medallion has a bird sitting in between the flowers. The frame is doubled by the wide corners, also decorated with a floral ornament in the same technique as the central medallions.

The text is in very small naskh in Indian ink, headings in red (plumbum) in nasta 'liq (with shekasta elements).

Condition is good. Restored, torn places are mainly in margins.

The text seems to be a full copy with the prose introduction (ff. 2v-7r) of the Baysanghur version. The satire on Mahmud (ff. 4v-5r) starts with a very odd incipit, but the start of the Shahnama (f. 7v) is normative incipit.

The text is arranged in four central columns, and carried on in the margins in a fifth column (continuing the text from the central written area).

There are several interpolations, most particularly a Barzunama, inserted as usual after the story of Bizhan and Manizha.

Illuminations. The beginnings of both prose preface and poem are decorated with 'unvans. The first seems to have survived some water damage; it is also quite large (173 x 150 mm), the paints faded, torn in many places, and details seem to be executed by another hand. A second (150 x 153 mm) (f.206v) is of neater design, in gold and polychrome, where blue is not so dominant, having almost the same space as orange, red and pink. There is white but no green. The decoration of the fifth column joins the unvan from the right, which makes it assymetric. The margins are covered with floral ornament in gold and polychrome. There is also imitation of the gold interlinear clouds of the first two folios. (F.A.).


A. Abdalyan & R. Amirbekyan, Kadjarskaya miniatyura Matenadarana, Iran and Caucasus 2 (1998), pp. 83-94

R. Goldenweiser, The miniature paintings of the Barzu-nama. An illustrated interpolation to a Qajar Shahnama from Matenadaran collection, Iran and Caucasus 3-4 (1999), pp. 217-24

See also the catalogue by Kristine Petros Kostikyan, Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the Matenadaran, Yerevan, 2017, pp. 185-6, no. 268.

Project Notes
Ideally get a proper sample page to replace this one.
General Ref:
Abdalyan, A. & Amirbekyan, R. Kadjarskaya miniatyura Matenadarana. (in Iran and Caucasus) 2 pp. 83-94 Erevan. Armenia.
General Ref:
Goldenweiser, R. The miniature paintings of the Barzu-nama. An illustrated interpolation to a Qajar Shahnama from Matenadaran collection. (in Iran and Caucasus) 3-4 pp. 217-224 Erevan. Armenia.
Dating Ref:
Colophon Extracted from the colophon of the work.
Origin Ref:
Abdullaeva, F.I. Personal notes.
Illustration in archive - 62     (back to top)
sample page
Binding (1829)
Binding (1829)
Doublure (1829)
f. 002v
Illuminated unvan (1829)
f. 007v
Illuminated unvan (1829)
f. 042v
Rustam lifts Afrasiyab by the belt (1829)
f. 048r
Rustam's seventh labour: he kills the White Div (1829)
f. 063r
Suhrab overthrows Rustam in their second combat (1829)
f. 063v
Rustam laments for the dying Suhrab (1829)
f. 068v
The fire ordeal of Siyavush (1829)
f. 081r
Guruy executes Siyavush (1829)
f. 091v
The coronation of Kay Khusrau (1829)
f. 111r
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1829)
f. 112v
Rustam captures and kills Kamus (1829)
f. 117v
Rustam pulls the Khaqan of Chin from his elephant by lasso (1829)
f. 121v
Rustam overthrows Puladvand (1829)
f. 123v
Akvan Div flings Rustam into the sea (1829)
f. 125v
Bizhan slaughters the wild boar (1829)
f. 126v
Manizha entertains Bizhan in the meadows (1829)
f. 127v
Bizhan brought before Afrasiyab (1829)
f. 133r
Rustam disguised as a merchant before Piran (1829)
f. 133v
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit (1829)
f. 153v
Scene from the Barzunama (1829)
f. 154v
Scene from the Barzunama (1829)
f. 157v
Scene from the Barzunama (1829)
f. 167r
Scene from the Barzunama (1829)
f. 182r
The eleventh combat: Gudarz kills Piran (1829)
f. 201r
The execution of Afrasiyab (1829)
f. 206v
Illuminated unvan (1829)
f. 216v
Garami son of Jamasp seizes the Iranian standard but is killed (1829)
f. 223v
Isfandiyar's second labour: he fights the lions (1829)
f. 230v
Rustam kicks aside the rock pushed by Bahman (1829)
f. 237v
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1829)
f. 247r
Iskandar attends the dying Dara (1829)
f. 263r
Ardavan led captive before Ardashir (1829)
f. 277r
Bahram Gur hunts in the company of Azada (1829)
f. 293r
Bahram Gur wrestles before Shangul (1829)
f. 328r
Caesar's son receives Anushirvan's letter (1829)
f. 336r
Bahram Chubina defeats the army of Sava Shah (1829)
f. 336v
Bahram Chubina defeats the army of Sava Shah (1829)
f. 340v
Bahram Chubina at the castle of the Fortune Teller (1829)
f. 347r
Khusrau Parviz and Bahram Chubina dispute kingship rights (1829)
f. 348r
Bahram Chubina's night attack on the camp of Khusrau Parviz (1829)
f. 350r
Bahram Chubina enthroned (1829)
f. 354r
Gustaham in conversation with the weeping talisman (1829)
f. 354v
Kharrad Barzin investigates the weeping talisman and reveals its secret (1829)
f. 356v
Bahram Chubina kills Kut the Roman (1829)
f. 357v
Bahram Chubina and Khusrau Parviz fight a fourth time (1829)
f. 359r
Bahram Chubina given wine by the old woman (1829)
f. 361r
Bahram Chubina and the Khaqan of Chin (1829)
f. 361v
The monkey-lion devours the Khaqan's daughter (1829)
f. 362r
The Khaqan and his wife fete Bahram Chubina (1829)
f. 362v
Bahram Chubina kills the monkey-lion (1829)
f. 365v
Qalun is arrested and beaten to death (1829)
f. 366r
Gurdiya kills Tuvurg (1829)
f. 366v
Khusrau Parviz executes Banduy (1829)
f. 369r
The birth of Shiruy, the son of Khusrau Parviz (1829)
f. 370v
Khusrau and Shirin (1829)
f. 372r
The musician Barbad plays for Khusrau Parviz (1829)
f. 375r
Shiruy's supporters take Khusrau captive (1829)
f. 378r
Mihr Hurmuzd murders Khusrau Parviz (1829)
f. 379v
Shirin commits suicide by the coffin of Khusrau Parviz (1829)