BOOK OF COUNCIL FOR KINGS
  • Book Title:
 Book Of Council For Kings
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  • Total Pages
135
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17 Mb
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BOOK OF COUNCIL FOR KINGS – Book Sample

Contents of the Book

  •  
  • CHAPTER I. On Qualities required in Kings                    45
  • The Account of the Kings (of Persia), pp. ·47-53
  • CHAPTER I I.  On the Wazirate and the Character of Wazirs     106
  • CHAPTER I I I. On the Art of the Pen and the Functions of Secretaries           
  • CHAPTER IV.  On Magnanimity in Kings                      119
  • CHAPTER V. Citing Aphorisms of the Sages                   134
  • CHAPTER VI.  On Intelligence and Intelligent Persons          149
  • CHAPTER VII. On Women and their Good and Bad Points     158
  • BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX                                174

INTRODUCTION – BOOK OF COUNCIL FOR KINGS

MIRRORS FOR PRINCES

BooKs of counsel for rulers, or ‘Mirrors for Princes’, form a distinctive and interesting genre of classical Arabic and Persian Hterature. They show how complete was the synthesis achieved between the Arab-Islamic and old Persian elements which were the main components of medieval Muslim civilization. They make impartial use of examples attributed to Arab Caliphs and Sasanid kings, to Ṣiifi saints and Persian sages; they Islamize Zoroastrian maxims such as ‘religion and empire are brothers’; and they assume rightly or wrongly a substantial identity and continuity between Sasanian and Islamic state institutions.

During the early ‘Abbasid period, emphasis on the Persian contribution to Islamic civilization sometimes represented a shu’ubite or nationalistic tendency among the Persian Muslims. Such nationalism must have been a factor in the revival of Persian as a literary language; it was to be expressed in no uncertain terms by Firdawsi (c. 320/932- 410/ 1020) in his Shahnāmah.

In general, however, religious univer­salism prevailed over national particularism; and Persians were foremost among the thinkers who developed the faith of Islam into a world religion. At the same time, Muslims of every nationality and school of thought came to accept the view of Muslim civiliza­tion as a Perso-Islamic synthesis. Thus, the Spanish Muslim Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih of Cordoba ( d. 329/940) placed a ‘Mirror for Princes’ full of Persian material at the head of his vast anthology of belles-lettres, al-‘Iqd al-Farid;1 and the jurist al-Mawardi of Ba􀀃rah (364/975-450/1058), author of al-AI-ahkām al-Sultaniyah,2 the

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