Chronique d'Abou Djafar Mohammed Tabari, fils de Djarir, fils d'Yezid;
traduite sur la version persane d'Abou-Ali Mohammed Belami, fils de Mohammed, fils d'Abd-Allah, d'après les manuscrits de la Bibliothèque du Roi, par Louis Dubeux.Paris: for the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland, 1836 Stock Code: 110201
The foundation of classical Arabic historiographyFirst edition in any language of Tabari's Ta'rikh al-rusul wa'l-muluk ("History of Prophets and Kings"), "the most important of the classical Arabic historical texts still extant" (Encylopaedica Iranica), volume I (all published); this copy with a presentation leaf addressed to noted translator and businesswoman Lady Charlotte Guest (née Schreiber, 1812-1895), best remembered for her edition of the Mabinogion, the medieval Welsh prose cycle and the earliest recorded prose literature of the British Isles. "Introspective and uninterested in the usual accomplishments thought fit for a young lady", Guest also taught herself Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian (ODNB).
Dubeux's text, based on the 963 AD Persian translation by Samanid vizier Bal'ami, covers the period from the creation of the world to the time of Biblical prophet Shu'ayb. One of the first works published by the Oriental Translation Fund, the translation was not completed until the edition in four volumes by Hermann Zotenberg, published 1867-74.
Tabari (839-923) was one of the most eminent scholars of the early 'Abbasid era. Born in Amol, present-day Iran, he followed the custom of the time and visited the various intellectual centres of the Islamic east, including Basrah, Kufah, and Rayy, before eventually settling in Baghdad. Although learned in jurisprudence and hadith, he is remembered chiefly for his immense Qur'anic commentary and his Ta'rikh: "both are notable for their comprehensiveness and their meticulous citation of multiple and often conflicting sources, presumably in order to bring out their differences in accounts and interpretations, though not always (especially in the history) attempting to resolve them" (ibid.)
Large quarto (320 x 250 mm). Original green cloth, printed paper label to spine as issued, binder's ticket of W. Runting, Chancery lane to front pastedown.
Frequent Arabic types. Engraved presentation leaf printed in purple with foliate border.
Scattered light cockling to cloth, heavier on the spine, spine label a little chipped, corners bumped, a few pale markings to sides, small portion of cloth worn away midway along front joint, small spot to fore edge, a little pale foxing towards front and rear, else internally crisp, fresh and almost entirely unopened. A very good copy.
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