A Compendium of Chronicles

Compendium of Chronicles

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A compendium of chronicles : Rashid al-Din's illustrated history of the world

By Sheila Blair. London: Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press, c1995.

The Compendium of Chronicles, written during the 14th century by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani (1247-1318) is considered the first world history. It was written for the Mongol Ilkhanate in Persia. It covers not only the history of the Mongols but major events occurring in China and Europe. This scholarly study by Sheila Blair examines a version of the original manuscript by looking at pages owned by the Khalili Collection and by the Edinburgh University Library. The Compendium was lavishly illustrated and is of great significance for the study of Ilkhanid manuscript painting. Dr. Blair looked at both sets of manuscript pages in both collections in order to better study the emergence of a new tradition of manuscript illustration in Iran. The study of this manuscript shows why illustrated books became such an important means of artistic expression in the Islamic world making this book a very important resource for scholars of Islamic manuscripts and Islamic book arts.

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