Professor Omidsalar: Newly Discovered Manuscript of the Shahnameh

Below is a message by Professor Mahmood Omidsalar:

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Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 8:44 AM
To: undisclosed- recipients
Subject: An Newly Discovered Manuscript of the Shahnameh

Dear Friends,

A new and fine manuscript of the Shahnameh was discovered by Professor Moosavi (Tehran University) who was doing research in a library in Beirut. Professors Khaleghi, Afshar, Shafii-Kadkani, and myself have examined the digital pictures of a few pages of that manuscript, and we unanimously agree that it is a very important discovery. Although it is not illustrated and also lacks a colophon, we all agree that its codicological features indicate that it dates from no later than the mid thirteenth century AD (7th century hejri).  Khaleghi and Moosavi have already published two essays aimed at describing it (Nāmeh-ye Bahārestān, in press).  

Professor Afshar and I have decided to publish a facsimile edition of it in the series of facsimile editions of Persian manuscripts, which we have been editing with the generous help of the Iranian community of Indianapolis, Indiana. You might remember that we did the same for the London manuscript of the Shahnameh a few years ago.

Please inform your friends in the Iranian community that those who are interested in making a tax deductable contribution towards the publication of this important manuscript may go the website of the Foundation For the Preservation of Rare Manuscripts (FRM) at:

(http://www.frmpub. com ) click on Enter, then click on Donations, which will take them to our list of donors and instructions on how to make a tax deductible donation towards the publication of this manuscript.

I cannot adequately stress how important this manuscript is, and how urgent is it to produce a photographic reproduction of it. The fact that the codex belongs to a library in Beirut, Lebanon–and we all know how vulnerable Beirut has been to military attacks– speaks volumes about the urgency of reproducing this important manuscript in some form. We hope that by so doing we will ensure the survival of the contents of the codex even if it is ever destroyed in war.

Please pass this information to all who share an interest in the Shahnameh.

Sincerely,

M. Omidsalar

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