International Workshop “Banakati and Khvandamir: Value and Readership of Persian General Histories”


Date / Time Tuesday March 21, 2023, 14:00–17:00 (Doors open at 13:30)
Venue Haneda Memorial Hall and Online by Zoom
*Pre-registration is required.
Please register in the google form by 12:00, 20 March.
Language English
Jointly Sponsored by HANEDA MEMORIAL HALL (Center for Studies of Cultural Heritage and Inter Humanities, CESCHI); NIHU Global Area Studies Program: The Global Mediterranean at ILCAA
Contact eurasia-haneda★ (HANEDA MEMORIAL HALL)
gmed.ilcaa★ (Secretariat of the Global Mediterranean Project at ILCAA)
Please change ★ to @.


14:00–14:15 Opening address by Nobuaki KONDO (ILCAA)

14:15–14:55 Osamu OTSUKA (The University of Tokyo),
“Tārīkh-i Banākatī Reconsidered: Beyond Rashīd al-Dīn-centrism”

15:10–15:50 Philip BOCKHOLT (WWU, Münster),
“Read by Whom? On the Question of Readership of the Ḥabīb al-Siyar in the Eastern Islamic World”

16:05–17:00 General Discussion


Tārīkh-i Banākatī Reconsidered: Beyond Rashīd al-Dīn-centrism
Osamu OTSUKA (The University of Tokyo)
Abū Sulaymān Dāwūd b. Abī al-Faḍl Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Dāwūd al-Banākatī’s Tārīkh-i Banākatī is a Persian universal history compiled in the Ilkhanid period that was dedicated to the ninth Ilkhanid ruler, Abū Sa‘īd (r. 1316–35) on 31 December 1317. This work has commonly been considered to be an abridgement of Rashīd al-Dīn’s (d. 1318) Jāmi‘ al-Tawārīkh since the middle of the nineteenth century. This kind of negative evaluation is found deeply rooted in most previous studies. While the work Jāmi‘ al-Tawārīkh is highly admired and widely studied, other Persian universal histories written in the Ilkhanid period including the Tārīkh-i Banākatī, have not attracted commensurate attention. It is worth noting that later intellectuals in pre-modern Persianate societies never evaluated the Tārīkh-i Banākatīas a mere abridgement of the Jāmi‘ al-Tawārīkh, which has no value. This paper is the first philological study of the Tārīkh-i Banākatī. By investigating its remaining manuscripts and comparing the text with that of other Persian universal histories, I reconsider its historical value in Persian historiographical studies (especially in the Ilkhanid period).

Read by Whom? On the Question of Readership of the Ḥabīb al-Siyar in the Eastern Islamic World
Philip BOCKHOLT (WWU, Münster)
The Persian world history Ḥabīb al-Siyar is one of the most copied historiographical works in Islamic intellectual history. Written by the Iranian historian Khvāndamīr (d. 1535/36) in Herat during the rule of the Shiʿi Safavids in the 1520s, the book was subsequently adapted to the religious and political expectations of his later patrons, the Sunni Mughals in India, and circulated through hundreds of copies spread across the entire eastern Islamic world. In my paper, I will analyse manuscript copies of the work and offer new insights into their readership at various locations in the premodern Islamic world. Taking cues from reception, provenance, and historical readership studies, I will examine ownership and readership notes, endowment seals and illustrations in order to shed light on the owners and readers of the work between the 16th and early 20th centuries. By giving an in-depth analysis of marginal notes found in the extant copies, I will situate the Ḥabīb al-Siyar within the broader framework of Islamic book culture and show that the chronicle was part of a larger canon of texts. This canon was read within a greater Persianate world including not only the Safavid court in Iran and the Mughal court in India, but also places on the Deccan as well as in Central Asia and the Ottoman Empire. My paper thus offers comprehensive insights into the transregional transmission of Persian historiography as well as regionally specific readership practices.