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Khalidov A. An Arabic Composite Manuscript of Tales from the Collection of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 5, No 1, March 1999. P. 63-69.


Among the few illustrated Arabic manuscripts in the collection of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies is one which contains the anonymous “Tale of King Kal’ād and his Vizier Shīmās" and a collection of fables entitled "Fables Told by Scholars" (call number A 448). The first tale (fols, lb—56a) is part of the “Thousand and One Night”. The second collection (fols. 56 b—74 b) brings together fables of the legendary sage Luqmān. The works in the copy under discussion here can be described as half-folkloric or half-literary prose, the style of which is entirely in harmony with the numerous miniatures which adorn the manuscript. The old traditions of the Arab school of miniatures are only partially visible here. Nonetheless, the manuscript is of a certain interest, as it reflects a late period of the Arabic manuscripts miniature painting. The illustrations reveal the significant influence of the Turkish school of miniatures. This is not at all surprising, as the manuscript can be dated to the first half of the seventeenth century. Support for this is found in the owner's inscription on fol. la with the name Bulus (Paul) and the date 1055/1645—46. Furthermore, this note appears to have been made shortly after the production of the copy…

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Arabic manuscripts
Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers

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