The Wisdom of Buzurgmihr in Mustawfī’s Tārīkh-i guzīdeh
The Persian Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, “Select History,” of Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī Qazvīnī (b. c. 680/1281-2, d. c. 750/1349) defies tidy generic classification. Comprising six parts, the work, composed in the late Ilkhanid period, treats a variety of subject matters: the prophets and other persons who strived for truth (dar kār-i ḥaqq) from the time of Adam until the Prophet Muḥammad; the pre-Islamic kings; the Prophet Muḥammad, his Companions and descendants; the dynasties of the Islamic era; the biographies of eminent persons; and the city of Qazvin, the author’s birthplace. Integrating into the framework of a single composition elements of the “universal” chronicle, the local history and the biographical dictionary, and combining historical, biographical and topographical modes of discourse, Mustawfī’s Tārīkh-i guzīdeh provides a rich illustration of a text that, notwithstanding, in Jacques Derrida’s terms, the “law” that “genres are not to be mixed,” “participates” in several genres but “belongs” to none of them.
In this essay, I propose that Mustawfī’s unfettered approach to historiography, and especially his combination of narrative and didactic discourses, supports one of his central purposes in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh (730/1329-30), namely, the bringing together of Persians and Mongols within the framework of a common identification with “Iran.” I shall explore this purpose with reference to two aspects of Mustawfī’s text. Firstly, I shall discuss Mustawfī’s involvement with the text of Firdawsī’s Shāhnāmeh – the central focus of Olga Davidson’s groundbreaking studies in Persian literature. The Shāhnāmeh, for Mustawfī as for many of his contemporaries, provided the principal point of reference for a renewed conceptualizing of “Iran.” Secondly, I shall discuss Mustawfī’s representation in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh of Buzurgmihr, the figure depicted in the Shāhnāmeh as the loyal vizier and sagacious counsellor to the Sasanian monarch Khusraw I Anūshīrvān (r. 531-79). In Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, I contend, Mustawfī deployed the figure of Buzurgmihr as an emblem of the inclusive Iranian identity he sought to project.
Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī Qazvīnī hailed from a Shiʿi family with a long record of administrative experience. In the ninth and tenth centuries, his forbears had held the governorship of his native city, Qazvin, and they had borne the appellation “Mustawfī” since his great-grandfather’s posting to the financial stewardship of Iraq. Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī, in his turn, assumed the office of financial director of Qazvin and several surrounding districts, a post to which he was appointed by the vizier Rashīd al-Dīn Fażl Allāh, known as Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb, “the physician” (executed in 718/1318). Rashīd al-Dīn had entered the service of the Mongols under Abaqa (r. 663-80/1265-82), had been appointed (associate) vizier in 697/1298 under Ghazan Khan (r. 694-703/1295-1304), and continued in office under Ghazan’s successor Öljeitü (r. 703-16/1304-16). His reputation rests equally, however, on his composition of the innovative universal history Jāmiʿ al-tavārīkh. Mustawfī emulated Rashīd al-Dīn’s example in both his assumption of administrative responsibilities and his dedication to the writing of history. In the preface to Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, Mustawfī credits his initiation into historical study to the tutelage and inspiration of Rashīd al-Dīn. He dedicated this work, like his Ẓafarnāmeh, to Rashīd al-Dīn’s son, Ghiyāth al-Dīn Muḥammad (d. 736/1336), who, notwithstanding his father’s execution, held the post of chief vizier from 727-36/1327-36, under Abū Saʿīd (r. 716-36/1316-35).
Collectively Rashīd al-Dīn and Ghiyāth al-Dīn figured significantly in Mustawfī’s intellectual and literary formation and production. As viziers and men of learning, father and son sponsored intellectual and cultural activity, especially in the Rabʿ-i Rashīdī, the well-appointed quarter that Rashīd al-Dīn had constructed in Tabriz. After the execution of Rashīd al-Dīn, his family lost much of their property to confiscation and the Rabʿ-i Rashīdī was subjected to plunder. Following his appointment to the vizierate in 727/1327, Ghiyāth al-Dīn was able, to some extent, to rebuild the Rabʿ-i Rashīdī, and he earned a positive reputation for his generous patronage of historians, poets and scholars. There is considerable evidence – stylistic, iconographic and numismatic – to suggest that Ghiyāth al-Dīn may have commissioned and supervised the production of the Great Mongol (“Demotte”) Shāhnāmeh in Tabriz between 736/1336 and 737/1336. In Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, Mustawfī praises Ghiyāth al-Dīn’s nobility of character and abundance of ability, and places considerable emphasis on his admirable and persistent clemency.
Mustawfī and the Shāhnāmeh
As Nasrin Askari has demonstrated, Firdawsī’s Shāhnāmeh imprinted subsequent Persian literature in numerous, implicit as well as explicit, ways. The poem’s vast impact is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the Persian historiographical works of the Ilkhanid period. This corpus abounds in direct quotations from and allusions to the Shāhnāmeh. The later Ilkhanid period also saw a proliferating production of new versified epics, which combined historical narrative with moral edification. The conscious modelling of these compositions on Firdawsī’s Shāhnāmeh is signalled in, among other characteristics, their adoption of the evocative metre of mutaqārib. These Ilkhanid epics presented themselves as continuations of or supplements to Firdawsī’s poem, and in several cases, they evoked parallels between protagonists and episodes portrayed in the Shāhnāmeh and contemporaneous figures and events. The period also saw the display of poetic inscriptions from the Shāhnāmeh in the tile-work of Ilkhanid palaces.
Mustawfī’s oeuvre provides an especially notable example of this late Ilkhanid engagement with Firdawsī’s Shāhnāmeh. Among his earliest intellectual projects was the production of an edition of the poem, a project that entailed six years of study and a close review of over fifty manuscripts. As Charles Melville and Stefan Kamola have demonstrated, the depth of Mustawfī’s involvement with the Shāhnāmeh is particularly conspicuous in his Ẓafarnāmeh (“Book of Victory,” commenced c. 720/1320, completed 735/1334-5), a versified chronicle that, like similar compositions, alludes to Firdawsī’s poem in its use of mutaqārib. Significantly, Mustawfī’s title Ẓafarnāmeh recalls the Pīrūzīnāmak (“Book of Victory”) ascribed to Buzurgmihr. The association with Buzurgmihr, as Kamola has argued convincingly, contributed to one of Mustawfī’s principal objectives in his Ẓafarnāmeh, namely the fashioning of a new and enduring image of the vizier Rashīd al-Dīn Fażl Allāh, to whom he ascribes a parallel pandnāmeh (“book of advice”) composed for the benefit of Ghazan.
Mustawfī appears to have begun writing his Ẓafarnāmeh in about 720/1320, some two years after the death of Rashīd al-Dīn, and he completed it in about 735/1334-5. Its composition therefore overlapped with that of Tārīkh-i guzīdeh (730/1330), which Mustawfī seems to have begun later and completed sooner. Composed in prose, Tārīkh-i guzīdeh constitutes a condensed counterpoint to Mustawfī’s 75,000-couplet-long chronicle; while interrelated, the two compositions differ somewhat in their points of emphasis and perhaps in their principal purposes. In Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, Mustawfī presents a “history” that embraces the entirety of human experience from the time of Adam to the moment of his composition (az ʿahd-i Ādam ʿalayhi al-salām tā zamān-i taʾlīf-i īn mukhtaṣar), namely 730 [1329-30]. The poetic narrative of the Shāhnāmeh opens, as is well known, with the creation of the world and concludes with the Arab conquest of Iran in the seventh century. Mustawfī commences his Ẓafarnāmeh at the point at which Firdawsī concluded his Shāhnāmeh, that is, at the beginning of the Islamic era, and continues his narration of Islamic and Iranian history up to the year 735/1334-5, that is, virtually to the end of the Ilkhanid period. His Tārīkh-i guzīdeh opens with the creation and concludes at the time of writing, namely 730/1329-30, and covers, effectively, the temporal ranges of the Shāhnāmeh and the Ẓafarnāmeh combined.
If the imprint of the Shāhnāmeh is especially pronounced in Mustawfī’s Ẓafarnāmeh, it is also evident, as the following section details, in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh.
Mustawfī’s Tārīkh-i guzīdeh
In the preface to Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, Mustawfī lists twenty-three formative texts, in Arabic and Persian, to which he had devoted particular study. Among these writings, Mustawfī refers explicitly to tavārīkh, historical writings, in which category he includes Firdawsī’s Shāhnāmeh and the Siyar al-mulūk of Niẓām al-Mulk (d. 485/1092). Steeped in his studies of these texts, amplified by the documents and resources to which his administrative office and longstanding family experience gave him access, Mustawfī produced, in his words, a “concise, composite compendium” (mukhtaṣar-i mūjazī … mujmal), an “epitome” (khulāṣeh) suffused with a rich intertextuality. Tārīkh-i guzīdeh would, in turn, take its place in this intellectual and literary repertoire current in the Persianate realms: Muʿīn al-Dīn Naṭanzī drew on it in his Muntakhab al-tavārīkh-i Muʿīnī, and among the Mughal administrative élites, it formed part of the Persian curriculum devoted to the study of history, particularly that of Islam, and of the Mongols and Turks in Iran and Central Asia.
Among the most striking references to Firdawsī’s Shāhnāmeh in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh is Mustawfī’s concentration on “Iran” and “Īrān-zamīn.” The idea of “Iran,” as a distinct and unified territorial and cultural entity, reappeared prominently in the historiography of the Ilkhanid period, when it played an important role in promoting the social integration of the Mongols into the Iranian environment. It provided, as George Lane has written, a vehicle for expressing the common interests among members of the Persian élite and the Toluʾid princes in an administration that brought together Persian and Mongol, Turk and Tajik at all levels. The term “Iran” facilitated the projection of a continuous, rather than ruptured, history that associated the Ilkhanid present with figures and episodes of the Iranian heritage. In Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, Mustawfī repeatedly invokes “Iran” as a distinct and cohesive territorial whole. In the twelve sections that comprise his fourth chapter, dedicated to the dynasties of the Islamic era (pādshāhān keh dar ṣadr-i Islām būdand), Mustawfī’s selected dynastic families represent an Iranian perspective. Having announced his concentration on the kings and viziers of Īrān-zamīn, Mustawfī distinguishes among dynasties that ruled in parts of Iran (baʿżī az Īrān), such as the Saffarids; in most of Iran (akthar-i Īrān), such as the early Ghaznavids; or all of Iran (tamāmat-i Īrān), such as the Great Seljuks. Accordingly, Mustawfī devotes separate sections of his entry for the Seljuks to the branches that ruled in Kirman and Anatolia, and in treating the Ismaʿilis he discusses separately their polities in Egypt and North Africa on the one hand and in Iran on the other.
Mustawfī’s following of Firdawsī’s perspective is similarly evident in his awareness of the instructive and edifying potential of history – an attestation of the “ethical-rhetorical” approach identified by Julie Scott Meisami as a hallmark of much Persian historiography. In the preface to Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, Mustawfī describes the importance and functions of historical knowledge (ʿilm-i tavārīkh), “the benefits (favāʾid) of which defy reckoning”, for they include reflection on the affairs of those who have passed, learning the lessons (iʿtibār) of their conditions, of their experiences in the important matters and optimal interests (maṣāliḥ) of sovereignty; consideration of the abiding traces of every community or dynasty (ṭāʾifeh)’s turn in power, the causes of each people (qawm)’s fall (nakbat), the practical education of the self (tamarrun-i nafs) in the vicissitudes of the world illustrated in the experiences of past ages and bygone nations, and other matters, beyond calculation.
In addition, Mustawfī, throughout his oeuvre, drew on the Shāhnāmeh’s ample repertoire of materials in order to evoke parallels with contemporaneous figures and circumstances. Among the figures whom Mustawfī adduced in both the Ẓafarnāmeh and Tārīkh-i guzīdeh is, as previously mentioned, Buzurgmihr, the sagacious vizier-counsellor of the Sasanian King Anūshīrvān “the Just” and exponent of numerous wise aphorisms. Dick Davis has suggested that Firdawsī, acutely sensitive to the abuses of sovereign power and displays of royal ingratitude relayed in the narratives from which he composed his Shāhnāmeh, conveyed an implicit dissent from the glorification of Anūshīrvān by elevating the figure of Buzurgmihr, on whose wisdom the king’s claim to wisdom wholly depended, and who, still answering the king’s questions, was subjected to his monarch’s wholly unjustified punishment. The pairing of Anūshīrvān and Buzurgmihr exemplified, at its best, the optimal relationship between the just, prudent ruler and his wise counsellor, but equally, the relationship’s unravelling presaged the peril that attended royal service.
As this essay will show, Mustawfī, in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, placed less emphasis on Buzurgmihr’s function as vizier and concentrated instead on his stature as the quintessential Iranian ḥakīm, or wise philosopher. Despite Mustawfī’s relative lack of attention to Buzurgmihr’s relationship with Anūshīrvān, it seems possible, perhaps likely, that his audience might have inferred contemporary analogies for both the exemplary and the cautionary aspects of the Sasanian figure. If, for example, they were familiar with the report of Buzurgmihr’s conversion to Christianity, they perhaps imagined a potential parallel with Rashīd al-Dīn’s conversion (from Judaism) to Islam. Similarly, while Mustawfī does not mention Buzurgmihr’s incarceration, he refers repeatedly to Rashīd al-Dīn as al-wazīr … al-saʿīd al-shahīd, an allusion to the fate that overtook his first master, who, like Buzurgmihr, suffered the cruel enactment of his monarch’s displeasure. In Tārīkh-i guzīdeh Mustawfī does not, however, draw explicit analogies between Buzurgmihr and contemporary figures; it is in the Ẓafarnāmeh that he develops a clear parallel between Buzurgmihr and Rashīd al-Dīn. In T̄ārīkh-i guzīdeh, it is Buzurgmihr the surpassing sage of Iran whom Mustawfī presents to his audience.
Buzurgmihr in Arabic and Persian literature
Buzurgmihr appears in Arabic and Pahlavi writings of the ninth and tenth centuries, and from this period onwards, the figure recurs in a variety of Arabic and New Persian writings, both as a protagonist in historiographical and narrative contexts, and as the exponent of wise sayings, sometimes adduced singly, sometimes in extended sequences.
The name Buzurgmihr appears in connection with a cluster of narratives, which, in combination, provided Buzurgmihr with what Davidson has usefully termed a vita. Usually presented separately rather than in the form of an interlinked narrative, these elements adhered to a composite persona developed in a manner that was neither linear nor continuous. In one narrative tradition, Buzurgmihr first encounters Anūshīrvān when, after all the established authorities, including his own teacher Āzādsarv, have failed to interpret the king’s dream, Buzurgmihr alone is able to interpret it. In another account, Buzurgmihr, having distinguished himself as the sole philosopher able to discern the significance of the game of chess introduced to the Iranian court by an Indian delegation, responded to the challenge by devising the game of backgammon, which confounded the Indian philosophers and demonstrated his (and Iran’s) superior ingenuity. A further sequence of narratives relates Anūshīrvān’s imprisonment of Buzurgmihr; in this account, Buzurgmihr continues to respond to the king’s questions during his custody. Among the most notable narrators of the accounts of Buzurgmihr, Firdawsī and al-Thaʿālibī (350-429/961-1038) relate versions of all three of these episodes in their accounts of the reign of Anūshīrvān.
Closely linked with Buzurgmihr are numbers of maxims (variously referred to as his amthāl, ḥikam, āthār or ādāb) that attest his proverbial wisdom. Maxims played a prominent and important role in the literary cultures of Arabic and Persian. At least from the time of littérateur and polymath al-Jāḥiẓ (c. 160-255/776-868), who specifically mentions the amthāl (proverbial sayings) of Buzurgmihr, a familiarity with wisdom literature, often relayed in the form of aphorisms, was a requirement for the kātib or secretary.
Firdawsī included a separate section comprised of Buzurgmihr’s wise utterances in his account of the reign of Anūshīrvān. Other authors omit or abbreviate drastically the narrative content of Buzurgmihr’s vita, and record his maxims in collections of proverbial materials. Miskawayh (d. 421/1030), for example, included a long section headed “What I have selected from the ādāb of Buzurgmihr,” followed by a section headed, “Further sayings of Buzurgmihr,” in his collection of the wise sayings of various peoples, Jāvīdān khirad. Various sources refer to or record collections of Buzurgmihr’s written wisdom under the rubrics pandnāmeh, kalimāt and pīrūzīnāmak or, in its New Persian rendering, ẓafarnāmeh.
Mustawfī’s Buzurgmihr in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh
Mustawfī’s main entry for Buzurgmihr appears not in connection with the reign of Anūshīrvān, but in a separate section of the Tārīkh-i guzīdeh. This entry forms a conspicuous part of Mustawfī’s first chapter, which consists of two sections (sg. faṣl), devoted to (i) prophets and (ii) philosopher-sages (ḥukamā), persons who, though not prophets, strived in the cause of truth, from the time of Adam until the era of Muḥammad. Mustawfī subdivides each of these sections into two further parts. He subdivides his first section, devoted to prophets, into categories devoted to (a) rusul, “sent prophets” (payghambarān-i mursal) and bearers of a religious law and (b) anbiyā, prophets whose mission did not include the bringing of law (anbiyā). He divides his second sub-section, devoted to philosopher-sages, into categories concerned with (a) philosopher-sages (ḥukamā), the great philosophers of former times, and (b) non-prophetic figures who exerted themselves in the cause of religion (mujtahidūn). Buzurgmihr appears last in the section devoted to ḥukamā, individuals devoted to the pursuit of truth not by prophetic guidance but by ḥikmat, which equipped them to formulate laws and counsels, mavāżiʿ and naṣāʾiḥ, for the benefit of humanity. Mustawfī’s Buzurgmihr, then, is first and foremost a purveyor of ancient wisdom, his standing equal to or surpassing the stature of the venerated philosophers of antiquity.
In contrast to the predominance of Buzurgmihr in Mustawfī’s presentation of ancient philosophers, the figure features only fleetingly in his account of the reign of Anūshīrvān. This account occurs in the second chapter of Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, devoted to the pre-Islamic (Iranian) kings, whom Mustawfī, following the Shāhnāmeh, presents in four groups, the Pīshdādīyān, the Kayānīyān, the mulūk al-ṭavāʾif and lastly the Sasanians. In his entry for Anūshīrvān, whose “counsels of the crown” he also records, Mustawfī mentions Buzurgmihr, “his vizier,” once only, and reduces the narrative element of his entry to the brief observation that Buzurgmihr responded to the introduction of chess from India by devising the game of backgammon.
The structure of Mustawfī’s entries throughout Chapter One of Tārīkh-i guzīdeh – embracing prophets and non-prophetic purveyors of universal wisdom – is consistent. Each section is arranged roughly chronologically, so that fathers precede the mention of their sons, and teachers precede the mention of their students. Mustawfī treats prophets and other individuals esteemed in the Qurʾan, such as Luqmān and the Companions of the Cave, before figures who lacked such sanction. His entries for the prophets and philosopher-sages follow a regular pattern, comprising, firstly, a biographical report, and secondly, examples of the individual’s transmitted teachings. The first, biographical component consists of, in some cases, a single identifying word, and in other cases an extensive biographical narrative, which often foregrounds ethical and instructive elements: for example, Solomon prays for pand and finds its quintessence in two divinely inspired naṣīḥat, and Jesus delivers a series of pandhā.
Luqmān, the Arabian sage, and Buzurgmihr, the first and last figures respectively in Mustawfī’s sequence of philosopher-sages, constitute a frame for a series of otherwise almost exclusively Greek and Hellenistic figures (Jāmāsp is the only other – like Buzurgmihr, Iranian – exception). As Mustawfī moves through this sequence of figures, he traces affinities from one ḥakīm to the next, and integrates Qurʾanic, Greek and Iranian traditions. Pythagoras, for example, is identified as a disciple of Luqmān, and thereby acquires an indirect Qurʾanic association; he is further identified as a contemporary of Gushtāsp. Jāmāsp is described as the brother of Gushtāsp and as a disciple of Luqmān; Buqrāṭ (Hippocrates) is designated a ḥakīm (physician), identified as a disciple of Pythagoras, and as a contemporary of Bahman. Aflāṭūn (Plato) is identified as a ḥakīm (philosopher), as a disciple of Socrates, and as a contemporary of Dārāb; and Arisṭāṭālīs (Aristotle) is described as a ḥakīm (philosopher), a disciple of Plato, and as the counsellor-vizier (dastūr) of Alexander. By highlighting the multiple cultural and intellectual connections of these emblematic figures, Mustawfī’s presentation supports his integrating approach towards the diverse populations brought together in the society that he inhabited. Aristotle, the penultimate individual treated in this sequence, epitomized the figure of the philosopher-counsellor-vizier, and led Mustawfī, by way of association, to the last, and culminating, individual in his category of ḥukamā, namely the equally paradigmatic philosopher-counsellor-vizier, Buzurgmihr.
His entry for Buzurgmihr is not only the final, but also by far the longest entry in Mustawfī’s section devoted to ḥukamā. Here, Mustawfī limits his biographical introduction of Buzurgmihr to the terse but critical information that Buzurgmihr was the “vizier of Anūshīrvān the Just” and that he was “of Marvazī stock.” Unlike several of the figures invoked earlier in Mustawfī’s treatment of ḥukamā, then, Buzurgmihr appears in an exclusively Iranian context, signalled by his relationship to the Sasanian dynasty on the one hand and his linkage with the territorial notion of Iran on the other. The expressly Iranian nature of Mustawfī’s Buzurgmihr accords with the centrality of the concept of Iran in the Ilkhanid realm and in the Tārīkh-i guzīdeh. The positioning of Buzurgmihr as the last and culminating figure in this diverse and interrelated series of philosophers supports Mustawfī’s projection of Iran as an identification that encompassed multiple constituencies.
Following his brief identification of Buzurgmihr’s profession and geographical background, Mustawfī devotes by far the larger part of his entry to the sage’s sukhanān, a term used of Buzurgmihr’s wise utterances in the Shāhnāmeh as well. Mustawfī begins his recitation of Buzurgmihr’s sayings with five statements, each structured on the number five. For example, he lists five things that derive solely from decree and destiny, and to attain which the servant’s efforts will be to no avail; five things that are attainable by the servant’s earnest striving and effort; five things that are innate; five things that are habitual, or formed by habit; and five things that are hereditary. After these pronouncements, Mustawfī turns to an extended sequence of questions and answers, presented as Buzurgmihr’s reported questions to his (unidentified) teacher (ustād) and his teacher’s responses.
Mustawfī does not ascribe a “title” to his collection of Buzurgmihr’s sukhanān, which resemble and often replicate the sententiae presented elsewhere as the previously mentioned Pīrūzīnāmeh or Ẓafarnāmeh (“Book of Victory”) of Buzurgmihr. This text, reputedly rendered from Pahlavi into Persian by Abū ʿAlī Ibn Sīnā (d. 428/1037) at the behest of the Samanid Nūḥ b. Manṣūr (r. 365-87/976-97), presents its counsels as Buzurgmihr’s reply to Anūshīrvān’s request that he compile “some useful (mufīd) utterances, short in words but ample in meaning … beneficial (sūdmand) in this world and the next.” The text’s preface reports that Buzurgmihr requested a year’s grace to compile the collection. It reports further that Anūshīrvān, delighted with the composition, added a city (shahr) to Buzurgmihr’s estates (aqṭāʿ), decreed that his words should be inscribed in golden ink and preserved in perpetuity, and often perused the written text. At the beginning of his text, Buzurgmihr acknowledges his debt to the answers of his teacher (ustād), and proceeds to relay these answers. In this last feature and in much of its contents, Mustawfī’s rendering of Buzurgmihr’s sayings resembles Ibn Sīnā’s version, shorn of the latter’s preliminary elements, namely its praise of God and the Prophet (naʿt), its ammā baʿdiyya, which marks the beginning of substantive discourse, and its presentation of Buzurgmihr’s opening words.
Buzurgmihr features in significant but contrasting ways in Mustawfī’s concurrently written Ẓafarnāmeh and Tārīkh-i guzīdeh. In the Ẓafarnāmeh, as Stefan Kamola has argued, Mustawfī employed the figure of Buzurgmihr to evoke and fashion an image of Rashīd al-Dīn. In Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, this evocation of contemporary analogies remains implicit, dependent on the audience’s prior familiarity with Buzurgmihr’s vita, to which, however, Mustawfī devoted little explicit attention. Eschewing mention of most details of Buzurgmihr’s vita, Mustawfī concentrated instead, and predominantly, on the vizier’s status – in an explicitly Iranian context – as a purveyor of timeless wisdom. Positioning his entry for Buzurgmihr the wise philosopher immediately after his entry for the philosopher-counsellor-vizier Aristotle, Mustawfī portrayed Buzurgmihr’s proverbial wisdom as the Iranian culmination of an inter-cultural legacy, a use of “Iran” that created commonality among the Mongol and Iranian communities of early fourteenth-century Iran. Throughout his Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, Mustawfī brought together Qurʾanic, Arabian and Iranian traditions, and evoked an “Iran” that provided an integrative conceptual and imaginative framework within which to accommodate the multiple constituencies within the mixed élites at the Ilkhanid court. Buzurgmihr furnished a rich example of the inclusive and unifying capacity of Iran.
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——— (2004). “Rewriting the History of the Great Mongol Shāhnama.” In Shāhnama: The Visual Language of the Persian Book of Kings, ed. Robert Hillenbrand. Aldershot: Ashgate, 35-50.
Browne, E. G. (1900). “Biographies of Persian Poets Contained in Ch. V, § 6, of the Tarikh-i-Guzída, or “Select History,” of Ḥamdu’lláh Mustawfí of Qazwín,” Part I. JRAS, 721-62.
——— (1901). “Biographies of Persian Poets Contained in Ch. V, § 6, of the Tarikh-i-Guzída, or “Select History,” of Ḥamdu’lláh Mustawfí of Qazwín,” Part II (Continued from p. 762). JRAS, 1-32.
Cheikh-Moussa, Abdallah (1999). “Du discours autorisé ou Comment s’adresser au tyran?” Arabica 46: 139-75.
Christensen, Arthur (1930). “La légende du sage Buzurjmihr.” Acta Orientalia 8: 81-128.
Davidson, Olga M. (2004). “Genre and Occasion in the Rubāʿiyyāt of ʿUmar Khayyām: The Rubāʿī, Literary History, and Courtly Literature.” In Writers and Rulers: Perspectives on Their Relationship from Abbasid to Safavid Times, ed. Beatrice Gruendler and Louise Marlow. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 133-47.
——— (2011). “The Testing of the Shāhnāma in the “Life of Ferdowsī” Narratives.” In The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies, ed. L. Marlow. Boston: Ilex Foundation and Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies, 11-20.
——— (2013). Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings. Third Edition, Boston, Massachusetts: Ilex Foundation and Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. Originally published: Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.
——— (2013). Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetics. Second Edition, Boston, Massachusetts: Ilex Foundation and Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. Originally published: Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers, 2000.
Davis, Dick (1999). Epic and Sedition: The Case of Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh. Washington, D.C.: Mage. Originally published: Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1992.
Derrida, Jacques (1980). “The Law of Genre.” Trans. Avital Ronell, Glyph 7: 202-32.
Firdawsī, Abū l-Qāsim (1988-2008). Shāhnāmeh, ed. Jalāl Khāliqī Muṭlaq and Abū l-Fażl Khaṭībī. New York: Bibliotheca Persica.
Fragner, Bert G. (2006). “Ilkhanid Rule and Its Contributions to Iranian Political Culture.” In Beyond the Legacy of Genghis Khan, ed. Linda Komaroff. Leiden: Brill, 68-80.
Genette, Gérard (1977). “Genres, «types«, modes.” Poétique 32: 389-421.
Grabar, Oleg and Sheila Blair (1980). Epic Images and Contemporary History: The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shāhnama, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gutas, Dmitri (1981). “Classical Arabic Wisdom Literature: Nature and Scope.” JAOS 101: 49-86.
Ḥājjī Khalīfa (1378/1967). Kashf al-ẓunūn ʿan asāmī l-kutub wa-l-funūn, Tehran: Maktabat al-Islāmiyya.
Hoffmann, Birgitt (2014). “In Pursuit of Memoria and Salvation: Rashīd al-Dīn and His Rabʿ-i Rashīdī.” In Politics, Patronage and the Transmission of Knowledge in 13th-15th-Century Tabriz, ed. J. Pfeiffer. Leiden: Brill, 171-85.
Ibn Isfandiyār (1941). Tārīkh-i Ṭabaristān, ed. A. Iqbāl. Tehran: Majlis.
Jackson, Peter and Charles Melville. “Gīāt-al-Dīn Moḥammad,” EIr.
al-Jāḥiẓ, Abū Baḥr (1964-79). Rasāʾil al-Jāḥiẓ, ed. ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn. Cairo: al-Khānjī.
Kamola, Stefan T. (2013). “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History in Mongol Iran.” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington.
——— (2015). “History and Legend in the Jāmiʿ al-tawārikh: Abraham, Alexander, and Oghuz Khan.” JRAS Series 3, 25: 555-77.
——— “The Fall and Rise of Rashīd al-Dīn.” Unpublished manuscript.
Khaleghi Motlagh, Djalal. “Bozorgmehr-e Boktagān.” EIr.
Khiradnāmeh (1367 ). Ed. Manṣūr Tharvat. Tehran: Amīr Kabīr.
Krawulsky, Dorothea (2011). The Mongol Īlkhāns and their Vizier Rashīd al-Dīn. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Lane, George (2015). “Persian Notables and the Families Who Underpinned the Ilkhanate.” In Nomads as Agents of Social Change: The Mongols and Their Eurasian Predecessors, ed. Reuven Amitai and Michael Biran. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 182-213.
Mahallati, Mohammad Jafar (2011). “Biography and the Image of a Medieval Historian: The Tārīkh-i jahān-goshā of ʿAṭā-Malek Jovaynī.” In The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies, ed. L. Marlow. Boston: Ilex Foundation and Washington, D.C.: Center for Hellenic Studies, 21-40.
Massé, Henri. “Buzurjmihr.” EI2
Meisami, Julie Scott (1993). “The Past in Service of the Present: Two Views of History in Medieval Persia.” Poetics Today 14: 247-75.
——— (1999). Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
——— (2000). “History as Literature.” Iranian Studies 33: 15-30.
Melville, Charles (1998). “Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī’s Ẓafarnāmah and the Historiography of the Late Ilkhanid Period.” Iran and Iranian Studies, 1-12.
——— (2001). “From Adam to Abaqa: Qāḍī Baiḍāwī’s Rearrangement of History.” Studia Iranica 30: 67-86.
——— (2007). “Between Firdausī and Rashīd al-Dīn: Persian Verse Chronicles of the Mongol Period.” Studia Islamica 104-105: 45-65.
——— (2010). “Genealogy and Exemplary Rulership in the Tarikh-i Chingiz Khan.” In Living Islamic History: Studies in Honour of Professor Carole Hillenbrand, ed. Yasir Suleiman. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 129-50.
——— “Historiography,” IV: Mongol Period. EIr.
Miskawayh (1952). al-Ḥikma al-khālida = Jāvīdān khirad, ed. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Badawī. Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahḍa al-Miṣriyya.
Morgan, D. O. “Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb.” EI2
Mustawfī, Ḥamd Allāh Qazvīnī (1362 ). Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, ed. ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn Navāʾī. Tehran: Amīr Kabīr.
O’Kane, Bernard (2006). “Persian Poetry on Ilkhanid Art and Architecture.” In Beyond the Legacy of Genghis Khan, ed. Linda Komaroff. Leiden: Brill, 346-54.
Pfeiffer, Judith (2013). “The Canonization of Cultural Memory: Ghāzān Khan, Rashīd al-Dīn, and the Construction of the Mongol Past.” In Rashīd al-Dīn. Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, ed. Anna Akasoy, Charles Burnett and Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim. London – Turin: The Warburg Institute – Nino Aragno Editore, 57-70.
Rafīʿ, ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ Ḥaqīqat (1374 ). Vazīrān-i īrānī az Buzurgmihr tā Amīr Kabīr: Dō hazār sāl-i vizārat. Tehran: Kūmis.
Rajavī, Kāẓim (1333 ). Pīrūzīnāmeh mansūb bi-Buzurgmihr-i Bukhtagān Tarjameh-yi Abū ʿAlī-yi Sīnā. Tehran: Ibn Sīnā.
Ṣadīqī, Ghulām-Ḥusayn (1383 ). Ẓafarnāmeh mansūb bi-Shaykh-i Raʾīs-i Abū ʿAlī Sīnā. Hamadan: Dānishgāh-i Bū ʿAlī Sīnā.
Sela, Ron (2013). “Rashīd al-Dīn’s Historiographical Legacy in the Muslim World.” In Rashīd al-Dīn. Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, ed. Anna Akasoy, Charles Burnett and Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim. London – Turin: The Warburg Institute – Nino Aragno Editore, 213-22.
Soudavar, Abolala (2006). “The Han-Lin Academy and the Persian Royal Library-Atelier.” In History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia and the Middle East: Studies in Honor of John E. Woods, ed. Judith Pfeiffer and Sholeh A. Quinn in Collaboration with Ernest Tucker. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 467-84.
al-Thaʿālibī, Abū Manṣūr (1900). Ghurar akhbār mulūk al-furs wa-siyarihim (= Histoire des rois des Perses), ed. H. Zotenberg. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale.
Waldman, Marilyn R. (1980). Toward a Theory of Historical Narrative: A Case Study in Perso-Islamicate Historiography. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press.
 Charles Melville, “Historiography,” IV: Mongol Period, EIr. The same defiance of generic classification characterizes Mustawfī’s “geography,” Nuzhat al-qulūb (cf. Judith Pfeiffer, “The Canonization of Cultural Memory: Ghāzān Khan, Rashīd al-Dīn, and the Construction of the Mongol Past,” in Rashīd al-Dīn. Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, 57-70, 58, n. 7). I am grateful to Stefan Kamola for his very helpful comments on an earlier draft of this essay.
 For a detailed account of the structure and contents of Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, see E. G. Browne, “Biographies of Persian Poets Contained in Ch. V, § 6, of the Táríkh-i-Guzída, or “Select History,” of Ḥamdu’lláh Mustawfí of Qazwín,” Part I, JRAS (1900), 721-62, 723-5. In many respects, the structure of Tārīkh-i guzīdeh recalls, as Stefan Kamola has pointed out, that of Bayżāvī’s four-part Niẓām al-tavārīkh (c. 674/1275), which Mustawfī cites among the sources he consulted (Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, ed. ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn Navāʾī, Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1362 , 7) (Stefan T. Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History in Mongol Iran,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington, 2013, 259).
 Jacques Derrida, “The Law of Genre,” Trans. Avital Ronell, Glyph 7 (1980), 202-32, 202, 206. See also Gérard Genette, “Genres, «types«, modes,” Poétique 32 (November 1977), 389-421.
 See especially Olga M. Davidson, Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings (Originally published: Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994; Third Edition, Boston, Massachusetts: Ilex Foundation and Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2013), and eadem, Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetics (Originally published: Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers, 2000; Second Edition, Boston, Massachusetts: Ilex Foundation and Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2013).
 The historicity and identity of the figure known as Buzurgmihr in the Arabic and Persian literary corpora remain matters of speculation. It has been proposed that the figure corresponds to Borzmihr, secretary to Khusraw I; the possibility of a relationship with the physician Burzūya (Burzōē), similarly associated with Khusraw, has also been discussed (see Djalal Khaleghi Motlagh, “Bozorgmehr-e Boktagān,” EIr; F. R. C. Bagley, Ghazālī’s Book of Counsel for Kings (Naṣīḥat al-mulūk), London: Oxford University Press, 1964, lxvi-lxx). As Abdallah Cheikh-Moussa has noted, Burzūya (Barzawayh) and Buzurgmihr appear in Arabic writings as two differentiated masters of wisdom, both associated with Anūshīrvān (“Du discours autorisé ou Comment s’adresser au tyran?” Arabica 46 , 139-75, 144; cf. 161).
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 2-3, 7.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 4-5.
 Rashīd al-Dīn was accused of having poisoned Öljeitü, Abū Saʿīd’s father (D. O. Morgan, “Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb,” EI2).
 For recent treatments of the Rabʿ-i Rashīdī and its production of manuscripts, see Birgitt Hoffmann, “In Pursuit of Memoria and Salvation: Rashīd al-Dīn and His Rabʿ-i Rashīdī,” in Politics, Patronage and the Transmission of Knowledge in 13th-15th-Century Tabriz, ed. J. Pfeiffer, Leiden: Brill, 2014, pp. 171-85, and Nouane Ben Azzouna, “Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh al-Hamadhānī’s Manuscript Production Project in Tabriz Reconsidered,” in Politics, Patronage and the Transmission of Knowledge in 13th-15th-Century Tabriz, ed. J. Pfeiffer, Leiden: Brill, 2014, pp. 187-200.
 Peter Jackson and Charles Melville, “Gīāt-al-Dīn Moḥammad,” EIr; Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History,” 258.
 See Oleg Grabar and Sheila Blair, Epic Images and Contemporary History: The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shāhnama, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980, 48; Sheila Blair, “Patterns of Patronage and Production in Ilkhanid Iran: The Case of Rashid al-Din,” in In the Court of the Il-Khans, 1290-1340, ed. Julian Raby and Theresa Fitzherbert (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 56; eadem, “The Coins of the Later Ilkhānids: Mint Organization, Regionalization, and Urbanism,” Museum Notes 27 (1982), 211-30, 224-5; eadem, “Rewriting the History of the Great Mongol Shāhnama,” in Shāhnama: The Visual Language of the Persian Book of Kings, ed. Robert Hillenbrand (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), 35-50, 40, 47-8. See further Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History,” 261-3.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 4-5, 621-2. Mustawfī writes that “clemency in conjunction with power is the utmost perfection of humanity” (ʿafv bi-hingām-i qudrat ghāyat-i kamāl-i insānīyat ast) (Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 621).
 Nasrin Askari, The Medieval Reception of the Shāhnāma as a Mirror for Princes, Leiden: Brill, 2016.
 It should be noted, however, that this impact is more or less manifest at different moments during the Ilkhanid period; the courts of Ghazan and Öljeitü appear to have shown little interest in the Shāhnāmeh, and Rashīd al-Dīn makes little reference to it. See Stefan Kamola, “The Fall and Rise of Rashīd al-Dīn” (unpublished manuscript; I am deeply grateful to Dr Kamola for providing me with a draft of this part of his forthcoming monograph).
 See, for example, Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, “Biography and the Image of a Medieval Historian: The Tārīkh-i jahān-goshā of ʿAṭā-Malek Jovaynī,” in The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies, ed. L. Marlow, Boston: Ilex Foundation and Washington, D.C.: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2011, 21-40.
 Melville, “Between Firdausi and Rashīd al-Dīn”; idem, “Genealogy and Exemplary Rulership in the Tarikh-i Chingiz Khan”, in Living Islamic History: Studies in Honour of Professor Carole Hillenbrand, ed. Yasir Suleiman, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010, 129-50, 132; Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History,” 260-1.
 Bernard O’Kane, “Persian Poetry on Ilkhanid Art and Architecture,” in Beyond the Legacy of Genghis Khan, ed. Linda Komaroff, Leiden: Brill, 2006, 346-54, 348-9; Sheila S. Blair, “The Ilkhanid Palace,” Ars Orientalis 23 (1993), 239-48, 242.
 Abolala Soudavar, “The Han-Lin Academy and the Persian Royal Library-Atelier,” in History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia and the Middle East: Studies in Honor of John E. Woods, ed. Judith Pfeiffer and Sholeh A. Quinn in Collaboration with Ernest Tucker, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006, 467-84, 474-5; Bert G. Fragner, “Ilkhanid Rule and Its Contributions to Iranian Political Culture,” in Beyond the Legacy of Genghis Khan, 68-80, 74; Askari, Medieval Reception, 37-9; Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History,” 261; idem, “Fall and Rise.”
 Charles Melville, “Between Firdausī and Rashīd al-Dīn: Persian Verse Chronicles of the Mongol Period,” Studia Islamica 104-105 (2007): 45-65; Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History,” 260-8, and idem, “Fall and Rise.”
 See Ghulām-Ḥusayn Ṣadīqī, Ẓafarnāmeh mansūb bi-Shaykh-i Raʾīs-i Abū ʿAlī Sīnā, Hamadan: Dānishgāh-i Bū ʿAlī Sīnā, 1383 , 9-11, on the relationship of the two texts and titles; for other uses of the title Ẓafarnāmeh, see Ṣadīqī, Ẓafarnāmeh, 11-15. On the Pīrūzīnāmak, see further below.
 Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History,” esp. 257-79; idem, “Fall and Rise.” See also Melville, “Between Firdausi and Rashīd al-Dīn,” 63, and Nasrin Askari, The Medieval Reception of the Shāhnāma as a Mirror for Princes, Leiden: Brill, 2016, 39.
 See Charles Melville, “Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī’s Ẓafarnāmah and the Historiography of the Late Ilkhanid Period,” Iran and Iranian Studies 1998, 1-12, 3.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 7. In the scope of his History, Mustawfī was indebted to the example of Rashīd al-Dīn, whose extraordinarily broad historical imagination is especially evident in the second volume of the Jāmiʿ al-tavārīkh (cf. Stefan Kamola, “History and Legend in the Jāmiʿ al-tawārikh: Abraham, Alexander, and Oghuz Khan,” JRAS Series 3, 25 , 555-77, esp. 556).
 Mustawfī includes a brief entry for Firdawsī in his section devoted to poets (Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 743; Browne, “Biographies of Persian Poets Contained in Ch. V, § 6, of the Táríkh-i-Guzída, or “Select History,” of Ḥamdu’lláh Mustawfí of Qazwín,” Part II (Continued from p. 762), JRAS 1901, 1-32, 7-8), and refers to and cites him in his entries for Daqīqī (Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 730; Browne, “Biographies of Persian Poets,” I: 730) and ʿUnṣurī (Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 738; Browne, “Biographies of Persian Poets,” I: 761). Mustawfī further relates an episode in which the Caliph al-Qādir (r. 422-67/1031-75) and Sultan Maḥmūd (r. 388-421/998-1030) corresponded over Firdawsī (Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 351).
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 6-7. Julie Scott Meisami draws attention to the breadth of Persianate conceptions of “historiography” when she, like Mustawfī, includes the Shāhnāmeh and Siyar al-mulūk in her Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999, 37-45, 145-62).
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 6.
 Ron Sela, “Rashīd al-Dīn’s Historiographical Legacy in the Muslim World,” in Rashīd al-Dīn. Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, ed. Anna Akasoy, Charles Burnett and Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, London – Turin: The Warburg Institute – Nino Aragno Editore, 2013, 213-22, 217; Muzaffar Alam, “The Culture and Politics of Persian in Precolonial Hindustan,” in Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia, ed. Sheldon Pollock, University of California Press, 2003, 131-98, 163, 164; Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Writing the Mughal World: Studies on Culture and Politics, New York: Columbia University Press, 2012, 316. Mustawfī’s Tārīkh-i guzīdeh was not, however, universally well regarded; see Melville, “Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī’s Ẓafarnāmah,” 9 and n. 32.
 It should be pointed out that in this respect, Mustawfī also followed the approach of Bayżāvī in his Niẓām al-tavārīkh (see Charles Melville, “From Adam to Abaqa: Qāḍī Baiḍāwī’s Rearrangement of History,” Studia Iranica 30 , 67-86).
 Dorothea Krawulsky, The Mongol Īlkhāns and their Vizier Rashīd al-Dīn, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2011, 44.
 George Lane, “Persian Notables and the Families Who Underpinned the Ilkhanate,” in Nomads as Agents of Social Change: The Mongols and Their Eurasian Predecessors, ed. Reuven Amitai and Michael Biran, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2015, 182-213, 189.
 Cf. Lane, “Persian Notables,” 183, 188. See further Kamola, “History and Legend,” esp. 574; idem, “Fall and Rise”.
 See Mustawfī’s table of contents, Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 11-13, where he lists the Saffarids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Daylamis, Seljuks, Khvarazmshahs, the Atabegs of Diyarbakr and Fars, the Ismaʿilis, the Qarakhitay of Kirman, the Atabegs of Luristan, and the Mongol rulers of Iran (pādshāhān-i mughal [keh] bar Īrānzamīn ḥukm kardand).
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 11-12.
 Meisami has observed that writers of histories in Persian were almost invariably court secretaries or officials, schooled in the strategies and subtleties of rhetoric and supremely conscious of the ethical lessons that history had to offer (J. S. Meisami, “History as Literature,” Iranian Studies 33 , 15-30, 18; eadem, Persian Historiography, 5-13, 283-6 and passim).
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 2.
 Dick Davis, Epic and Sedition: The Case of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Washington, D.C.: Mage, 1999; Originally published Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1992, 75-7.
 Tārīkh-i Bayhaqī, ed. Dr Ghanī and Dr Fayyā̇ż, Tehran: 1324 , 333-6 = The History of Beyhaqi (The History of Sultan Masʿud of Ghazna, 1030-1041) by Abu’l-Fażl Beyhaqi, Trans. C. E. Bosworth and Revised Mohsen Ashtiany, Boston, Massachusetts: Ilex Foundation and Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2011, I: 444-7. On this episode, see also Marilyn R. Waldman, Toward a Theory of Historical Narrative: A Case Study in Perso-Islamicate Historiography, Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1980, 103-4, 191-4; J. S. Meisami, “The Past in Service of the Present: Two Views of History in Medieval Persia,” Poetics Today 14 (1993), 247-75, 271; eadem, Persian Historiography, 107-8; Bosworth and Ashtiany, History of Beyhaqi, I: 60-1, III: 197-9.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 4, 604, 621.
 See above, n. 21.
 Khaleghi Motlagh, “Bozorgmihr-e Boktagān;” Henri Massé, “Buzurjmihr,” EI2; Bagley, Ghazālī’s Book of Counsel for Kings, lxvi-lxx.
 See ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ Ḥaqīqat (Rafīʿ), Vazīrān-i īrānī az Buzurgmihr tā Amīr Kabīr: Dō hazār sāl-i vizārat, Tehran: Kūmis, 1374 , 31-51.
 For the use and significance of this term, see Olga M. Davidson, “Genre and Occasion in the Rubāʿiyyāt of ʿUmar Khayyām: The Rubāʿī, Literary History, and Courtly Literature,” in Writers and Rulers: Perspectives on Their Relationship from Abbasid to Safavid Times, ed. Beatrice Gruendler and Louise Marlow (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2004), 133-47, 139.
 Arthur Christensen summarized this trio of narratives, which he attributed to different sources, in his article “La légende du sage Buzurjmihr” (Acta Orientalia 8 , 81-128). See also Rafīʿ, Vazīrān-i īrānī, 31-48.
 Shāhnāmeh, ed. Jalāl Khāliqī Muṭlaq and Abū l-Fażl Khaṭībī (New York: Bibliotheca Persica, 1384/2007), VII: 167-219, 304-19, 374-81; Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī, Ghurar akhbār mulūk al-furs wa-siyarihim (= Histoire des rois des Perses), ed. H. Zotenberg (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1900), 619-25, 633-6.
 See Dimitri Gutas, “Classical Arabic Wisdom Literature: Nature and Scope,” JAOS 101 (1981), 49-86; Lutz Berger, “Aphorism,” EI Three.
 Al-Jāḥiẓ, Dhamm akhlāq al-kuttāb, in Rasāʾil al-Jāḥiẓ, ed. ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn, Cairo: al-Khānjī, 1964-79, II: 191; cf. Gutas, “Classical Arabic Wisdom Literature,” 67.
 Firdawsī, Shāhnāmeh, VII: 286-303.
 Miskawayh, al-Ḥikma al-khālida = Jāvīdān khirad, ed. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Badawī (Cairo: Maktabat al-Nahḍa al-Miṣriyya, 1952), 29-37, 37-41, where, despite similarities, few of the maxims adduced coincide exactly with the examples contained in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh.
 Firdawsī, Shāhnāmeh, VII: 286, n. 20; Khiradnāmeh, ed. Manṣūr Tharvat, Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1367 , 54-6. The latter collection also includes a separate series of Buzurgmihr’s responses to Anūshīrvān’s questions (47-52), and a section that records Buzurgmihr’s pronouncements on medicine (46-7). The Khiradnāmeh is perhaps the oldest of the surviving transmissions; see further Ṣadīqī, Ẓafarnāmeh, 34-6, 38-40.
 See G. van den Berg, “Wisdom Literature in the Safīna-yi Tabrīz: Notes on the Pandnāma-yi Anūshirvān,” in The Treasury of Tabriz: The Great Ilkhanid Compendium (Amsterdam: Rozenberg, 2007), 171-82, 171, 174.
 Kāẓim Rajavī, Pīrūzīnāmeh mansūb bi-Buzurgmihr-i Bukhtagān Tarjameh-yi Abū ʿAlī-yi Sīnā (Tehran: Ibn Sīnā, 1333/1951), 54-63; Ṣadīqī, Ẓafarnāmeh, 1-21 [Text], cf. 37-40, 50-60 [Editor’s Introduction], on the differences among the various manuscripts. See further Rafīʿ, Vazīrān-i īrānī, 35, 48-9; Kamola, “Fall and Rise.”
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 62. In dedicating his first chapter to prophets and sages, Mustawfī reflects the example of Bayżāvī, whom he lists among his sources (Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 7). Bayżāvī divided his Niẓām al-tavārīkh into four sections, the first of which was dedicated to “prophets and executors” (anbiyā va-awṣiyā), a heading to which one manuscript adds “scholars and sages” (ʿulamā va-ḥukamā; Niẓām al-tavārīkh, ed. Mīr Hāshim Muḥaddith, Tehran: Bunyād-i Mawqūfāt-i Duktūr Maḥmūd Afshār, 1382 , 5, n. 1). Bayżāvī’s first section runs from the time of Adam to that of Noah, and includes ten persons, whose collective dominion lasted 2,500 years (Niẓām al-tavārīkh, pp. 3, 5). Bayżāvī includes neither the Greek philosophers nor Buzurgmihr in this section; Mustawfī’s inclusion of these figures alongside the prophets of sacred history reflects the integrating intention of his History. Bayżāvī does, however, mention Buzurgmihr’s vizierate in his entry for Kisrā Anūshīrvān. In this context, he stresses the king’s consultation with Buzurgmihr and other mudabbirān over Mazdak (Niẓām al-tavārīkh, 48). Bayżāvī also mentions Buzurgmihr as the occupant of one of four golden seats constructed at Anūshīrvān’s court (Niẓām al-tavārīkh, 49). Mustawfī does not mention these topics in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh.
 Ibn Isfandiyār, writing his Tārīkh-i Ṭabaristān in 613/1216-17, had also classified Buzurgmihr as a ḥakīm, and discussed him in his section devoted to “the sages of Tabaristan” (ḥukamā-yi Ṭabaristān). After referring to Firdawsī’s account of Buzurgmihr’s relationship with Shāh Anūshīrvān, Ibn Isfandiyār relates that after the fall of the Sasanians, Buzurgmihr had travelled to Tabaristan, where he answered questions, in a series of maxims and pronouncements all recorded in Arabic (Ibn Isfandiyār, Tārīkh-i Ṭabaristān, ed. A. Iqbāl [Tehran: Majlis, 1941], 135-6).
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 117-20; cf. van den Berg, “Wisdom Literature,” 180. Firdawsī records numbers of Anūshīrvān’s maxims in his inaugural speech (Shāhnāmeh, VII: 88-101, passim; van den Berg, “Wisdom Literature,” 176-7), and al-Thaʿālibī devotes a section of his account of Anūshīrvān’s reign to the monarch’s sayings (ghurar wa-nukat min kalām Anūshīrwān) (Ghurar akhbār mulūk al-furs wa-siyarihim, 606-9).
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 117.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 48-9, 57.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 62-7.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 67.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 67; Firdawsī, Shāhnāmeh, VII: 286-303. See also Rafīʿ, Vazīrān-i īrānī, 33, 34; Christensen, “La légende du sage,” 118-21.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 67.
 Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, 67. Ṣadīqī has discussed the various representations of the question and answer sequences associated with Buzurgmihr. In the Khiradnāmeh, it is Anūshīrvān who poses the questions and Buzurgmihr who responds; in Tārīkh-i guzīdeh, it is Buzurgmihr who poses questions to his teacher; in another manuscript, it is Buzurgmihr’s teacher Aristotle who responds to his questions (Ṣadīqī, Ẓafarnāmeh, 16-26).
 Ḥājjī Khalīfa, in apparently the first attestation of the attribution, lists a Ẓafarnāmeh that consists of Anūshīrvān’s questions and Buzurgmihr’s answers, translated on the command of Nūḥ b. Manṣūr by his vizier Ibn Sīnā from Pahlavi (lughat al-fahlawī) into Persian (al-fārisiyya) (Kashf al-ẓunūn ʿan asāmī l-kutub wa-l-funūn, Tehran: Maktabat al-Islāmiyya, 1378/1967, II: 1120; cf. Ṣadīqī, Ẓafarnāmeh, 26-7). The ascription of the “translation” of Buzurgmihr’s wisdom to an illustrious vizier at the command of a Samanid ruler recalls other accounts of Samanid commissionings; see the insightful analysis of Olga M. Davidson, “The Testing of the Shāhnāma in the “Life of Ferdowsī” Narratives,” in The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies, ed. L. Marlow (Boston: Ilex Foundation and Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2011), 11-20.
 The text appears in Rajavī, Pīrūzīnāmeh, 54-63. The preliminary sections of naʿt and ammā baʿdiyya cover pp. 54-5. The editor reproduces the Ẓafarnāmeh that appears in the Tārīkh-i guzīdeh in an excursus, pp. 64-71; cf. 42-4.
 Kamola, “Rashīd al-Dīn and the Making of History,” 260, 265, 268-70, 286; idem, “Fall and Rise.”