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A new look at Ṭūsī’s Awṣāf al-ashrāf


Date of creation
  • 2020   Gregorian
Preferred title

A new look at Ṭūsī’s Awṣāf al-ashrāf   English  

Work type Single work
Non-literary work Discursive work
Work manifested Article
Work genre Textual work

Adult, serious


It is commonly stated that Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī’s (d. 672/1274) short treatise on mysticism, the Awṣāf al-ashrāf, was written for the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the Īlkhānid dynasty in Iran, Shams al-Dīn al-Juwaynī (in office 661–683/1262–1284). This is because all the surviving copies of this work were thus far believed to possess the same preamble featuring an elaborate dedication to him. The preamble of the copy preserved in MS Leiden Or. 683/1, possibly the oldest extant copy, tells us a different story. In it, al-Juwaynī is not mentioned at all. As will be argued below, there is every reason to believe that the Leiden copy of the Awṣāf al-ashrāf contains an earlier version of this work, written during Ṭūsī’s affiliation with the Nizārī Ismāʿīlīs, somewhere between 633/1235–1236 and 654/1256. Apparently little-circulated at the time, the work was then brushed up and offered to al-Juwaynī, reminiscent of what Ṭūsī had done with some of his other earlier works.

Diamond   W 240992

Created at 05-08-2020 by Dalal Adib (IDEO)

Updated at 05-08-2020 by Dalal Adib (IDEO)

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