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PAPERBACK ISBN 9780674062344, HARDCOVER ISBN 9780674062337
Publication October 2011

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Ilex Foundation Series #6

The History of Beyhaqi, Vol. I

By: Abuíl-Fa?l Beyhaqi, Translated by C. E. Bosworth, Revised by Mohsen Ashtiany
(The History of Sultan Mas'ud of Ghazna, 1030–1041)

Abuíl-Fa?l Beyhaqi, a secretary at the court of a number of Ghaznavid rulers in Iran and Afghanistan, was an acute commentator on his age, the early medieval period. The surviving volumes of his massive historical project, covering the years 1030-41, display wry humor as well as erudition in the sciences and literature of the time. By a deft manipulation of different styles, and timely introduction of the authorial voice as a framing device to induce a sense of heightened drama, Beyhaqi describes the fall of the great notables at the court of a doomed king. Each episode retains its inner cohesion while the incremental repetition of one sudden fall after another brings a momentum of its own, leading inexorably, like a deadly game of chess, to checkmate and the downfall of the remover of the pawns, the perfidious monarch himself. There are already a number of articles and books in Western languages analyzing different aspects of his art, but this is the first complete translation of the extant volumes with a detailed commentary and glossary.