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Title: Studies on the legend of Iskandar in the classical literature of Islamic Persia, with special reference to the work of Firdawsi, Nizami and Jami
Author: Mango, Andrew James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 2091
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1955
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The Persian legend of Tekandar, which belongs to the family of the romances of Alexander of Macedon, integrates several streams which flowed out of a common source. -the history of Pseudo-Callisthenes. Extraneous elements are also present. This amalgam was put Into verse, among others, by Firdawsi in the Shah-nämah, Nizäm1 in the Iakandar-namah and Jämi in the Khirad-nämah-i-Sikandar1. Certain conceptions held in common inspired the three poets. The most important. of these were that the world is evil, because it condemns all living beings to death, and, stated approximately, that man enacts freely a pre-determined pattern, Nevertheless, the treatment of the legend is different in each one of the three works. In the Shah-namah the legend is narrated mainly in a romanesque manner, and Iskandar is pictured as a avänmard, the mediaeval Persian equivalent of a preux chevalier. The Isksndar_nämah of Nizämf is inspired by the Muslim scholastic ideal of moderation and presents Iskandar as a just king, whose task it is to re-establish in Persia the old social order, but who is, nevertheless, tainted with guilt through his condonation of the murder of the Persian King. (The style of Nizämi is studied in two appendices, one of which provides a traduction raisonnee of a complicated passage of the Iskandar-namah.) Jämi considered the legend as a memento mori, teaching that the most powerful man who had ever lived could not escape death. His Khirad-nämah is a work of Sufi propaedeutics and, as such, is largely free from mystical elaborations: its purpose is to convince the reader of the vanity of this world; mystical pleasure cannot be enjoyed until this conviction is acquired. This thesis attempts to elicit the personal contribution of the three poets to a common tradition over a span of almost five centuries These contributions are discovered to be very elusive and differences of temperament rather than of ideals are found to lie behind many differences of treatment
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: JISC Digital Islam
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available