Rashid al-Din, Jami’al-Tawarikh
(‘Compendium of Histories’)
Il-Khanid: Tabriz, 1314
Opaque watercolour, ink, gold and silver on paper
Edinburgh University Library, MS. Or. 20, fol. 12v
Like No. 9, this image depicts Key Khosrow’s successor, Lohrasp, enthroned. Here we see figures characteristic of the Il-Khanid court: young attendants wear split-brimmed Mongol caps with their hair in bunches, while old, bearded figures with aquiline profiles have turbans. The latter have long written scrolls and pen-boxes. They are Persian bureaucrats, indispensable to the running of the empire. The lotus decoration on the throne back is typical for the period.
This is one of the earliest Shahnameh illustrations that are precisely datable. Together with Nos. 23, 25 and 26, it belonged not to a Shahnameh manuscript, but to a copy of the Jami’ al-Tawarikh (‘Compendium of Histories’) that draws on the Shahnameh as one of its sources.