IRANIAN INFLUENCE ON MOSLEM LITERATURE, PART I***
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IRANIAN INFLUENCE ON MOSLEM LITERATURE, PART I
TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN, WITH SUPPLEMENTARY APPENDICES FROM ARABIC SOURCES BY G. K. NARIMAN
CHAPTER I. Arabic Writers as Sources of Sasanian Culture 3
CHAPTER II. Parsi Clergy Preserve Tradition 25
CHAPTER III. Ethico-didactic Books of Arabs Exclusively of Iranian Origin 38
CHAPTER IV. Iranian Components of Arabic _Adab_ Literature 53
CHAPTER V. Pahlavi Books Studied by Arab Authors 65
CHAPTER VI. Arab Translators from Pahlavi 76
CHAPTER VII. Pahlavi Rushnar Nameh 89
(By the Translator).
APPENDIX I. Independent Zoroastrian Princes of Tabaristan after Arab Conquest 93
APPENDIX II. Iranian Material in Mahasin wal Masawi and Mahasin wal Azdad 101
APPENDIX III. Burzoe's Introduction 105
APPENDIX IV. The Trial of Afshin, a Disguised Zoroastrian General 135
APPENDIX V. Noeldeke's Introduction to Tabari 142
APPENDIX VI. Letter of Tansar to the King of Tabaristan 159
APPENDIX VII. Some Arab Authors and the Iranian Material they preserve:--
The Uyunal Akhbar of Ibn Qotaiba 163 Jahiz: Kitab-al-Bayan wal Tabayyin 168 Hamza Ispahani 171 Tabari 174 Dinawari 177 Ibn al Athir 179 Masudi 182 Shahrastani 187 Ibn Hazm 192 Ibn Haukal 195
Ibn Khallikan 199 Mustawfi 203 Muqadasi 204 Thaalibi 205
The facile notion is still prevalent even among Musalmans of learning that the past of Iran is beyond recall, that the period of its history preceding the extinction of the House of Sasan cannot be adequately investigated and that the still anterior dynasties which ruled vaster areas have left no traces in stone or parchment in sufficient quantity for a tolerable record reflecting the story of Iran from the Iranian's standpoint. This fallacy is particularly hugged by the Parsis among whom it was originally lent by fanaticism to indolent ignorance. It has been credited with uncritical alacrity, congenial to self-complacency, that the Arabs so utterly and ruthlessly annihilated the civilization of Iran in its mental and material aspects that no source whatever is left from which to wring reliable information about Zoroastrian Iran. The following limited pages are devoted to a disproof of this age-long error.
For a connected story of Persia prior to the battle of Kadisiya, beside the Byzantine writers there is abundant material in Armenian and Chinese histories. These mines remain yet all but unexplored for the Moslem and Parsi, although much has been done to extract from them a chronicle of early Christianity. The archaeology of Iran, as I have shown elsewhere, can provide vital clue to an authentic resuscitation of Sasanian past. Pre-Moslem epigraphy of Persia is yet in little more than an inchoate condition. Not only all Central Asia but the territories marching with the Indian and Persian frontiers, where persecution of the elder faith could not have been relatively mild, the population professing Islam have been unable to abjure in their entirety rites and practices akin to those of Zoroastrianism. Within living memory the inhabitants of Pamir would not blow out a candle or otherwise desecrate fire. While science cannot recognise the claims of any individual professing to have studied esoteric Zoroastrianism hidden in the hill tracts of Rawalpindi, the myth has a value in that it indicates the direction in which humbler and uninspired scholars may work. These regions and far beyond, teem with pure Iranian place-names to this day; and you meet in and around even the Peshawar district individuals bearing names of old Iranian heroes which, if the theory of persecution-mongers be correct, would be an anathema to the bigoted followers of Muhammad.
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It is, above all, Arabic literature which upsets the easy fiction of total destruction of Iranian culture by the Arabs. In its various departments of history, geography and general science Arabic works incorporate extensive material for a history of Iranian civilization, while Arabic poetry abounds in references to Zoroastrian Iran. The former is illustrated by Professor Inostranzev's pioneer Russian essay of which the main body of this book is a translation. The Appendices are intended to be supplementary and to be at once a continuation and a possible key--continuation of the researches of the Russian scholar and key to the contemned store-house of Arabic letters.