Biographical Dictionary of Poets

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Biographical Dictionary of Poets (Tazkert al-Shoara), also known as “Dowlatshah Biographical Dictionary” is a historical and literary book on biographies of poets, in Persian. It consists of a prose and versified preface on extolling the caliphs and Sultan Hossein Bayqara’s (Timurid king) virtues, the author’s biography and the biography of ten Arab poets.

The author
Dowlatshah Ibn Alaa al-Din Samarqandi, the author of the ####book was a great sholar in the 15th century. His father- Amir Alaa al-Din Isfarayeni- was the court jester of Shahrukh (famous Timurid king). The book was written for Amir Alishir Nawaeiee.

Structure of the book
All the information about the poets were extracted from historical books and the poets’ Diwans (the poets’ colleted poems). There are the biographies of 150 Iranian poets from the advent of Islam to the time of Dowlatshah, then there is a preface on ten Arab poets. Persian poets have been divided into seven categories which the last category involves the contemporary poets with Dowlatshah. At the end of the book there are the biographies of some of the great contemporary poets and scholars such as: Jami (great Persian poet and mystic; 1414 – 1492), Amir Alishir Nawaiee and a piece of poem of Sultan Hossein Bahador. It is known as a reference book for many biographers. It is a significant book because of including the biographies of many poets who were contemporary with the author. It has been published many times in Iran and India.

Publication
The book first was published in 1888 in Bombay, then in 1901, and the last time in 1924 in Lahore. It was also translated into Turkish as “The Ship of Poets” and into English in 1909.

Sources

1- Islam world encyclopedia quoted by: Amir-Alishir navai

-anthology of Majols un-Nafois (printd of Ali Asghar hekmat)

2-literar history of Iran-vol.2 (from Ferdows up to Saadi)

3-Biographical Dictionary of Poets

4- stylistics of Mohammad Taghi Bahar

5- persian encyclopedia

Keywords


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